SKY OUT HnF BULLSEYE Competion rundown
By Rob Couper
MC, Allen Weynberg otherwise known as the XC Mag Ace Reporter called the countdown to the 9:30am race start. By 10:12 SPHGC club member Fraser Sabine, PG3, was “King of the Mountain”. His rivals thought he had pushed too hard with that 42 minute sprint to the top and would be a one flight wonder.
Fraser caught his breath and was first to launch. The official scorer in the landing field was immediately alerted to this by Frasers’ whoops of joy. He didn’t connect with the bullseye but the gathering mass of spectators were amazed he was heading up again before the 2nd pilot had even launched. 425 points in the bag.
The wind on launch picked up but astute tactics by the super keen Mid-North Coast boys (Joel Price PG4, Lloyd Godson PG2 and Simon Feeney PG2) saw them walk down to landing (avec gliders) then back up to collect an extra 425 points. Not far behind them were Paul Shipley PG3, ACT and Julian Lyons PG4 of SPHGC. By 11:45 they were potentially top of the leader board with 850 points each.
Mid day warmth saw a few lulls and more pilots launched including Fraser who then became our first bullseye touching the red centre for 400 points. He was now back in front with 1250 points.
By 1pm the lulls got longer and more first launchers took to the air in soarable conditions. We in the landing field, tried to lure them down with wafts of barbecuing gourmet sausages. Sadly pilots are easily distracted by happy beeping noises and stayed high.
By 1:45pm Julian Lyons, on a mini wing, was equal first with 1250 points from 2 walk ups, 850 points (+ a walk down) and a red bullseye, 400 points. Joel was close behind on 1200 points 2 walk ups, a walk down and a yellow circle hit for 350 points.
2pm and Fraser was confident he could take the lead again as he prepared for his 3rd flight of the day. Successfully touching the silver mat for 250 points he cemented his score at 1925.
Now the touch downs were coming fast and several more pilots hit the tarps including red bullseyes from SPHGC pilots Kendall Waller, PG3 and Aden Mann, PG5 both on their second flights.
At 3pm Joel and Julian crested the top of the ridge knowing both needed a bullseye on their third flight to stay in touch with Fraser. Land by time of 4:30 meant they had to fly fast then walk fast to get a fourth flight in.
Julians strategy with his 17m machine and entertaining wingovers meant he was soon back in the landing. Having nailed another red centre and fast pack he might just make it up and back down for a fourth run. Joel also hit the red centre later on but knew he could not make it back to the top in time.
By 3:45, “There was movement at the landing, for the word had passed around” Fraser was cresting the ridge for the fourth time and by 4:10pm his ever present whoops of joy confirmed he was back in the air and heading for the landing.
He missed the bullseye but his fourth walk up added another 425 points. At 2350 points for the day he was the clear winning.
The unofficial but unanimous judges award for “Pilot of the Day” also went to Fraser. We always knew when he had launched as we could hear his whoops of joy from the landing. When he hit the bullseye this happiness went into over drive. Clearly he was having the most fun which is at the core of all our flying.
To all the pilots who came, saw and conquered the mountain we salute you. Thank you for being part of a great event.