Not bad for a two metre....

Another year, another league,another year,…. I kept thinking this to myself as I drove along the extremely quite, early morning road out to Benoni, a small town East of Johannesburg. The 2008 league had been fantastic – attendance had increased on average over 2007 & the format seems to be widely accepted & enjoyable. My concern was maintaining this momentum – but I needn’t have worried for the first 2009 event. The entries were enthusiastic & as usual the flying was simply fantastic.
When I arrived at ETB’s “south” field, a number of cars & lines had already been laid out. This in anticipation of the 9 x 3 pilot teams that would be attending that day. A light breeze was blowing in from a northerly direction & moderate overcast conditions seemed to be clearer than the rain storms we had experienced for the majority of the month to date. The grass was very long – in fact there were places that it exceeded the shoulder height of even the tallest pilots. Fortunately ETB had cut a swathe out for the launch corridor & also for landing spots. With the wind direction swinging during the day due to thermal activity, this did make things a little tricky on approach, but the pilots took it all in their stride.
A pilots briefing was called & general rules, safety & frequencies were discussed. During this time it was also agreed that those pilots flying with 2m models would be permitted to score both Open & 2M class by flying a single 10 minute working time & being handicapped for the 2M class. Normally the pilots competing in the 2M class are required to achieve a 6 minute task, but the eager throng agreed that there was absolutely no advantage for those individuals who elected to fly a 2M in Open class (10 minute task) & the motion was passed unanimously.
We also briefly discussed the draft MGA “competition cancellation” guideline. In essence, a competitions scores are automatically ratified (this for League, Team Trials/qualifiers, etc) if more than 60% of the flights are flown. If less than 30% of flights are flown due to weather or any other reasons, then the results are automatically discarded. For the gap in between the assembled pilots must immediately agree to include or discard the results of completed rounds. No complaints were received, and at 09h00 that morning, armed with only the weather prediction, overcast sky & massive humidity, I was convinced that we might yet have apply this rule.
ETB provide a number of CD’s for the event – a pilot taking a turn to time during their “off” slot. It must be noted that ETB also fielded 3 teams – it is clear that this is the fastest growing competitive RC glider club in SA & I am confident that we are going to see great results from them again this year.
The first round kicked of with a moderate breeze straight from the turnarounds & generally good morning lift all around. Scores were high & the day seemed to be starting well. Slot 2 however was the opposite, a simply horrid affair with the top flight time just over 6 minutes in Open class & the poor 2 metres were literally swotted from the sky as massive sink enveloped the field. Slot 3 brightened up again as the sink shrunk back – but big launches were required to get into the lift zone. This set the tone for the remainder of the day, where alternating slots were either punished by wicked sink, or were blessed with bountiful lift. Fortunately the normalisation aspect smooths out the impact of these differences, but the differences between the Open & 2M class models was apparent.
Johan Bruwer was flying his Pike Perfect to good affect & with a spot landing achieved the max for the first slot. Craig Baker, flying a locally designed & built Makulu (?) returned to HTL after a loooong time away, managed to achieve the max during the very difficult second slot. Chris Adrian, also flying a Pike Perfect set the tone for the rest of his event with a max in slot 1.
Following his success from the first round, Chris flew in the first slot of round 2 & again impressed with his near perfect score. Another stalwart of RC gliding, Izak Theron, also returned after a number of years away from the circuit & impressed with his max for one of the ETB teams in slot 2. Slot 3 saw that sink return & Paul Carnall, also from ETB, flew exceptionally minimising energy waste for a max from a 7:20 flight – which saw the majority of competitors relaunch at least once.
Craig Baker again stepped forward in Round 3 & snagged the max with a near perfect flight time & spot landing. Derek Marusich flying a Sagitta 600 maximised the good conditions in slot 2 & maxed with a perfect spot landing. Chris Adrian whipped the field in slot 3 with his near perfect landing & flight time. Round 3 also saw the only incident (other than the outlandings), when Rudolf lost control & smashed.
Round 4 saw Johan Bruwer clinch the max with an excellent spot landing, whilst Craig Baker was showing his excellent form with a perfect flight for the slot 2 max. Slot 3 was horrid, the sink was incredibly nasty & extended well above maximum launch height & beyond the range of even the open class models. Rudi King stepped to the fore flying an Eish! (also locally designed & built) and maxed with a 5:39 and narrowly beating Chris Adrian.
Trevor Austin flying an Ellipse (?)just pipped Paul into the max with a near perfect score for the first slot of the fifth round. Chris & Craig Baker simply dominated the remaining two slots with their excellent flights & landings, taking advantage of the available lift with their big launches.
Paul bounced back in Round 6, maxing the first slot, whilst in a repeat of round 2, Izak Theron clinched slot 2 & Chris the final slot to round off the day.
It is relatively a simple to work out who won – Chris Adrian simply dominated across all 6 rounds flown with 5 near perfect maxes. What was interesting is that Craig Baker flew into 2nd place with a stunning 4 maxes & less than 0.03% behind - especially as he only returned to flying after almost 4 years away from the competitive circuit. Third was Trevor Austin who only recorded one max, but flew extremely consistently for the entire day. It was still a close competition, with the top 11 Open pilots all within 10% of the winning score calculated as the best 5 of 6 rounds.
What made the first HTL of 2009 special was the number of 2M entrants – exactly one third of the pilots all flew these models alongside the Open class in the most trying of conditions. Only two pilots elected to fly their 2M class models in Open class – their scores have been normalised from 10 minutes to 6 minutes accordingly as agreed at the pilots briefing.
The scores below are based on the 10 minute task normalisations based on a maximum 6 minute flight and 100 point landing. Alan showed his class by taking the line honours with his Fling, Dion flew a Graupner ARF 2M model to good affect into 2nd & Derek his Sagitta 600 (normalised from his elected 10 min task) into third.
Once again the Highveld Thermal League has proved to be one of the premier RC gliding events in South Africa, providing a challenge to the competitive pilots, encouragement for development pilots & fun for everyone – all in a relaxed atmosphere filled with camaraderie & good memories. This was all made possible by our host club ETB, the CD’s for day: Paul, Herman & Stephen, Martie with her traveling diner, the pilots, helpers & spectators. We are grateful to each & everyone for making our competitions especially enjoyable.
Hi ho, hi ho, & off to soar we go,.....

