A day's visit, 2004 British Nationals

29 August 2004

As usual I only managed around five hours on one day of this annual three day event. This year must rank as one of the windiest I can remember interspersed with the occasional torrential downpore of rain.

First stop was the 'Swap Meet' hanger, with crowds of people rummaging through stalls full of second hand everything, from R/C helicopters to vintage model engines and kits, and even the odd WW2 army helmet, and it must be said a large amount of what looked like a load of overpriced old rubbish; I mean; does anyone actually buy broken silencers? I would have given good money for a usable pair of ST46 silencers! Outside the hanger, plenty of people selling similar stuff from the boots of cars.

This year I had decided to just stay put around the C/L circles, as trying to walk round the whole vast expanse of airfield and probably missing more than I should, is a bit counter productive, together with the certainty that it would agravate my Chronic Fatigue Syndrome even more than it would do normally by the end of the day. The blinding headaches nausea, aches, pains, and every other symptom suffered by humanity that I have to endure the next day are bad enough, without making things worse.

I always seem to end up at the Team Race circle first, and this year was no exception. I managed to catch a few heats of the Vintage Class B, A, and 1/2A. Very noisy and entertaining, with lots of bouncy landings on two wheeled undercarriages. One thing that puzzles me: where do these guys practice? I love the sound, but very club I know of has noise restrictions on model engines

The Speed, Scale, and Carrier Deck circles where empty and remained so all the time I was there, probably because of the wind. Even the combat circles were quiet by the time I got there.

Next stop the stunt circles. Even these events had people withdrawing in droves because of the atrocious conditions. I did however catch Bill Draper flying a very competent F2B scheduled in a wind that had most people dropping points like an overturned bowl of peas. Experience means a lot in this game.

By now four hours had passed like five minutes, and I made my way to the trade tents to have a browse around. Lots of bargains to be had. As I stepped out of the car the heavens opened and everyone rushed for any available shelter, notably the traders tents. That left a very bedraggled poor old me trying to fight my way in through the the crowds blocking the entrances to tents.

Within a few minutes the storm had passed and the crowds ventured out again. It was a strange experience seeing hardly any R/C models flying. Maybe the plume of smoke on the horizon I had observed earlier, marking the demise of a large scale multi turbine engined B52 bomber, and the rumours of a pylon racer going down in crowd area, combined with the wind and rain, had damped peoples enthusiasm a little. I did hear high revving noises coming from the C/L area as the rain ceased but by then it was time to be making tracks for home.

These images were just taken randomly as I wandered about but might give some idea of what was going on during my brief visit.

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