Is it finally all over?

So, after two successive 50km Sundays in October, I wonder if this season is finally over? On Sunday 2nd I had a wonderful aerial tour of the Brecon Beacons, and just a week later I had a really lovely 5okm flight from Ubley down to near Taunton.

Takeoff is in the centre, Blagdon Lake in the distance

It didn’t take too long before we climbed out in a gaggle of five – we took it pretty steadily at first as it’s important to leave the high ground as high as possible to avoid bombing as soon as you leave the Mendips.

Climbing out with Remi, Joe, Rich and Innes

Cloudbase was only 3300′ max, but that just meant we didn’t have to climb so high to have fun in the wispies 🙂

Remi with Axbridge reservoir beyond

We made good progress across the Somerset Levels without ever getting too low, and even the wet areas seemed to work well.

Passing Street with Ken

Before too long we were approaching RNAS Merryfield and with declared goals near Totnes we decided to pass to the west of it.

Innes leads the way with Lyme Bay glinting in the afternoon sunshine

Unfortunately avoiding it (unnecessarily it later transpired) meant avoiding a better bit of sky (and brown sunny fields) and we all got low passing it, with only Innes (and later Alan Maguire) making 60kms whilst the rest of us landed at about 50kms.

Too low too early 🙂

The sky was still looking great when I landed at about 1330, but hey-ho, all good things have to come to an end sometime, both for this flight and for the season I rather suspect.

But what a season it’s been – I’ve finished in the top ten of the XC League for the first time ever and was only 24 points away from my goal of getting 1000 points this year. It’s also the first year where all six of my scoring flights were over 100kms, something I’ve been trying to do for ages!

UK XC kms flown – 2016 was definitely my best ever!

Let’s hope that 2017 is just as good!



2 responses to “Is it finally all over?”

  1. Just saw your XC km graph for this year. Wow that’s a massive leap – over 50% more in 2016 than previous years. I hope you can do the same again next year. What’s main reason? or is it a cumulation of marginal gains! Congratulations 🙂

    1. Hi Alex, thanks, yes it was a massive improvement – it’s not more flights (2014 23, 2015 19, 2016 20), it’s simply that my average has gone up from 51 to 61 to 85. I got the Omega X-Alps in April which must have helped, plus I think I’m getting more consistent – something I’m trying to work on by not necessarily being the first off the hill, or racing all the time (although both of those definitely can be the right thing to do on good days), and by slowing down at times during the flight as conditions dictate. However there’s definitely still a lot of room for improvement – that’s the beauty of the sport! Hope to catch up with you next year.

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