2023 Vintage League
Round 9 - Buckminster
Bout 9 Eamonn Forsdike (Basildon) Vs Stewart Sparkes (SBMC)
Eamonn always turns up with very good gear, he has a selection of very quick Rothwells, usually mounted in a Piranha which I believe are Yuvenko made in the Ukraine, this time it was a Yellow one. Stewart also had a Piranha with I believe K12 for power. Both got away at the start, the first cut went to Stewart, all of the streamer, followed shortly after by Eamonn also taking all of the streamer. In the refly, Stewart’s engine stopped just prior to the launch, costing him some ground time. Eamonn was away clean with very good airspeed. When Stewart did get into the air, Eamonn again took all the streamer so Stewart needed 2 cuts to win. Even towing a full streamer, Eamonn was noticeably faster than his opponent. Stewart came down and was evidently disqualified for both feet out the circle. Eamonn wins.
Bout 10 Steve Smith (Feltham) Vs Richard Perks (Basildon)
Steve flew a white Vendetta XL with a K12/19 on board and Richard was using an Anduril 69 with what looked like a very early K12/19, complete with the knurled cylinder head. Richard had a full rack of identical Andurils so he must like them. It did perform well. Both got away on time but it soon became apparent that Steve had a significant speed advantage. His Vendetta was impressively fast and manoeuvrable. I had it down as a newly built, lightweight model judging from the sure-footed way it
handled, so I was surprised to later find out off Nigel that the model was a heavily repaired 19oz. Steve took two early cuts and then sensibly went upwind away from the action, Richard engaged again and took all Steve’s streamer. With the score at 2 to 1 both pilots flew level. Good bout, nice economical flying by Steve.
Bout 11 Denis Murphy (SBMC) Vs Neil Hayward (Feltham)
Neil hasn’t been around much this year so it was nice to see him taking part, he was using a Piranha with a Rothwell for power. Denis chose a Shogun with I think a K12/19. Denis was away first, with Neil’s motor being reluctant to start. Neil got away after some frantic flicking and the bout commenced. There was a comprehensive midair about 40 seconds into the bout from which both models fluttered to the ground. I believe Neil got a cut either just before, or during the crash. This was actually the first decent midair so far. The ensuing line tangle took a good minute and a half to untangle and Neil’s pit crew managed to get him airborne fairly quickly. Unfortunately, Denis’s model had lost its motor somewhere so that was that. Neil wins.
Bout 12 Dave Chalk (Basildon) Vs Gordon Price (Feltham)
Gordon was flying a Ukrainian coloured model, (I mean it was coloured like the Ukrainian flag). Dave was flying a Ukrainian built model. Gordons Squig was powered by a K12/19 and Dave’s Piranha had a Rothwell on the front. Both away at the start, Gordons Squig was very fast and Dave’s Piranha is no slouch, Gordon went straight in to the attack and got the first cut after 30 seconds, followed by another 10 seconds later, all the remaining streamer, which wrapped itself round Gordon’s wing. So, Gordon’s Squig was now towing a full streamer and a good portion of Dave’s streamer. Now, I recorded my notes on a smartphone, and at this point when I was playing it back, I heard myself start giggling. Gordon, slowed by the drag of the two streamers, elected to defend by flying low figure eights upwind, very sensible. Dave, curiously, decided his time would be best spent by flying figure eights downwind, for quite a while, two flyers at opposite ends of the circle. It was only when one of his pitmen, Frank Marshall shouted at Dave and gestured furiously that Dave should go after Gordon upwind that Dave decided to engage. This resulted in an almost immediate line tangle during which Dave got his first cut, all the streamer. Neither flyer launched again, so Gordon won.
Moggs had a bye in this round so first bout in the losers, if he had lost his first bout then he would get another chance at the end of the round.
