It's been a long, cold, and with COVID a rather lonely winter - but that's behind us now! The October long weekend truly showed us that Piper's is back in business!
To get the energy flowing again, Bathurst Soaring Club held the first club regatta of the season, as well as a BBQ on the Saturday night - to great success! Read below for a few of the highlights:
Being early in the season, the weather is always a bit of a unknown. But that didn't stop us. The goal of the regatta was a) to have fun and b) see if we could remember how to actually fly a task (and maybe fly it faster than someone else!)
Here's how it went down:
The weatherman (i.e. SkySight) promised us soarable conditions - so a quick, accessible 70km "run task" was set, from Pipers, down to O'Connell, up to Duramana, and back to Piper's. A run task, for those that aren't aware - are usually short tasks kept close to the field, where you have an alotted timeframe (in this case, 90 minutes) - and you go around the task as many times as possible! Furthest distance in 90 minutes.... wins! HOWEVER, if you outland after the 90 minutes is over, then you get zero. So make it home!
The weather wasn't as nice as we expected - many didn't venture too far. Some people made it to O'Connell - and Guy Whitehead took out the day by flying to O'Connell, turning towards Duramana... and ending up in a paddock! What a way to start the season! Thankfully Janine, being an experienced retriever with a 4WD, made picking up Guy a simple task and they were back in plenty of time for the BBQ.
Briefing, COVID Style
Social distancing meets innovation. Weather was so nice, we should do it more often!
Wet, but solo
A big congratulations to Jesse Verstengeen, who achieved a first solo on the ab-initio course! These courses have been wildly popular, with low student to instructor ratios, and are a great way to learn flying and maybe even earn those solo wings! (even if it does mean you get the tradition bucket of water)
With even weaker conditions than Saturday, and 10 pilots ready to go... we had to get inventive. Sure, we could do flour bombing or spot landing, but that's not always worth a launch! How about a 20km run task.... keeping it really close, even in glide range... but as many as you can do! So we set Pipers... Bathurst Golf Course.... Begg International... Rankin Racetrack, and home. 20km laps in an hour. Sounds simple, right?
Most only got around once. Many "outlanded" at Piper's, finding themselves in trouble a few times along the course. But hats off to John Jurotte, who got around 2 1/2 times in the time alotted!
Despite the short task, pilots came back happy and challenged - exactly what you wanted!
The soft weather ...just...won't.... go! Even with a trough moving through, there was a lot of uncertainty. But, a race is a race, and we had to set a task! 5 pilots took off on a slight improvement on Sunday - a 30km task!
Once again, it was John Jurotte who held in there, managing to keep his glider aloft for a whole lap! (yes, one lap in an hour!). So... winner!
Overall, the pilots had a lot of fun and this has given us a lot of ideas for fun tasks to do when the weather just won't cooperate.
With COVID still being a very serious thing to consider, how to hold social events has been a concern for some time. The club pulled it off well though - a massive feast with no more than 20 people inside, and everyone well fed. Although Uncle Graeme wasn't there, his tip on the "deep dish apple pie" was a hit!
Watch this space - there will be more :)
BSC is back open
Operating under a strict COVID plan, Bathurst Soaring Club is back open for visitors and trial flights!
We have recently implemented the ability to buy gift vouchers online - a great present for family and friends. Watch this space as we develop more.
It goes without saying, but please don't come out to the club if you're feeling unwell or have been in contact with someone who is at risk - we mandate the use of masks inside 2-seater gliders, so please work with us to make flying during this pandemic safe for both you and our members.