SEBMFA Towner Trophy 2005 Towner Trophy winner Graham Wicks

Keith Miller reports on the Thermal Soaring event at the Leigh Park Farm on 25 September

This event, the oldest thermal soaring competition in the UK and possibly the World, has mainly been held since its inception in 1968, at Deanland Airfield, by kind permission of the Eastbourne club. However, due to the full size movements at Deanland, it has not been possible to use power winches there and as the modern soarer likes to use this form of launch to get the full potential out of his or her moulded model, entries have dropped of in recent years.

This year, Contest Director Kevin Beale opted with some regret not to run the event at Deanland and instead, permission was sought for it to be held at Leigh Park Farm, the field used by Tonbridge Radio Flyers. This was duly authorised and the date 25 September booked.

The weather forecast was somewhat mixed with rain and breezy conditions expected, but luckily the rain arrived early and then cleared up into a very nice day. The initially calm conditions turned windy later on but most seemed to cope. The doubtful weather forecasts during the previous week had obviously put some people off, as only 38 pre-entries where forthcoming, of which 32 turned out to fly.

It was a hard fought competition with some of the country’s leading exponents taking part, so most of the slots were flown out to their full 10 minutes. However good organisation by CD Kevin, assisted by SE Area Chairman Bob Cutter and ex-Area Secretary Keith Wright, meant four rounds were completed by 4pm and preparations made for the fly-off. The clear winner was Graham Wicks of the Fairlop club who won both the 15 minute fly-off slots. Seen here receiving Trophy and wine from Bob Cutter.

 
4 round score
fly-off
1
Graham Wicks
3552
2000
2
Colin Paddon
3558
1787
3
Tony Vale
3858
1469
4
Kevin Beale
3342
1406
5
Tony Guerrier
3706
1361
6
Ricky Shaw
3501
1236
7
Kevin Dart
3741
1134
8
Simon Smith
3485
1097
9
Bob Hope
3419
895
10
Matt Brooks
3294
 
11
Robert Love
3180
 
12
Shane Alce
3170
 
13
Alan Twine
3112
 
14
Mike Ranger
2945
 
15
Andy Appleby
2924
 
16
Ray Gadenne
2997
 
17
Andy Cox
2831
 
18
Keith Fisher
2645
 
19
Colin Boorman
2606
 
20
Peter Sainsbury
2490
 
21
Derek Collings
2402
 
22
Phil Ramsey
2145
 
23
Tom Frankland
2084
 
24
Bob Owston
1954
 
25
Dave Shore
1925
 
26
Andy Pattenden
1888
 
27
Trevor Blackwell
1777
 
28
John Pryde
1728
 
29
Brian Hammond
1548
 
30
Bob Leslie
465
 
31
Keith Miller
264
 
32
Chris Foss
42
 
2 Man Team
 
Tony Vale / Graham Wicks
7410
Best non-moulded model
 
Bob Hope
3419
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