Lakes Charity Classic - 2018
Location - Grasmere
Dates - 13 to 15 July 2018
For 2018, the Lakes Charity Classic was held at the Grasmere Sports Showground in the centre of the Lake District. The event was held on a Saturday and Sunday with the possibility of a low key competition on the Friday/Monday
Saturday started off with clear blue skies. Unfortunately, the cloud quickly came in. However, as the day progressed, more and more blue holes appeared in the sky and the evening provided some magical flying conditions.
The A comp went to Jenkin Fell where the wind was strong but managed to set a task to Caldbeck, north of the Skiddaw range. The B comp went to the Langdales with the intention of setting a task back to Grasmere. The wind was strong in Grasmere so a revised task to the Roman Fort in Ambleside was set.
One coaching group went to Bewaldeth, north of Keswick, but the site was blown out. The other coaching group walked up to Alcock Tarn above Grasmere to find a SSW wind, unsuitable for take off. The decision was made to continue up to Heron Pike where conditions were better. The wind was strong but pilots were able to take off in the lulls with no worries about making headway once airborne. The other coaching group returned from Bewaldeth and flew successfully on Heron Pike.
The wind was too strong for flying on Sunday so a ground handling competition was organised. Competitors had to "walk" their wings between 2 lines approximately 100 yards apart with the fastest time winning,
Many thanks to Grasmere Showground for all their help and assistance over the weekend.
You can find more photos of the 2018 Lakes Charity Classic from the following links
Beneficiaries of the 2018 Lakes Charity Classic were
|Blackwell Sailing Trust||£500||Provide Sailing for People with learning and physical difficulties from all Cumbria on Windermere|
|The Friends of Mary Hewetson Hospital||£50||Provide amenities for patients and staff of the Mary Hewetson hospital, Keswick|
|Great North Air Ambulance||£1,000||Fly three air ambulance helicopters across the North-East, North Yorkshire and Cumbria.|
|Kendal Mountain Rescue||£500||Provide Mountain Rescue services in the Kendal region|
|Grasmere Reading Room||£250||A place where the parishers and boni fide guests can socialise and a place for the village to hold meetings.|
|RAF Benevolent Fund (A comp winner selection)||£500||The leading welfare charity for the RAF|
|Midland Air Ambulance (B comp winner selection)||£500||The charity responsible for funding and operating three air ambulances serving the communities of six Midlands counties|
|Bay Hospitals Charity (Morecambe Bay Hospitals)||£500||Aim is to support the Trust to provide the best possible standards of treatment, care, support and to pursue a policy of continuous improvement and research.|
|Lake District Foundation||£500||We help protect the Lake District and fund conservation, environmental and cultural heritage projects in the Lakes|
A Competition - Ed Cleasby
The prolonged, warm, dry spell leading up to the LCC weekend showed signs of a hiccup. On the positive side we seemed assured of a continuation of dry, warm and sunny conditions, but lurking in the northwest approaches was a weak front that squeezed the isobars just enough to make wind speeds near the limits for paragliding. Further south it was possibly one of the top weekends that was to see the UK distance record broken, but in typical LCC fashion we accepted what we were served and made the most of it.
Mindful of the wind over the high fells, the A comp (Ed) went to Jenkin, the B comp (Dave) to the Langdale valley, whilst the coaching group (Mike, plus lots of coaches) split between Heron Pike, overlooking the Grasmere base and some tandem flying on Bewaldeth. Their day was to come good later when the wind settled to give excellent late afternoon, evening air over Grasmere providing lots of buoyant, smooth flying. With pint in hand it was a blissful place to sit and enjoy the spectacle.
Task 1 – Jenkin Hill (A comp). (SATURDAY)
The forecast during the previous days had given a good indication of what was possible in terms of sites and tasks. With that in mind I’d pre-defined eight tasks, one of which was based on Jenkin hill, overlooking Keswick. So, having decided on Jenkin Hill it was a quick, easy process to set the task and get things underway whilst the benign conditions on site held. A later start and we may have had more wind to contend with but, fortunately during the flying window and given a race start to get folks off quickly, we had few problems and generally excellent launches.
