Last Sunday morning we headed up north deep into the Tropics for the first leg of the 2M Challenge. A bit of a long drive for us people from the south - about 90km through some of the worst of the highway roadworks in Gauteng - to our destination the Silverton Gliding Club.
Despite our past few weeks of almost daily rain we opted for the 4x4 adventure challenge entrance to the field. The only other crazy to attempt this was Alan Smith who jovially also used the same route out. We chickened out and took the sedan route out – one adrenaline rush in that wild bush a day was enough for us.
The weather was perfect – clear blue skies to start off the day with light winds and early afternoon thunderstorm development.
All the requirements for a challenging flying day.
And the famous Silverton “disappearing thermals” even had some of the top dogs scuttling for the spot in a few less than six minutes!
The field itself was in superb condition – miles and miles of green, lush kikuyu grass. And Silverton is our absolute favourite birding flying field. We were greeted with some colourful Cape Longclaws busily chasing off other birds from their territory on arrival. On the way out we saw Egrets, Blacksmith and Crowned Lapwing and Black-headed Heron as well as all the regular little Bishops and Weavers in the reeds. Also saw some duck and Cormorants and a Woodland Kingfisher while retrieving Gordon’s Fling from the dam. But by far the best of all has to be the eagles: Thermalling with the Black Eagles and hearing the calls of the Fish Eagles in the Pienaars River that runs right past the flying field ... aah yes ... now, where was I ...
This contest really took me back in time – and I mean way way back to the good old days when a max was six minutes and spoilers were a new high tech device which you would be contemplating dabbling with the complex mechanics on your next model. But the one thing that hasn’t changed over all these years is the great bunch of guys flying model gliders. A thoroughly enjoyable day and I think everyone had big F-U-N. And good to see John Monk flying with us again.
There were a few minor crashes but I think all repairable and even Gordon’s Fling should live to see another flying day. Also great to see a few youngsters partaking and looks like we should see Nigel’s son Bradley competing soon.
Well done Rudi for putting the concept on the map and thanks to Martie and Barbara for keeping us fed and watered through a very hot day.
Results should be up on the MGA Blog by now. So, time to get that 2 meter model finished now guys – the next contest is on the 2nd of May at BERG. See you there.