This year (2005), for the first time in many years, the Peterborough Club have decided to run another of their C/L extravaganzas. In some ways, the previous incarnations of this event (the 'Cabbage Patch Nationals') have been kind to me and I have won numerous times. Many people have made remarks to me, such as, "See you at P'Boro" and so on. Despite repeatedly telling them that I will not be there, they ignore, or forget, this and go on making the same, or similar, remarks which annoy me intensely. I'm sure that some of them know that and are just being perverse.
OK, lets get this clear, there is not enough money, or wild horses, on the surface of this planet to get me to another Peterboro meeting. Here's why:
Following an appearance in the OTS event at the 1985 US Nats with a borrowed model, the C/L bug started to bite again and I built my first model in many years, an Ambassador (the Alan Hewitt design). For quite some time, the only C/L event that I had entered was the UK Nats and the model was built in my usual 'leave-it-to-the-last-minute' manner for the 1986 event. Thus, I missed the Peterboro event that year, which I believe was the first.
At this time we were able to park on the flying area, although we were later made to move cars off the grass. We were allowed back on at the end of the day to collect our models. In later years, parking was to become a major issue.
The day of the event it was even more windy and I had no intention of flying the Barnstormer. In mid-afternoon I was approached and informed that the model had won the Concours, but I must fly it to qualify. I flew the model in a screaming gale and discovered that it was tailheavy and very twitchy. It barely survived. Come the prizegiving, someone else had won the Concours!
After the first round of Vintage I was leading by a considerable margin. I then spent some considerable time waiting for the Nostalgia judge to appear so that I could make a flight. It was clear that there was to be very heavy storm in the near future. One of the other judges went in search of the Nostalgia judge (yes, I know who you are) and returned to tell me that "he just doesn't want to judge you." I continued to wait, the heavens then opened and I got absolutely drenched in rescuing my lines and model.
It appeared that there was little chance of the meeting continuing (it was now about 3 o'clock, still raining, and the ground was saturated), so I went home to dry out. I later learned that, late in the day, conditions cleared enough for four people to have second flights. The result was decided on the total of the two flights and I dropped to fifth! It's worth noting that the judge for those flights was the aforementioned Nostalgia judge. Does anyone see any logic in this?
There was a new event for .8cc models (Mini Stunt). It had been widely advertised that the winner would receive a PAW 80. I built a 60% size Barnstormer for the event (Hutstormer) and powered it with a TeeDee 049. I actually flew the model for the first time on the way to P'Boro at our R/C club field. There were problems (tail heavy) but I was prepared to fly it.
As it turned out, I was the only one who wanted to fly in the conditions so the event was postponed to the Rolls Royce Vintage C/L meeting. Fine by me, it gave me a chance to sort the model!
At the RR meeting I managed to win the event. At the prizegiving I was actually presented with the PAW 80 and then had it taken from me because they 'remembered' that the PAW 80 was to go to the highest placed person who used a PAW 80! He now had two, while the winner had nothing. That was NOT what was advertised and the whole thing was done with an air of vindictiveness which I could not ignore. My old friend Sam Skitt was almost incandescent and never attended another P'Boro event.
At this point, we were still using the Eastern Embankment with its rough surface and long grass. This had been quite thoroughly mown, but all of the cuttings had been left to trip models up and to blow everywhere. By P'Boro standards it was almost calm, with a brisk breeze.
I flew four models that day and the constant trekking from and to the car park was very wearing. It was also hot, which didn't help.
From the flying point of view, this was a near repeat of the previous year with more walking.
At this point, I was amazed to overhear a member of the club explaining to another competitor how to get into the parking area behind the tent, with no warnings or threats. I'm not paranoid, they really are out to get me. I headed back across the field and followed the directions. No problems, no towing.
This was a very windy day! I flew my Box Car Chief in the Vintage event and was asked at the end of the first round whether I wanted another flight as no-one else wanted to fly again. I enquired what the positions were and was told that I was leading. Obviously there was no point in risking the model again. I then fllew my Nobler in the Golden Age event and barely survived due to the turbulence off the nearby embankment. I did some damage to a wingtip when the model was blown end over end on landing.
Late in the day, I was approached by Tom Hughes and informed that the scoreboard had been changed and I was no longer leading. I checked that this was so and requested my second round flight. I was informed that this wasn't possible as the judge (John Lynch) had gone home.
I rarely suffer from migraines but I had a massive one on the way home involving something like two thirds of my vision, which meant that I had to stop and wait for it to dissipate. Fortunately, I don't have the accompanying headaches that some people suffer. I had another one later that evening, plus another on the following day and another on the Tuesday. I don't think I've had that many since!
The Golden Age event was flown in the same circle as the Peacemaker event. All the GA flyers made their flights in the changeable conditions, followed by the Peacemakers. Very late in the day (actually after the supposed time of the prizegiving and after many people had gone home) a prominent member of the home club put in a GA flight in dead calm conditions. Fortunately, I didn't find out until some weeks later, but it was the last straw!
In fairness, I have to point out that these meetings do have bonuses. On the site, there is a brickbuilt pavillion with toilets and changing rooms. The ladies of the club put on a catering service with decent hot tea and home-made cakes and sandwiches. Everyone appreciates that and it makes a big difference.
|6||Kombat Kapers||AM 35||Nostalgia||156||"|
|1||Hutstormer||TD 049||Mini Stunt||252||14/7/91||Event held over from P'boro|
|2||Box Car Chief||ST 35||Vintage||331||"|
|4||Rascal||Frog 150||Nostalgia||251||"||Only flew in 1st round|
|1||Box Car Chief||ST 35||Vintage||702.5 (2 flights)||5/6/94|
|1||Stearman||ST 46||Biplane||593 (2 flights)||"|
|2||Rascal||Frog 150||British Nostalgia||617 (2 flights)||"|
|2||Hutstormer||PAW 80||Mini||544 (2 flights)||"|
|1||Box Car Chief||ST 35||Vintage||319||4/6/95|
|1||Stunt Queen||Frog 500||Phantom Trophy||641||"|
|2||Rascal||Frog 150||Golden Age||228||"|
|6||Nobler 40||Merco 35||Golden Age||300||1/6/97|
|2||Box Car Chief 2||ST 35||Vintage||477||"|
|5||Box Car Chief 2||ST 35||Vintage||328 (no bonuses)||31/5/98|
|3||T'Bird II/2||ST 46||Golden Age||201||"|