Current SA Records & Holders

Current SA Records & Holders

  • Thermal Duration 3h 15m 30s Martyn Pullinger (ETB) 11 Mar 1995
  • Outright Duration 13h 59m 25s Andy Anderson /John Lightfoot (SSC) 10 Jan 1983
  • Straight Line Distance 31,0 km Chris Adrian (SGC) Jan 1998
  • Cross Country Circuit 44,5 km Charles Rudnick (PRF) 10 Dec 1985
  • Speed 231,7 km/h Chris Adrian (SGC) September 1996
  • F3B Distance 34 laps Craig Goodrum August 2009, F3B World Championships (Czech Republic)
  • F3B Speed 14.2s Michelle Goodrum August 2009, F3B World Championships (Czech Republic)

Postals Rules < 1999

  • Individual Quarter (max 2760) 2706 Derek Marusish (RMAC) 1987
  • Individual Year (max 8280) 7835 Derek Marusish (RMAC) 1987
  • Club Quarter (max 8280) 7806 White Hills RF May 1992
  • Club Year (max 24840) 23081 White Hills RF 1992

Postals Rules < 2008

  • Individual quarter (max 2300) 2294 Craig Goodrum (MMS) Nov 2008
  • Individual Year (max 6900) 6870 Craig Goodrum (MMS) Nov 2008
  • Club Quarter (max 6900) 6811 Silverton Gliding Club Aug 2001
  • Club Year (max 20700 - top 3 pilots per club) 20238 Silverton Gliding Club 2001

Postals Rules < 2010

  • Club Year (top 4 pilots per club) 26,712 Midrand Model Soarers 2008

Flights of Historical or Special Interest
  • First ever flight using radio control Glider off Wasserkuppe (Germany) 1st June 1936
  • First flight using radio control in South Africa Glider flown by Henry Rieder off Hout Bay beach 30th July 1939

World (and SA) Duration Record
  • Slope duration: Geoff Brooke-Smith flew a glider for 11hr 32min off the southeast slope of Tygerberg, W Cape 1966
  • Longest thermal flight from a hand launch: Andrew Lightfoot (SSC) flew an HLG Sunbird for 2hr 10min on Rondebosch Common 25th March 1990
  • Electric Distance — 7-cell: Ian Sullivan (ETB) flew 9,1 km 23rd February 1992
  • Electric Distance — 8-cell: Chris Adrian (KRG) flew 14,2 km 18th October 1992
  • F5 Open (Radipo Controlled Flight): Airplane: Electrical Motor Rechargeable Sources: Distance in a Straight Line: 21 February 2009, Piet Rheeders, 35.1 km
  • Solar Distance: Dieter Eberbach (ETB) flew 8,7 km 18th October 1992
  • Multiple Circuits of a Cross Country Course: Chris Adrian (SGC) flew twice round a 20,8 km course to give a distance of 41,6 km near Ladybrand, February 2002
  • Simultaneous Launch: 31 Zagis was successfully launched at the Black Eagle Slope Weekend near Ladybrand 13th September 2003, orchestrated by Evan Shaw

BVMT 2009 - Round 1 results

Dear Glider Guiders,

A big 'thank you" to all those that participated in the first round of the 2009 BVMT making it the success that it was. It was particularly encouraging to host three visitors, namely Michel Leusch, Luke Johnson and Mike Stark. We hope they enjoyed themselves and that they will return to Summeveld in the near future.

