IT'S 7pm, Andy Betteley and I hook up the trailers as a message from the stunning Miss Wells tells me that "Camp Wells" is ready to rock, with Jon Meyer (below) and Mark Parker in residence. Driving down the M4 we follow a pumping sea breeze front (a feature used throughout the week) and despite my failed attempts to contact the last of the motley crew we cruise to the Devon & Somerset GC site at North Hill in the knowledge that Luke Roberts will turn up - eventually!
The style of Enterprise quickly becomes apparent: as much flying as the conditions allow with tasks tailored to exploiting as many weather phenomena as physically possible in each flight. Combined with everything from a K-6 to ASH 25s and Stemme 10s, it makes for some fantastically diverse task-setting.
The week begins with low cloud and a rather damp feel to the air. The sort of stuff you dread in the middle of summer. However, there is a very upbeat atmosphere with people frantically rigging straight after briefing and then launching! The choice of launch time gave a range of starts from 11.00 - 14.00hrs. Thus gaggles were nowhere in sight and the routes varied from following the hills, to flying sea breeze fronts to the option chosen by an unnamed junior - a route involving a four-mile trek out to sea. This just goes to show that local knowledge isn't everything.
Congrats also to Mr Betteley on sourcing a crew the night before in Exeter (with some assistance I might add) leaving them to sunbathe whilst landing out, hitching back (take your 'chute - works every time) and then getting them to retrieve him from the side of a hill! Well, almost a hill...
|Bill Longstaff made a heroic 40km ridge run from Yeovil below ridge level|
The week continued with seemingly miraculous flights. Paul Kite managed to turn Lasham on a black, overcast and windy day ideally suited to sitting in front the TV. On another occasion, Lemmy Tanner, convinced it was waving, set off in the opposite direction to all, accruing the greatest distance and winning a day. Bill Longstaff made a heroic 40km ridge run from Yeovil below ridge level, almost needing to top up for his final turn, save for a gap in the trees. Heroic, considering that no-one apart from Bill reckoned the wind was more than 5 kts. My most memorable day was when we Juniors pushed on for glory onIy to be caught out by a changeable sea breeze that suddenly shifted 15-20km inland.All of us, apart from Miss Wells, ended up in a field. Having arrived at a small ridge where a couple were canoodling, I spent 20 minutes at 300ft waiting for a thermal. However, when they upped and left, the ridge refused to bear me anymore. I land, call Anna, and hear that Mark and Andy are defending their gliders from the inquisitive yobs of Yeovil. Jon was placating a farmer and Luke was in a lion pen! (This is a story in its own right, but after some very brief training, starting with running in fear of his Iife, he tamed them, and.. .. ..it's a very long story!)
|I make my way to the nearest house, only to be greeted by a beautiful young blonde called Sophie - like Gwyneth Paltrow, only more gorgeous|
With an air of apprehension I make my way to the nearest
house, only to be greeted by a beautiful young blonde called
Sophie - like Gwyneth Paltrow, only more gorgeous. Within 20
minutes I am playing tennis and 40-0 down in the first game.
Fortunately Sophie saves me the embarrassment and double faults
five times and I win the game. Just as I serve for the first set
I get a call from Anna, now on her second retrieve of the day,
saying: "We won't forget you, Andy." I relax and lose
the first set.
Afternoon tea and the second set rolls into dinner and conversations about lack of wind holding the glider in the air and don't you feel scared that there is no engine. ..etc.
It's dark as I say my farewells, but shouId I happen to fall from the sky near Blandford I might have to pop in to play the deciding set.
-- Andy Perkins
On behalf of the six Juniors pilots invited to this years' Competition Enterprise July 20-27 and in memory of the late John Fielden.
I would like to thank everyone at Enterprise for extending such a warm welcome and for the support to make entry viable.
If you fancy a comp. with no pressure/ just fun/ or even a
change from the club task week/ the proposed dates for next
years' Enterprise are June 26th to July 4th 2004