Area Open Thermal Championships 19 July 2020

Despite a poor forecast, club CD Paul Freeman decided to at least attempt to run the Area Open Thermal Championships on it’s set date. On arrival at the field, Sam Phenix produced some info which showed that this would be the 25th Open Championship event and Sam would be flying in both, as would be the model he flew 25 years ago (but a bit like Triggers Brush it has had several replacement parts!).

Paul briefed the pilots that the event would be 4 rounds of 8 minutes, (allowing 1 discard) and due to the blustery conditions he would not be using the spot landing.

8 pilots were due to fly, but David decided the conditions were too much for his 2m PuRES (probably a very wise decision). Winches were set out and the competition commenced. In round 1 Keith had issues getting his Xplorer to the top of the line, either pinging off or breaking the line, (this was to be a recurring theme for him during the event). Bill, with a new radio, too much elevator throw and a model that hadn’t flown in a while made for more of a rollercoaster ride than a flight! This improved as the rounds went on.  In round 3, just as Sam launched his model, the wind caught his left wing and the model went hard right and in to the ground, breaking a wingtip and breaking the fuselage behind the wing. It will rise again!

In the extremely gusty conditions, with a lot of low level trubulence, lift was light and difficult to find but easy to lose. After the 4 rounds the results were as below:

Paul & Keith progressed to the fly off and after yet another line break in Round 1, Keith took a reasonable lead in to the second flight which he never looked like losing. Congratulations to Paul & Keith on getting through to the fly off and to Keith who is the 2020 Area Open Thermal Champion.