2nd Round. Losers
Bout 13 Moggs Morris (Feltham) Vs Chris Davy (Hawks)
Chris had changed models for this one, he had a Squig with a For a Junior. Moggs, was using his favourite design, the Yeti, with a K12/19 on the front and a cartoon drawing of the little Cleaverman on the inboard wing. For those that don’t know UK combat model history and folklore, the Cleaver, designed by George Copeman, yes, that George Copeman, an early sixties flying wing that was an absolute masterpiece of diagonal 1/16th balsa complexity, beautifully covered in silk. This model was featured in Aeromodeller around 1963 (Lez will know exactly) and had a cool cartoon of a little black hooded running figure, wielding a blood-soaked axe above his head. Moggs drew it. I use it as my trademark. Moggs said I could. Anyway, Moggs’ Yeti was white, with a dayglo green tail, which exactly matched which matched Moggs socks and trapper hat (more later, have patience...) Yes. He didn’t wear the hat in the bout, he wore a crash hat. Obvs. Anyway, both flyers got away at the start, Chris’s Fora staying with the K12 nicely in the early maneuvres. Moggs hit the ground. His crew Richard Herbert and Simon Miller got him up quickly. Then it was into a line tangle and Chris’s turn to come down, hard, followed by Moggs hitting the ground again, also hard. Chris had broken a prop whereas Moggs was again up quickly. Chris’s crew changed the prop and launched him but he hit the ground again immediately. It looked as if he had trouble with his elevator. Chris’s crew spent a bit of time sorting the elevator problem and relaunched and Chris went on the attack. His Fora Junior looked a good match for the K12. There was some tight combat resulting in a midair. Moggs won
Bout 14. Ian Perkins Vs Tim Hobbins
Apologies to Ian as this is from memory, Ian was again using the Piranha Rothwell combination and I had elected to use the same Yeti and Paw that I didn’t have a good setting on in the first. I hadn’t flown it to test it I just re set the motor on the ground and crossed my fingers. What could go wrong? We both got away at the start and I remember we both got a cut, I think I took all Ian’s streamer fairly early on and
spent most of the bout defending, we had some glancing contact and ground contact and at the end, although it was still flying, albeit very slowly, my model was a wreck, the tank was hanging out and the wingtip had gone. I came out the winner on ground time.
Bout 15 Peter Harvey Vs Simon Miller.
I was centre marshal for this one so again its from memory. Peter had his Squig with K12 and Simon the Piranha Rothwell combo. Both models got away at the start and both models were going well with Simon having the edge on airspeed by a small margin. Simon was immediately on the attack but peter was defending well. Simon took an early cut and Peter had some difficulty trying to get near his very experienced opponent. Peter also suffered a couple of ground hits and Simon came out the winner.
Bout 16 Simon Cassidy Vs Nigel Thorpe
I needed to go and sort another model out for the next round so I didn’t follow this bout. I did see it from a distance and it looked closely fought. Simon came out the winner.
Bout 17 Frank Marshall Vs Stewart Sparkes
I was still messing with a temperamental K12 during this one but I believe Franks tank gave up in this bout so Stewart went through. Sorry chaps.
Bout 18 Denis Murphy Vs Richard Perks
Again, still messing with my gear so all I have for this one is the result, Richard perks goes through.
Dave Chalk has a Bye.
Round 3 Eliminators.
Bout 19 Dave Chalk Vs Neil Hayward
I was centre marshal for this bout, Neil won after getting two cuts in quick succession after which Neil’s model was badly damaged but he did manage to keep it in the air. Dave’s model was also damaged.
Bout 20 Tony Cookson Vs Gordon Price.
Centre Marshall again, so from memory, the bout started well, Gordon took a cut and Tony came down very hard, totally wrecking his nice Chaos which left Tony unable to get back up again. Gordon wins.
Bout 21 Tony Frost Vs Steve Smith.
I was centre marshal again so from what I can I remember was a very tight match, two experienced pilots with very good gear, nothing to choose in model performance. Steve took an early cut and spent the rest of the bout defending with Tony chasing furiously but just unable to get the cut he needed. Steve won but the two pilots shook hands warmly at the end indicated that they had enjoyed themselves. That’s what it’s about isn’t it?
Round 4 Last 16
Bout 22 Richard Herbert Vs Neil Hayward
Not much to report on this one, about 30 seconds into the bout Neil crashed hard, knocking his engine off. Richard wins.
Bout 23 Eamonn Forsdike Vs John Leggott
Another fast, furious bout with neither pilot gaining advantage, the wind was now pretty strong so most of the action occurred downwind, at one cut all there was a midair in which John’s trusty Shogun was destroyed. Eamonn went through to the last eight.
Bout 24 Simon Miller Vs Richard Perks.
