Varsity 2014

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This year we were blessed with some fantastic weather for the Annual varsity match. The Oxford team came to Gransden for 2 days, where a strong performance on the first day secured their ultimate victory, with the scores at 525 to Oxford, and 478 to Cambridge.

Oxford brought their Astir-CS (single seat), and ASK-21 (two seat) gliders to fly in the competition, while Cambridge flew their ASW-19 (single seat) with one of CGC's SZD-Juniors (single seat).

Flying for Cambridge, was:

  • Joe Roberts
  • Malcolm Morgan
  • Monique van Beek
  • Bonan Zhu
  • Nadanai Laohakunakorn

And for Oxford:

  • Chris Ballance
  • Hayden Peacock
  • Adam Bozson
  • Qin Cao
  • Max Chamberlin

The first day was particularly challenging, with thermic activity not starting until quite late. Matters were made harder by a stiff 15-20kt wind from the North East, something which hurt competitors piloting the lower performance ASK-21 and SZD-Junior gliders more. Cambridge were also plagued with an instrumentation fault in their flagship glider, G-CUGC, where the Variometer (vertical speed indicator) was not functioning at all.

The results for the first day were as follows:

Team Pilot Duration Height Gains Points Normalised Points Total
Cambridge Joe Roberts 0:33 4600 ft 125 62 141
Malcolm Morgan 0:48 4800 ft 144 72
Monique van Beek 0:14 0 14 7
Bonan Zhu 0:15 0 15 7
Oxford Chris Ballance 0:53 6500 ft 168 84 219
Hayden Peacock 0:50 7500 ft 200 100
Adam Bozson 0:23 1900 ft 61 30
Qin Cao 0:09 0 9 4

After Oxford had made so much out of what little the first day had to offer, some excellent flying was needed from Cambridge if they were to be in with a chance. Luckily the weather for the day was shaping up to fantastic: Although much of the wind from day 1 remained, thermal activity in excess of 6kts netto was forecast throughout the day, with convective cloudbases up to 5000ft. Full results were as follows:

Team Pilot Duration Height Gains Points Normalised Points Total
Cambridge Joe Roberts 0:49 7200 ft 193 79 337
Malcolm Morgan 0:50 8200 ft 214 87
Monique van Beek 0:49 6200 ft 173 70
Nadanai Laohakunakorn 0:48 9800 ft 244 100
Oxford Chris Ballance 0:50 9400 ft 238 97 306
Hayden Peacock 0:50 5200 ft 154 63
Adam Bozson 0:49 7700 ft 203 83
Max Chamberlin 0:47 5300 ft 153 62

Despite fierce competition, and 1/2 their team still flying with one of the most crucial soaring instruments malfunctioning, Cambridge still managed an exceptional performance edging ahead of Oxford by 31 points. This still wasn't enough to counter Oxfords day one achievements, giving ultimate victory for the 2014 Gliding Varsity to the University of Oxford.

Many congratulations to all who competed: everyone had an enormous amount of fun, and there was some truly phenomenal flying. We look forward to next year when we can challenge Oxford once more, at their home airfield.

Joe Roberts
Thu, 04/09/2014 17:45