30 December 2008

three sites, one day

Soar Tour 2008 takes Deryck and Paul down south to try out an array of locations to round up the year

big blue

'High and Over' is our first spot. Paul arrives behind Deryck, the paragliders are packing up and the wind it pulling round to north east. From the car park we can see Bo Peep is working but as we're here we give this E-SE (I think) hill a go in the NE. It's working ok but the wind's light and you can tell it's off, so Beachy is the next target....

High and Over

Paul does battle with his vertigo as the whole world slides away

The coastal micro climate means Beachy is good, Deryck has found Mecca and gives the Toplight a good wringing out in the big air.

Peachy Beachy

Deryck celebrates Greek National Soaring Day with some traditional head gear
and a pointy, gitty goaty

Did I mention it was cold? Blowing upwards of 25mph any exposed skin is prone to frostbite, and the out of date self lighting BBQ gives us the proverbial two fingers and has a sulk. Next up Butts Brow...

Deryck's fore arm has withered and shrunk from being exposed to the raw easterly for no more than five minutes

Butts is jolly good as well, hairy landing on the eastern bowl and by the time we're done, the condensation on the wings has turned to frost!

Have a look at some of the action below....

soar tour- the movie

26 December 2008

21 December 2008

mid winter

bizarre found object no.02

The last few days have brought a great run of usable air, and today is the shortest day so we're on the way back up chaps!!

Deep midwinter clothing itinerary from the skin up-

lacy g-string

thermal top and trousers (or tracky bottoms)

jeans and tee shirt



goose down body warmer

goretex fleece lined coat

fleece gloves (with just the very ends of the thumbs cut off)



a finite number of men take an infinite period of time to made a decision on a inconsequential matter

Jack maidens the bullet!

Saturday is rather good, there's westerlies afoot but the hill works and if you can hook a bubble altitude isn't a problem. Colin, Ray, Eric, Oil Rig Man and Jack get out for some pre-festive jollities. Good to see you back in action Jack! The immaculate bullet goes like any bullet does, even Paul has a go, recalling memories of 'park the bullet in the car boot' challenge.

dark days

mmm nekid carrrbon!!

Sunday is superb with a jolly good WSW. As the afternoon draws on the wind increases and the lift does get a bit 'blown out', but it's perfectly flyable all day. We have a visit from several fine chaps from the RCMF forum, there's 'Hairyflyer' and his posse form the flatlands, and 'Aeronaut' from the smoke. Locals include Jack, Eric, Paul, Ray and John. We also have a visit from Tonbridge Pike man who is on splendid form.
some splendid shots here
sexy fotos

good things on the hill


sun, sky and stuff

oooh yes!

What a cracking few days, there's been a bit of carnage but if you don't want to crash 'em then don't fly 'em! There's plenty of footage to follow some time over the next few weeks....Now how is that forecast looking for Thursday?

18 December 2008

a better cloud base

Thursday starts shaping up to be rather splendid, there's a fair southwesterly, sun and 10 deg C! Oh well we knew it wouldn't last, by the time we congregate on the top of the hill there's 100% cloud cover, still that's never stopped play before.

Deryck spends his remaining 1/2 day leave wisely and takes the opportunity to maiden the ebay purchase of the centuary...it's a winner!

Alan, Colin, Paul, Deryck, Taxi Driver, A.N.Other and Ray strut their aeronautical stuff in the dark December air today. No carnage to report, a successful maiden, and some jolly transmitter inflight switching takes place (who needs a buddy box!), but we're on the doorstep of the shortest day and there's a gloom that won't lift.

seriously......WTF is going on here?

It's a bit bumpy but the fair wind means we have a jolly good time, so how's the forecast shaping up for next Thursday?

Alan, Deryck says you might find this handy (do a right click and 'save as')


16 December 2008

14 December 2008

misty south

Paul gets lured down to the South Downs for a Sunday session, the forecast is saying the murk will clear by the afternoon. However, after a convoy from Butts to Firle, it's back to Longman to see if we can fly below cloud base on the outer face of the bowl.

longman had his head in the clouds most of the afternoon

It's with trepidation that we chuck off and find the hill is working (if you can keep sight of your model that is!). As the afternoon moves on cloud base rises and the smooth lift gets better

not from round these parts!

the plane's in that lot somewhere!

ey up! the lift's getting good, and the mist is clearing....where you off to?

08 December 2008


8th December turns out to be a buoyant winter's day. The air has a feel of high pressure and the horizon nestles in murk, there's a light breeze but no cumulus appear until sunset. However, the weak winter sun on frosty ground means broad and mellow thermals are plentiful on the hill.