Richard using the same Anduril with K12 and Simon had a Rothwell Piranha. Both away at the start but after a coming together, both models hit the ground. The centre marshal, Tony Cookson left the centre circle, bent down and picked something up off the ground. Ah, a bellcrank. The line tangle took a while to untangle so it was unclear which pilot the bellcrank belonged to. However, that question was answered when Richard’s pit crew launched his model. Simons model was destroyed. Richard goes through to the last 8.
Bout 25 Simon Cassidy Vs Stewart Sparkes
We’re halfway through the last 16. Stewart got away first, Simon’s model got away a few seconds after the bout started. Simon’s pit crew appeal for a cut which hadn’t been noticed by the Scorers, yes, the streamer was wrapped round Stewart’s wing. The scorers correct the score. Simon’s Squig was going really well and handling the strong wind very well. Stewart hit the ground, quite a long pit stop followed. Stewart got up and after a minute or so Stewart hit the ground, crumpling the outboard wing. The pit crew removed the crumpled part of the wing and relaunched the model, which proves a bit of a handful in the wind. The wind is now blowing hard. Simon won.
Bout 26 Johnathon Crabtree Vs Alan Bunker.
I was one of Johnathon’s pit crew for this bout. The bout started well, Johnathon using a brand new, beautifully built Assagai XL with a T4, and Alan used a Piranha, not sure which motor. The models were well matched. Johnathon got the first cut, about a foot long. I’m not sure what happened next, I think Johnathon went in for a second cut high up, which unsettled the model causing it to come down hard on the outboard wing. When we got to the model it was damaged badly and unflyable. Alan wins.
Bout 27 Moggs Vs Steve Smith
Steve’s model again looking comfortable in the wind, he hit Moggs streamer 4 or 5 times early in the bout. Moggs had some ground time. Steve tactically stayed upwind wherever he could. Steve wins.
Bout 28 Roger Fisher Vs Dave Riley
Roger with his Anduril T4 and Dave with his Piranha K12. The models again looked well matched with Roger’s Anduril equal to the Piranha. The first couple of minutes were exciting to watch with both pilots staying downwind in tight, fast, wind assisted maneuvres. Dave got the first cut followed by a second shortly after. Roger now has a noticeable speed advantage and gets his first cut, about a foot long,
leaving plenty of streamer to go for. Roger got his second cut and with time running out he went for his winning cut fairly low to the ground, missed and hit the ground. The pit crew got the motor started and launched, but shortly after Roger model lost all of its outboard wing causing Roger to crash. Dave wins. Excellent bout.
Bout 29 Gordon Price Vs Tim Hobbins
Gordon still had his K12 with the Ukrainian flag Squig; I had changed to an Ironmonger XL with a K12/19. I thought this model would be a better bet in this bout as it seemed competitive when I flew it earlier, but the Streamer slowed it down quite a bit. Despite my best efforts, Gordon took two accurate, short cuts before I took all of his streamer. All over in less than 2 minutes. Gordon won.
Quarter Finals
Bout 30 Richard Herbert Vs Eamonn Forsdike
Richard posted a video on Facebook a week or so ago of him and Eamonn practising at the Basildon site. It was impressive stuff, so this bout promised to be a good one. Both away at the Launch, both using Rothwell motors and Piranhas, Richard’s was home built, Eamonn’s was a Ukrainian RTF. Both Yellow. There really was nothing between the performance of the two models in the air. This was good combat, fast downwind close following. Richard appeared to be doing most of the following but Eamonn was defending really effectively. The scoreboards showed Richard ahead by one cut, I must admit I didn’t see it. (One of the reasons I try to avoid scoring) About 3 minutes into the bout, there was a midair, Richard hit the ground but Eamonn’s Piranha stayed in the air, albeit with only the inboard wing remaining. After a couple of laps Eamonn also hit the floor, the wind making things very awkward. Richard’s model appeared to be intact and he got back into the air. Eamonn stayed down. Richard won. Great bout.
It was at this point, with everyone grumbling about how cold it was, that Moggs, emerged, in a pair of shorts, wearing a pair of bright green sock, complemented by a matching, dayglo green trapper hat. Moggs is a Legend.
Bout 31 Richard Perks Vs Alan Bunker.