Once underway it made for a spectacular sight to see over forty wings sharing the air as they tagged the first turnpoints making use of the big hills between Skiddaw and Blencathra. Bearing in mind the wind strength, I’d wanted to keep pilots well out front and away for the big gullies and spines. Actually I needn’t have worried too much about low level gale hanging – out front it was soon apparent there was lots of lift up to over 4000’ and a few big ears appeared to avoid the enveloping cumulus.
Once I’d cleared the hill and made it down it wasn’t too long before the first Telegram messages indicated pilots in goal, or just short and making their way into Caldbeck and the village pub, which soon attracted a crowd of thirsty aviators. Some were quickly back, whilst others endured a few hours in the beer garden before all were back at base. Despite some breezy landings the only incident was a dragging on launch that required a check-up at the local cottage hospital.
The general consensus was of an interesting and challenging task that matched the conditions. One pilot, John Murphy decided to (just) miss goal and carry on to land 60k away. Another, Ben Keayes found himself a few k’s east of goal, but had the consolation of meeting a smiling, mini skirted girl, driving a big tractor, who appeared impressed by his exploits (he told me excitedly just afterwards).
Over the back of Skiddaw and Ullock Pike the lift calmed down and the wind became a steady following 30km/h almost pointing directly to goal. I was seeing ground speeds of up to 70km/h without bar. My glide wouldn't get me all the way into goal but I did have a geek five minutes or so of playing with the brakes over a few cm trying to maximise glide. Two cm seemed to be the difference between 30ish:1 and more than 40:1 on glide.... until it all got a bit sinky and I had to scrabble around for some punchy lift low in the valley.
In total six pilots made goal, whilst many others fell just short. It’s useful if you’ve a spare five minutes to watch the task unfold using Daorama (https://doarama.com/view/2331356) which features many of the pilots – about half the field.
Sunday (All pilots)
A lovely day, but unfortunately we felt the wind on the hills was too strong to safely run a task. So Plan B quickly swung into action to provide some fun, a challenge and keep pilots entertained until the Prize Giving at 3pm.
Dave Ashcroft, Mike Harper and myself (Ed Cleasby) led a debrief of the previous day’s tasks and invited discussion. We then stood people down for a re brief at 11.30am.
During the re-brief we out-lined the plans for ‘Groundhandling’ races in set pools of five. In total there were 18 pools that led into semi-finals and a grand final. We can indulge in creative paragliding despite the weather. There’s always something flying related possible. As so began the knockout (not literally) competition.
Eventually, without too many scrapes and bruises we narrowed it down to the final five. The winner was Gary Stenhouse, not exactly a dark horse, but after a spectacular dragging and some grass burns during his earlier heat he’d recovered sufficient to win his pool and get his breath back enough to see off the tough competition in the final drag off.
In conclusion, my thanks to Ian ‘Barty’ Bartram for seamless scoring, Ian Henderson for talking about steam engine manufacture, Jackie, Pete, Richard, Mike, Malcolm (supermet) Grout, etc and a long list of other people who make the LCC work. I should perhaps also mention naked, Dangerous Dave, who’s bare buttocks were insufficient to put me off in a grand head to head in a final groundhandling challenge.
And of course a huge thanks to the ever-cheerful, uncomplaining bunch of pilots that turn up year on year and walk up big hills just because we tell them to.
B Competition - Dave Ashcroft
I had a couple of XC tasks in mind for the B Comp pilots. One was from Jenkin - heading east past Blencathra, then NE to a village called Skelton. About 21 km. The second option for the SSW - SW winds forecast was to fly from the Langdale Fells to the Grasmere show ground, via some high peaks. Only 12 km, but new scenery to most of the competitors. With Saturday forecast to be the lightest wind strength I opted to try Langdale first, and hopefully Jenkin on Sunday where you could get away with fresher conditions. Saturday morning started with a car rally to the head of Great Langdale before all the car parks were full! We planted a windsock in the local landing field in front of the Stickle Barn Inn, and made a note of the only hazard which was a BT cable crossing the centre of the field, and directly above the windsock. About 1 hour later there was a very sweaty crew waiting on a grassy launch facing into a light breeze, with boulders strewn in all directions. Across the valley, peaks higher than us were hidden in cloud and the sunshine was running behind schedule. We could wait. I had some number crunching to do, and the 25 strong competitors had to punch the turn-points into their instruments - the only down loaded waypoint was the Show Ground at Grasmere! All scrutinised the OS maps. If it all went to cock I gave the crew an alternative goal at the head of Windermere Lake, which you could literally point at only 9 km to the east - referred to as Plan B. Fortunately Phil Kew had come along to help out; he had arranged the bomb-out field in advance and was now itching to fly. Phil took off on his EN D Supair Wild and skyed out easily. Things were looking good and pilots were displaying the colour of their wings for the first time. I didn’t witness Phil’s collapse but heard the Ooohs and Aaahs from those who did! What bothered me more was the westerly prevailing wind he reported on the radio. Sure enough, now he was high, like a weather cock, he was pointing west and only penetrating slowly off the speed bar.
