July was a busy month for holiday courses with three being run. These courses have resulted in many people being introduced to gliding as a sport and contributed to club membership numbers, and this year was no exception. In particular, on the first course, run from the 2nd to 7th, two of the participants, Mike Rolph and Mike Greenwood went solo, with Mike Rolph becoming a club member to continue his flying with us. The tw0 Mikes are seen in typical post solo poses in the following photographs.
The end of July also saw the Yorkshire Gliding Club initiate the first open gliding competition in the UK based on the OLC scoring system with the competition pilots free to follow the weather to maximise each day’s soaring potential. Although entries were limited, the first contest day saw 318 kms flown on a westerly day when virtually all club flying was hill soaring based. The third contest day, again a hill soaring day, generated 680 kms of cross country distance so the basic objectives of the contest, to maximise cross country flghts, was well and truly met. The contest continued into early August, with Dave Latimer from the Yorkshire Gliding Club the overall winner of both the distance and speed contests.
Although the Sutton Bank site of the Yorkshire Gliding Club is well placed to exploit the wave systems that set up in the North of England, July is not usually the best month for wave. However, this year was an exception with westerly wave on five days and northeasterly wave on one. The northeasterly wave day saw a number of flights to around 5,000′ asl but the more common westerly wave on the other four days had any number of gliders around 10,000′ asl with four pilots reaching the base of the upper air space at 19,500′ asl on the 22nd of the month. As well as providing good rates of lift (a Trial Lesson pupil on his first flight being whisked to 6,000′ asl and back to earth again in 25 minutes), the wave was also used for cross country flights, with the longest flight covering 305 km. Wave-based speed tasks were also flown with the best being 225 km @ 112.5 kph. With good visibility, the beauty of the Northern England landscape around the Yorkshire Gliding Club greatly added to the pleasures that gliding in this part of the world bring.
July is the month of the Great Yorkshire Show and this year the club arranged to man the British Gliding Association Simulator at the show to raise the profile of gliding. The first day of the four day event proved to be a great success with a long queue of people anxious to try the gliding experience while keeping their feet firmly on the ground. A photo of the simulator with some of the YGC volunteers is shown below.
The wettest British summer for 100 years, however, turned the car parks into quagmires, leading to the cancellation of the show after the first day, but not before a number of expressions of interest in gliding at the YGC had been received.