By this time the wind was really blowing and I’d used a voice recorder for the first time to make my notes, what I didn’t realise was that when I played it back, I could only make out the odd word due to the wind noise. In this bout, Richard hit the ground early on, got back up and took a nice cut early on. There was a coming together in which Alan took all Richard’s streamer and which left Richard with a floppy outboard wing. Richard came down and was unable to get back up giving Alan the victory.
Bout 32 Simon Cassidy Vs Dave Riley
Sorry chaps due to the wind and my walking about, my commentary is unintelligible, (no change there then) but Dave came out victorious.
Bout 33 Steve Smith Vs Gordon Price
Gordon won this one. Same problem. Apologies to both.
First Semi Final
Bout 34 Richard Herbert Vs Gordon Price
Both flyers still using the same combination, Richard, yellow Piranha Rothwell, Gordon K12/19 and Ukrainian flag Squig. Gordon had a misfire initially and was a little slower forcing him to defend, Richard took the first 2 inch cut early in the bout and Gordon’s motor came on song. Again, the models were very evenly matched, with the score at one nil, Gordon hit the ground but his crew got him up quickly. The bout continued until near the end Richard took another cut after which Gordon hit the ground and was unable to get back up. Richard won. This was a fabulous bout to watch with two top flyers.
Second Semi Final
Bout 35 Alan Bunker Vs Dave Riley
The bout started well enough but almost immediately there was a solid midair. Alan came down but Dave, with a badly damaged model, stayed in the air. The wind was blowing hard and Dave was doing well to keep his model airborne. Alan got back up and his model was in good shape, he had a distinct advantage now and looked to be set for Victory as Dave nursed his stricken model. Alan lined up came in for the attack and…. Missed, he lined up again and came in fast for another attack aaaaand…. Missed again. Then disaster struck. Alan got himself a DQ for two feet out of the centre circle. I think the expression is “Snatching defeat from the Jaws of Victory”.
So, Dave Riley and Richard Herbert in the Final, Gordon and Alan to fly for third fourth? No, they elected not to fly, so Alan took third and Gordon Fourth.
Bout 36 The Final. Richard Herbert Vs Dave Riley. Again...
Both got away at the start, again, nothing to choose between the two Piranhas, Richard in his mandatory Yellow with a Rothwell pulling it and Dave’s in white with his excellent K12 on the front. Very even to begin with, Richard’s engine had a slight misfire which didn’t appear to be affecting it at all as the pilots engaged in close downwind combat. Dave broke away and flew inverted for a couple of laps until they re engaged, he repeated this tactic but the second time he pulled up in front of Richard and that put his streamer string directly onto Richard’s prop. Richard took all Dave’s streamer. So, Richard has one cut but Dave has no streamer and about 3 minutes to take more. Richard defends by closely following Dave’s model, this continues until Dave breaks away again with another lap inverted but comes over the top to re-engage, Dave is now following until Richard again gets on his tail. There is a midair, Richard’s model goes into a series of tight consecutive loops until eventually it hits the ground. It looks as though one of Richard’s lines has gone. It has. Richard doesn’t have time to replace the lines, so he concedes and Dave wins.
Dave Riley 1st
Richard Herbert 2nd
Alan Bunker 3rd
Gordon Price 4th
On reflection.
There were 25 entries, 36 bouts, we started at 10.30 sharp and didn’t stop until we finished at 4.30, leaving us just enough time to clear away and leave the field by 5.00 as requested.
The day started cold with a light breeze and got colder and windier. By the end it was bloody freezing. There were some really good bouts and not a lot of carnage. Some of the outstanding models in terms of performance were:
Roger Fisher’s Anduril/T4
Simon Cassidy’s Squig / Rothwell
Gordon Price’s Squig/ K12
Johnathon Crabtree’s Assagai XL / T4
And the Piranhas of Richard Herbert, Dave Riley, Simon Miller and Eamonn Forsdike, all Rothwell powered apart from Dave who used a K12.
The plastic pipe centre circle marker is a distinct improvement. The CFA have ordered enough for 2 circles but this time in bright yellow. We’ll have them for the next Vintage Comp if I can get it in my car.
This is how I saw things. I know things look different in the circle. Apologies if I’ve got anything wrong.
Cancelled due to bad weather
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