Let's begin with a good story about the 2017 Contest from Peter Cook about the 2017 Contest at Matamata: -

MSC Comp early Dec 2017.

Last week Peter Cook competed in Matamata Soaring Centre Racing Class gliding competition and collected a day win and 2nd place overall..

How he saw it:-

The Racing Contest courses were set in the Waitako, extending over some 200km, from Firth of Thames to Tokoroa, with a time limit of a couple of hours.  The objective, from a staggered start, is who flies fastest furtherest wins. Both assigned area and point to point racing tasks were set to test us. Ridge conditions were absent - surprisingly!

After morning briefings, by the local knowledgeables, gliders were launched around midday by tow plane to 2,000ft and then soared in rising air, flew along energy lines of converging winds to GPS turn points.  Flights were recorded on GPS devices, like cell phones or car nav gear, then traces were analysed by software to ascertain place getters.

Interesting parts of the comp were catching up with pilots from around the North Island, flying with Glyn, who did well in VV and meeting a Norwegian couple, along with social activities and of course the racing.  Starting a task is always tactical fun, climbing, assessing conditions ahead, watching others do the same and then there's the rush through the start line with usual good runs and climbs into the first leg. Challenges are changes in conditions later on and being marooned in a weak thermal or sink 10 of Kms from base. This is when skill and patience are required to regain height -  made me sweat - this happened more than a few times near the coast and between cloud masses to south of Matamata town. Land-outs were on but didn't eventuate for me. Porpoise flying energy lines is exhilarating especially when accompanied by others gliders. A favourite were the runs up to the swamp and beyond into Maramarua, a soggy area for me and how the sog can change prospects. On the last day over development which held me away from the last turn point -  Wharepapa South.  Its air strip did attract close rival Steve Foreman, of Auckland Av Sports. . He still won the Racing  Class though.

A fun and close contest with lead changes and new winner each day, liquid refreshment rewards to boot, excellent catering and company.  Its worth doing these regional comps to extend in low stress fashion as there is good support. The new novice class is an ideal step in and tasks are well set for PW5.  Best to  be current and practiced at short landings.  l'lll put some marker flags on the side fences at Stfd AF soon, at 20m intervals so we can gauge stopping distance from the end fence.

Next goal is to fly YT in Taranaki for the first time this year, do distance, weather and timing permitting.


Some numbers -  Peter flew a total of 668.05kms, won Day 4, was swcond on Day 6 and third on Days 2 and 7. And was second in his class overall. Glyn Jackson flew a total of 387.44kms, was second on Day 1, fifth on Day 4 and sixth on Day 2. He returned home early but finished ninth in the Racing Class

Peter Cook with trophies:

Good soaring continued on the 23rd with several flights over the hour.  Dennis Green made a conversion flight in the PW5.  Lasted an hour and thirty-nne minutes.  Just to be sure about things is Dennis.  Tim Hardwick-Smith and John Spence treated themselves to an hour and thrty-seven minutes in the Janus.  Then Tim and Steve Barham were away for thrty-five minutes.   Les Sharp and Tim swapped towing duties  (quite churlish to sugest swappa-crate) and Les achieved fifty-two minutes in his ASW20 to end the day.

The 25th was a different sort of day.  Dennis had four flights in the PW5 totalling fifty-nine minutes, Les and John toiled away for an hour and nineteen minutes in the Janua then Tim with Iain Finer secured an hour and ten minutes in the Janus.. Jim Finer on towing duties.  That wrapped up November (no flying in November 2016) then another short day on the 2nd,  to start December.  Four flights again for Dennis in the PW5 for thirty-seven minutes, twenty minutes in the Janus for John Tullett in the Janus and fifty-two minutes for Les in his ASW20.  So November turned out to be busy enough.  The way the summer is beginning it looks as though its going to be quite dry.  Some good thermal conditions may well eventuate hopefully helping the impending camp at Stratford.  Just to be sure though, a party is off down to Omarama with the Janus to sample the famed flying down there.  We look forward to the accounts of exploits that happen  during this trip. 

December 3rd :  Three flights only - an hour nineteen for John Tullett in his K6 and two of 10min & 41min for Dennis Green in the PW5.  Dec. 12th saw another three - 30min fpr Dennis again in the PW5 and 32min for John Spence in the Twin Astir followed by an hour seventeen by Les all on his own.  The 16th improved slightly with four flights.  An incomplete Timesheet with little further information still indicated a useful day with, I believe, some three hours twentyfive minutes for Tim Hardwick - Smith in his Discus flying here and there, two again for Dennis in the PW5 - 11min and an hour twenty minutes.   Peter Cook and his Discus must have missed out for only about 24 minutes for him.   In the morning, I'd receveived a phone call from an excited Glyn Jackson, talking even faster than usua telling me that the Flarm system was up and running and that if I looked I could see XC and TE in mid-light.  I did look and yes, I could see the two gliders happily flying.  Well done everyone.  Another flight for Peter on the 17th - did 23min.  His glider now boxed up ready for a summer sojourn at Taupo.  No information about any other flying on the 17th.

No news from the South though they must be back by now.

YOUTHGLIDE DEVELOPMENT CAMP: at Stratford from January 15th to January 19th.  Look at this link -  http://youthglide.org.nz/#_upcoming

Glyn Jackson is the organiser and club members should not be surorised to hear from him in the near future.  Our two Junior members should I hope, take this opportunity to go flying.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone.