Golding-Barrett, Gunpowder, Newbold & Cavendish Hotel Trophies, 2021 results

Among the lovely airfields that BAeA visits each year is Breighton, a firm friend on the calendar since the early 90's. One grass runway, a better range of splendid old aeroplanes than many museums, almost all of them maintained in excellent flying order by the Real Aeroplane Company, and a friendly band of locals and visitors that most modern airfields would love to achieve. The airfield and its facilities have steadily developed over the years too, the line of hangars new and old stretching for quite a distance east to west. This year they're working to replace the venerable clubhouse and conservatory-style annexe with something better, so the essential refreshments were available courtesy of the usual small team but in a temporary marquee - though still with just the same smile. It's good to be back!

Once again in 2021 the entry numbers were pretty low, a late-season effect of the combination of Covid restrictions and the usual cry of "not enough practice". This time just four Advanced pilots plus two pairs of Intermediate and Sports competitors were on the list, making a relatively simple basis for our penultimate event. The range of trophies on offer was unusually fine however, all to be spread over two days of aeriel motoring.

The late season weather exerted a not unexpected squeeze on the whole affair, various frontal systems around the UK in the vicinity of well-dispersed home bases providing the first hurdle to overcome. Down south at Fowlmere the clag was almost on the deck, while those in the west at Sleap also were faced with the added task of finding a way through the murk around the Peak District high ground. Saturday thus became a wait-and-see affair all day, the local cloud-base reluctant to rise much above 2,000ft, and the Willis EA-300L and Seward S-2A were ultimately unable to make their transits. After a late decision to scrub the day of course the cloud-base did rise, but with sunset not far distant it was probably for the best. Weather one, Breighton nil.

The Sunday forecast had always been the favourable one of the two, and while the morning failed to deliver what we sought we did at last get the clearance we needed. Unfortunately by then the southern Extra guys and the Cranfield-based DR-107 had called it a day, and with James absent due to commercial presssures the sole Intermediate One-Design of Gary Ferriman was faced with no competition and quietly retired to its base. Thus the four Advanced competitors had the afternoon to themselves, and through two sequences an absorbing contest developed. David Nicholls narrowly headed the Free Knowns from Nick, Paul and Simon, but during a rather testing Unknown a determined performance from the LX Extra reversed the positions and the lovely Cavendish Trophy went to the red machine by a narrow margin, once again though with Paul besting the Edge-360 pair.

Martin Sandford kept a small but capable judging line well under control, John Royce's centralised Just-In-Time calling, having spurned the offer of Eric's loudspeaker, reached everyone and kept the judges well informed, the computer under JB's dancing fingers provided the results in double-quick time, and by all appearances the locals thoroughly enjoyed the show. We are at Sleap in only 11 days for the season finale with the Senior Nationals, for which one can only hope that the weather allows us a rather better set of options.

Nick B, Contest Director

The Cavendish Hotel Trophy

Rank Pilot Aeroplane Registration Fr/Known Unknown Totals O/all %
1 Nick Wakefield Extra 330LX G-CLCA 2445.88 2845.71 5291.59 77.137
2 David Nichols Extra 330SC G-IISC 2489.30 2668.26 5157.57 75.183
3 Paul Elvidge Edge 360 G-CDDP 1992.16 2401.97 4394.13 64.054
4 Simon Wood Edge 360 G-ZVKO 1926.96 1892.08 3819.04 55.671

Contest Director: Nick Buckenham, Contest Chief Judge: Martin Sandford, Scoring Director: Jen Buckenham

Judges: Martin Sandford, Eric Marsh, Brian Gleave,

Judges Assistants: Dominic Gleave, Joseph Beighton, Jen Buckenham

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