Alan picked up this light weight wing at the BARCs do yesterday, site of it gets wingophile Paul worked up into quite a lather!

Alan, Paul and Ray make the most of the smooth conditions. All the time the sun's out the afternoon is rather pleasant.

sun goes in, and these two try some physical jerks to keep warm.
Alan keeps things well clenched, while
Ray indulges in a quick bout of testicular tennis

Paul keeps a safe distance, recalling his mother's advice about shifty old men

Oh well.....there's lift out there that needs using up!

07 December 2008

coastal cold

NNW means one thing....Beltinge! but in the ravages of early winter, standing in an arctic blast only brings out the more discerning nutter. So it is that Deryck and Paul head down to the clay cliffs armed with an array of models, coats, and fleeces.

Amazingly there's a few locals out leaning seaward, and gazing up at the sky. The wind is a good 15-20mph and the coastal lift is typically smooth and glassy.

Such is the blow that Mr Simon 'golden balls' Thornton puts in an appearance, dialing in his new 'Ceres' in readiness for next weeks F3F in Wales. Just when we all thought we were getting a good lick-on, the Ceres screams through a series of runs and leaves us feeling like we're all floating around with Gentle Ladies.....oh well.

After a few hours the cold is cutting through, Deryck's feeling so rough he can't even face maidening the bargain ebay purchase of the century. The sun is low in the sky, and car foot heaters beckon us to make the journey home.

quick movie...

27 November 2008

the brink

There's some hardy fools on the hill today. Colin and Alan are early starters and enjoy the moderate conditions and dodge a shower. As the day progresses, things pick up...

good launch poise from Steve

The afternoon brings Paul, Bearsted man, Steve, Roger and Ray. Angry skys and angrier winds provide dramatic conditions and superb lift that doesn't get blown out.

Hefty blasts between the cloud banks

Steve coaxes out the sun for us

It's only about 3 weeks to the shortest day, so before we know it we'll be languishing in the clover and moaning about how hot it is.....bring it on Saint Slacker!

26 November 2008

what used to be

Remember the summer? Here's some shots from Deryck at sunny Walton on the Naze, Essex's answer to Minster.

Recall what it's like to float about on a warm breeze, bird song in the air and blue sky....makes the whole thing worth doing after all!

sea breeze

warm sun


long dry grass

24 November 2008

just say no!

ears yet to reach full maturity

1989 and Paul's second ever build- a Sonata (no...the power pod wasn't a success). 'Don't worry you'll be able to give it up any time you want!' said the vendor.

any more photos of interest out there?

17 November 2008

strictly come sloping

Deryck saves the day and provides a good spread of fotos from Saturday. Despite the westerly forecast there's good lift in the moderate wind. The cows have been moved on, so pats shouldn't be an issue for much longer.

Paul films every square foot of the field in the hunt for his missing camera

We're blessed with a bit of sun, but by about 1.30 it's mostly overcast, but there's still buoyant little pockets of air popping off.

Deryck's Toplight is superb in the mid range conditions of the day

Paul gives up the hunt, and has a fly, gayboy fins resplendent

Eric chucks off

Deryck captures Paul launching, more here http://www.vimeo.com/2252930

Eventually it backs round to WNW but by then we're cold, hungry and ready to head home and rub those crusty trails from the outer corners of our eyes.

Until next time.....keeeeeeeeeeep sloping!

16 November 2008

a week in november

a short short from the past week...

many thanks to Deryck for the air to air footage

15 November 2008


we are tyring to resolve the current lack of camera situation, normal service will be resumed as soon as possible, thank you for bearing with us...

interrupted proceedings

The goodwind camera has gone missing, last seen on Thursday at about midday. Paul left his belongings unattended whilst assisting with cattle herding, so the camera either went AWOL then, or he's dropped it on the field somewhere, or hidden it from himself at home.

Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible, thank you for your patience.

the more observant among you will notice the stem unit for the flash forms the basis for Darth Vader's light sabre (I kid you not)

07 November 2008

keeping winter...

What a glorious afternoon!, this mornings rain clears as forecast and gives way to buoyant conditions and a warm sun. It's one of those afternoons to savour as the dark, cold days of winter draw near.

Duke maidens his new floater

I good turn out stays till sunset, it's lovely conditions for the paragliders as well and they get a reasonable session in, but with a rapid temperature drop as the sun nears the horizon, they head for the pub.

the evening damp creeps up Alan's jeans

T'Other Paul looking like someone else!

push the play button below to see some of the action