The Nationals for 2015 were flown at the Wetlands on 30/08/15 . The RAF didn't authorise the use of the airfield at Cranwell, which is just down the road from the site of the "main" BMFA nationals. Thankfully we were allowed use of the Wetlands, by Fred, the farmer. The F3B contest was held in the lower field, which was somewhat short in length but we managed to squeeze the winches in.
The story of the 2015 nationals was essentials that of the conditions which were definitely unusual. The day was extremely "heavy", with virtually no wind. Winch launches were low and the electric height setting was adjusted accordingly to 210m. Conditions by the mid point in the afternoon were very challenging with spots of rain and a slight down wind for the winch pilots.
However, duration didn't prove as difficult as might have been expected. The second slot of round 1 was the only one that was not flown out with John Whittle just pipping myself to the 1000. A few pilots did drop points, but duration was not decisive to the result.
What was intereting to me was the number of laps that were achieved in distance. Having not flown in such flat air I had thought that the number of laps had been low. But it just shows that, event from modest launch heights, the up-wind - down-wind factor of normal distance makes a lot of difference to the number of laps. I flew an 18 lap slot in the first leg that was kind of like playing a computer game - there was virtually no outside influences on the model, other than the flying.
Steve was leading Simon in to speed, with myself and John Whittle behind. Steve flew slightly faster than Simon in both rounds to maintain his lead. The fastest speed time of the day was 17.33 by Steve in Round 1.
Jon and I tried very hard in speed, but I almost felt like I wanted to fly past the turn around and launch towards myself. It was tricky because you had to reel in quite a lot of line to get enough speed up to swing the model out. So by the time you tried to hook it up to the turn around you had probably taken in too much line to get a decent launch. You couldn't just strike out sideways from the start. Well I didn't feel there was enough air under the model to do that. Regardless I found it very interesting and it would be good to practice in conditions like that. I'm sure with more experience, better launches could be achieved. As a side note I was using 1.02 mega line on one of my winches, which I was impressed with in such low winds.
Steve Haley didn't drop any points in the final duration round and is the 2015 Nats champion, followed by Simon Haley and myself (Tom Satinet). On the day we were all feeling somewhat down about Dave Worrall and it's probably a cliche, but it certainly puts things in to perspective.
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