Advanced British National Championships, 2021 results
The British Power Nationals at Sleap
Cloudbase. The C word that seems to have dominated CD reports this season and, despite tantalisingly decent weather forecasts, it often looked like the Senior Nationals would be no exception.
Thus Day One saw the briefing pushed back a couple of times, but by 13:00 all but one competitor had made it to Sleap and were raring to go. A few hours of swapping war stories and without a lift in the base in sight, we abandoned all hope of Day One flying and got on with figure selection for Programmes Three & Four. A thankfully civilised hour spent without bloodshed considering the steaks, and a fine way to kill some time before an informal contest dinner in Sleap’s restaurant (see what I did there?).
The restaurant is under new management this year, and Dave and his team have seriously raised the bar for airfield dining. The evening menu was excellent, and the food prepared and presented in a way even Gordon Ramsey would find it difficult to swear about – especially in the comfy repurposed airliner seats. Well worth a visit.
Day Two saw the overcast base rise to minimums and the first four pilots got through Programme One with a free break on offer. David Nichols in the beautiful Extra 330SC set the target before the fluffy stuff got in the way again. Maciej’s Magnificent Genpro was forced to abandon a sequence attempt which gave a little more time for White Waltham’s luxurious Extra 330LX to have a small tech issue sorted (thanks to Mike Collett driving up at 0’-Dark-Thirty with the right bits!).
It was approaching evening when Maciej in the Genpro and David Kean in the 330 LX got airborne – both almost matching David Nichol’s score – and the competition was heating up as fast as the air temperature was cooling. Tony Walsh launched off in a valiant attempt to get Programme Three underway but the overcast cloud had once again descended to greet him.
My eternal thanks to Bruce – Sleap’s Airfield Manager – for so much more than just launching off in his Pioneer at the start of Day Three to blow away any cloud below 2900’, and we were soon watching some fantastic flying once again. Paul Elvidge nailed Programme Two with an almost faultless flight – and suddenly fortunes were reversing and the trophy was anyones.
We had collectively decided to abandon Programme Four as it would need to be flown on the weather reserve day and the forecast weather was…well…not reserved. We had a pre-planned unknown ready just in case, but everyone pretty much knew Programme Three that afternoon would decide the Championship.
Amongst a HZ or two the standard of flying was raised yet again, however David Kean kept it together and took the title and the trophy, a thoroughly deserving victory nearly 3% clear of the chasing pack, where second to fourth were separated by less than 2%.
So, despite everyone’s fears we had managed a three programme National Championship in October, with a last-minute change of venue to somewhere near Wales, and with a newbie in charge.
This truly gripping season finale was made possible with the fair play and patience of all the pilots – none of whom pressed their luck, a fantastic, experienced set of officials including those who stepped in last minute to help out, and superb hospitality from the team at Shropshire Aeroclub.
Particularly noteworthy to me CD’ing my first major Championship were Nick (Chief Judge) and Jen (Scorer/Registrar), who both managed to keep ruddering me back onto the A-axis thus avoiding many an imminent Hard Zero. I couldn’t have done my job without you.
Sunday? The weather reserve day with the terrible forecast? Calm wind and clear blue sky… Just as I am sure every competition day of 2022 will be. See you there!
2021 Advanced Power National Champion
|Rank||Pilot||Aeroplane||Registration||Fr/Known||Unknown||F/Unk P2||Totals||O/all %|
|1||David Kean||Extra 330LX||G-IILX||2790.76||2540.80||2973.93||8305.48||79.100|
|2||David Nichols||Extra 330SC||G-IISC||2712.74||2453.86||2894.92||8061.52||76.776|
|4||Paul Elvidge||Edge 360||G-CDDP||2588.58||2635.36||2666.61||7890.56||75.148|
|5||Anthony Walsh||Extra 300||G-OLAD||2317.13||2229.78||1987.43||6534.34||62.232|
|6||Simon Wood||Edge 360||G-ZVKO||2075.82||1883.86||1901.21||5860.88||55.818|
Contest Director: John Royce, Contest Chief Judge: Nick Buckenham, Scoring Director: Jen Buckenham
Judges: Nick Buckenham, Steve Todd, Brian Gleave,
Judges Assistants: Peter Rounce, Rod Herve, Martin Sandford
Other key staff: Eric Marsh - Scribe, Jen Buckenham - Scribe, James Seward - Scribe
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