The weather forecast was not very encouraging, nor was the sight of low cloud approaching Summerveld from the south. However, our optimism was rewarded and we were able to complete four rounds before the weather had the final say.

The new format involved getting back to basics and the modest target time of six minutes, coupled with the customary 100 bonus points for a spot landing, proved sufficiently difficult to separate the 12 participants. The lift was reasonable for most of the time, provided one could avoid the lowest of the clouds, which was not always easy. The patch of ground from which we flew had been recently mown which made landings reasonably fair. The walk to retrieve the 'chutes was however more difficult wth waist high grass in places. On one occasion I even flushed a pair of quale on my way to collect the 'chute.

Allan was in top form with his trusty Graphite and took top honours, dropping only 20 points out of a possible 1840 points. He was closely followed by young Ryan Nelson and dad, Simon. Michel showed his class with a creditable 93,1% of the top score for the day.

The full results are shown below.

BVMT 2009 Scores for Round 1 of 4
** 2m
Rank, Pilot, Score

1, Allan Sneedon, 1000
2, Ryan Nelson, 989
3, Simon Nelson, 961
4, Michel Leusch, 931
5, Dennis Bird, 891**
6, Don Slatter, 867
7, Brian Fanning, 866
8, Mike Stark, 838
9, Andrew Plint, 823
10, Luke Johnson, 767
11, Norman Smith, 654**
12, Peter Plint, 536**

DMAC Gliding Coordinator

2009 MGA Calendar

The 2009 MGA Calendar has been uploaded to the Files section on the mgasa chat group.
Or follow the link on the right under Calendars.

RES Rules for 2009

RES Challenge

The RES Challenge is a postal style event where all pilots’ country wide can fly at their own clubs on the specified weekend. If the weather does not permit, i.e. raining or too windy the club may elect to fly on the next available weekend in that month, but only one attempt may be made.

The rule are:
1. Only RES models may compete.
2. Six flight with two throwaways. (Best 4 out of 6)
3. Working time 12 minutes
4. Flight time 8 minutes. (1 point per second up to 8 minutes and 1 point per second deducted after 8 minutes))
5. Spot landing as per the table below, measured from the spot to the nose of the model.
6. The club can run a MOM (Man on Man) type event if they like or a pilot can elect to fly whenever he likes, but once he launches (as the model leaves his hand or the hand of his helper) he will have 12 minutes to record an 8 minute flight. He can re-launch as many times as he likes within the 12 minutes but only the last flight and landing will count. Two stop watches must be run. One for Working time and one for Flying time. In a MOM event the CD monitors the Working time and clearly indicates to all competitors the start and finish.
7. The 8 minutes flight time starts the moment the models releases from the tow line.
8. Flight time stops the moment the model comes to rest or the 12 minute working time ends.
9. No landing points for over-flying working time.
10. No landing points if the model touches the pilots or his helper.
11. Launching may be by standard 200 meter winch, 150m hand tow or 150m un-stretched bungee.

This is also a Club event. The Club score is made up of the sum of the best 8 flight recorded. These score must come from the same venue and on the same day.

Single pilots may also enter.

As mentioned above a MOM competition can be organized within the club on the day as an option to make the event a little more interesting for the competitors. This is dependant on the club having enough winches available. As many pilots must fly together as possible. However, as this is a postal event the score submitted must be the actual ones recorded and not normalized scores.

All results must be submitted by not later than the Wednesday following the event to Piet Rheeders at
Please supply the following information:
The Pilots name,
The Models name, span and section,
The Club Name,
The date,
The pilots score (Only the total of his best 4 flights please)
The Club score (Only the total of the best 8 flights form the Club please)
A brief report and a few photos if possible for inclusion in the media.

Landing Bonus
A) Rudder, Elevator & Spoilers

(Meters from spot) - (points)
3----------------------- 50
6----------------------- 45
9----------------------- 40
12---------------------- 35
15---------------------- 30

B Rudder, Elevator only

(Meters from spot) - (points)
5------------------------ 50
10---------------------- 45
15----------------------- 40