Plan B. No need to reset instruments; the goal was now the Roman Fort (abandoned) at the head of Windermere. Phil flew there in quick time and reported conditions were much lighter at less height. The Lake was relatively calm too. The sun was now cooking the valley and pilots had to time their take-offs between the gusts. There were two scary moments as we watched experienced pilots fail to launch. Gordon Coulthard had found a more ideal take-off 50 yards in front, and took off easily. Most pilots got off here, between some strong gusts. Unfortunately, the lulls guaranteed a safe take off but no lift, and some pilots had to fly out in search of thermals. None of us on launch could see how those in the air were doing, but 5 competitors made goal, and some very close to goal. The Stickle Barn Inn might have subconsciously influenced the others. Sunday turned out too windy to fly, but the sun was in it’s element and at least we didn’t have to walk up a hill!
Photos taken by Geoff Moss.
Take off space was very limited with the wind direction so pilots had to queue.
Conditions were gusty so Dave holds down a wing while we wait for a lull.
And off we go
The coaching group split into 2. Mike Harper and Jackie Knights taking one half with Ian Henderson and Karen preston taking the second half.
Ian Henderson/Karen Preston
We decided to stay in Grasmere as it gave pilots the opportunity of more than one flight with a large landing field. After the slog up to Alcock Tarn we found that the wind was SSW. We decided to push onto Heron Pike as there is a take off with a more southerly aspect. On arrival at Heron Pike it was found that the wind had a more westerly component and was suitable for flying. After a site briefing all pilots were able to take off although the wind started to freshen as more blue sky appeared which meant that later take offs had to wait for lulls in the wind. Once in the air, making progress was easily possible. Some pilots had to contend with a top to bottom whereas others had long soaring flights. Pilots were able to walk back up for another flight and late afternoon conditions were good for extended flights.
Take off on Heron Pike with Grasmere below.
Flyability is the disability initiative of the British Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association.
We were lucky enough, at the 2018 LCC, to be joined by a team from Flyability (their web site is http://www.flyability.org.uk/). George and Helen, fresh ( or not so!) from the Charbre Open, drove from Bournemouth to join us on Friday. After a check of the forecast on Friday afternoon, super-Malc (Grout) declared that Saturday was a "possible" for flyability flying so the team was mustered. George is always keen to fly and we also had another candidate waiting in the wings - Sam Sillers from Kendal. Having completed her A levels and been Inter-railing in Italy, flying is another of Sam's ambitions.
On Saturday morning there was some nervousness in the Flyability camp as they gathered alongside the LCC briefings. Off we all set to Bewaldeth with one of the coaching groups and a team of helpers including the non-football-mad contingent of the Windmill group of volunteers.
Reports from Mark Lennon on the hill were suggesting challenging conditions. It turns out that Malc rather likes a challenge. The coaching group and half the team arrived at the bottom of Bewaldeth to meet up with Gordie, Catherine and the CSC's favourite wind dummy, James Jackson. Favourite, that is, because he hardly ever says it's not flyable!
Malc took the rest of the team up the back way, arriving at the top in an appreciable wind.
The coaching group were tasked to brief Mike Harper - their concensus was that it was "too windy". James walked up about 20 feet, took off and zoomed up a good few hundred feet immediately. He gave is a good demonstration of managing strong and gusty conditions, radioing down the "bleeding obvious" ,- too windy for solo gliders.
