Cup 2006 Report: UK retains the Bleriot
Aiden Toase reports on the Bleriot Cup:
A poor forecast on the first day split the competition into two, the paragliding part of the competition opted to task from Corndon - but were beaten by the weather, whilst the Hangliding team opted to travel further North to Llangollen, a 50km task was set and won by Fabian Agenes from France however the British team overall had better results. Mike Armstrong was the top Brit the rest of the team had good enough results to get a small overall lead.
The next day the weather was decidedly British: a small window of marginally flyable weather saw both the paragliding and hangliding team on the Long Mynd with a good wind but 90% cloud cover. The hangliders set a 54km goal whilst the Paragliders settled for a 35km goal. At takeoff conditions were tricky, but patches of light lift allowed pilots to get to base, but with almost no sun on the ground, and thick cirrus above the day gradually worsened. David Shields and Myles Kynaston got 7km from goal taking 1st and 2nd whilst Pat and Tony managed to get 20km short giving the UK hangliders a convincing lead. The paragliders also managed to get the most out of the day with Jim Mallinson, Charlie Merret and John Ellison leaving early and getting very close to goal, Aidan Toase, Kitt Rudd, David Smart and Nigel Prior left the hill very late in deteriorating conditions but managed to use the lift created by a small rain front to get good distance winning the day for the UK. Ironically Nigel Prior left last and managed to make goal - but being reserve pilot his score did not count.
Overall the hangliders and paragliders were both ahead with a combined lead of nearly 800 points. The weather for the remainder of the week remained exceptionally poor causing the UK and French to find other ways of competing (the armrestling was judged a draw see photo). Despite the weather the great camaraderie between the teams is integral part of what makes the Bleriot such a great event.
A massive Thank you to all our retrieve drivers, Miles Davidson, Calvo, Shedsy and Birkit Rudd for organizing the event and the French team for making it so much fun. Bring on next year!
The British Bleriot team was
HG: David Shields, Geoff Brook, Mike Armstrong, Myles Kynaston, Pat Buxton, Tony Stephens.
PG: Aidan Toase, Burkit Rudd, Charlie Merrett, Dave Smart, Jim Mallinson, John Ellison, Nigel Prior.