"Not too windy for us ", said the intrepid Malc and George, so with little further ado Gordie, Mark and James Harrison assisted in a well controlled take off. Someone had asked what Gordie's dog was doing? Well someone has to run around, barking... and it wasn't my turn that day!
After 40 mins of amazing flight Malc radioed his intention to land. Gordie advised against trying it in the (by then) 20 mph winds at the top, and the ground crew set up for a bottom landing. 2 on the chair, 2 on the brakes, 3 on the wing. Yes it was that windy! The landing was pretty nearly perfectly executed - George took a slight tumble and, shaken not stirred, immediately declared " let's get Sam flying ". Sadly it was much too windy by then, so Sam's flight will have to wait for another day.
Throughout the weekend, George and Helen were pleased to talk all things Flyability, demonstrate the buggy and explain how the scholarship system works. Their collection boxes got a real boost after the crowd watched Gordie's YouTube video on Sunday morning, and Tim Oliver deserves a special mention for his extra donation to Flyability, as it combined with his kindness in visiting a suffering fellow pilot in Tim's local hospital.
Hopefully, George and Helen will join us at next year's LCC ... the gauntlet is down, Paulo... You know what I mean...
Big thanks to the flyability crew at Bewaldeth: Malc, Gordie, Tan, Mark, the Jameses, Catherine, Andy and Sue Berzins, and the windmill group.
We made it happen!
Photos by Catherine Clark
Take off requires assistants. The role of Gordie's dog is not clear!
14 July 2018 - Race to Goal 23.8km
Start - Jenkin Fell. Finish - North of Caldbeck
|1 SS||0.0 km||LT003-||600 m||12:40||15:30||Lat: 54.62898 Lon: -3.12064||504 m|
|2||2.1 km||LT002-||2500 m||12:40||18:00||Lat: 54.66138 Lon: -3.17876||319 m|
|3||5.6 km||LT004-||2000 m||12:40||18:00||Lat: 54.62554 Lon: -3.07174||493 m|
|4||11.3 km||LT002-||400 m||12:40||18:00||Lat: 54.66138 Lon: -3.17876||319 m|
|5 ES||23.2 km||LW050||1000 m||12:40||18:00||Lat: 54.76168 Lon: -3.07068||276 m|
|6||23.8 km||LW050||400 m||12:40||18:00||Lat: 54.76168 Lon: -3.07068||276 m|
A Comp Results
|30||A020||Yannick Le Gall||12:40||16.74||154.7||155|
14 July 2018 - Time to Goal 9.0km
Start - Langdales. Finish - Roman Fort, Ambleside
|1 SS||0.0 km||BTO2||400 m||12:00||20:00||Lat: 54.452 Lon: -3.1105||511 m|
|2 ES||9.0 km||BGOAL||400 m||12:00||20:00||Lat: 54.4223 Lon: -2.9686||41 m|
B Comp Results
|7||B017||Mark Tam Morrison||16:14:57||3.38||47.1||47|
Sunday - Ground Handling Competition
Sunday dawned as a fine day but with strong winds - unsuitable for flying. After a debrief on Saturday's flying, comp director Ed Cleasby devised a ground handling race. The race was to "fly" your wing by running across the Grasmere sports ground between 2 tapes around 50 metres apart. There were 18 rounds, 4 semi finals and a final of 5 pilots. Gary Stenhouse was declared the winner.
Here's some photos of the event. Click on the photo for a larger image.
Just before the prize giving, it was decided to challenge Ed and Dave to a race. Dave entered into the spirit of the occasion by dressing down - it's not quite as bad as it looks!
Cumbria Soaring Club would like to thank all of its sponsors and supporting organisations. Their generosity helps make the LCC a great event!
Achieve Windmill Group
Escape Paragliding Adventures
Sick and the Wrong
Raffle Prizes Donated by
Sunsoar - taster day vouchers
Derwent Pencil Museum Keswick
Friars Chocolate Shop - Keswick and Ambleside
The Soap Co. Keswick - handmade soap from a local social enterprise employing people with disabilities
Mr Vikkis Curry Shop
Siskins Cafe - Whinlatter
Sick and the Wrong