The Great British Long Jump 2014
This is the Long Jump’s 30th year and therefore cause for celebration, but tinged with sadness since we said goodbye to Anthony Smith a few months ago after a long and wonderful tenure as Long Jump judge.
We took a sabbatical in 2013 to ensure The Queen’s Cup attracted the best entry and it was a great success with 2 days of perfect weather on the first weekend in October where the winner, Richard Parry managed to fly 199.5 miles in two flights. Dom Bareford came in an oh-so-close second with 198.8 miles and Andrew Holly 3rd with 176 miles.
This year’s Long Jumpers flew a total of 1,283 miles between them on 6 different October days and time aloft varied from 4 hours to more than 9 hours. Unusually, all flights utilised winds coming from the SW whereas previous years have tasted all points of the compass.
Technology features more this year so I look forward to healthy discussion about moving maps and transponders at the Long Jump lunch along with more good experience with radio and Air Traffic Controllers. This aspect of ballooning usually causes some apprehension in new pilots ( and some not so new) but an event like this makes you try harder and you wonder why you took so long to master the art of using the radio to help Air Traffic controllers help you.
Land owner relations is always important and Andy Collett wins a gold star by inspiring his farmer to set up SKYPE with her overseas family so they can all watch the take off.
As always, the reports are amusing, informative and inspiring and particularly so this year for Deborah Day and Mike Scholes who are this year’s champions. They flew for 6 hours 23 minutes from Cornwall to Market Drayton in Shropshire 211.6 miles away.
Second longest flight was by Tom Hilditch and Abi Bridge who flew 125 miles in 9 hours – a big improvement on the 40 miles Tom and I flew at the 2008 Icicle Meet in 3h 15m to 2nd place in their long distance race.
Nick Dunnington and Phil Hooper showed admirable enthusiasm and flew together trying to beat Nick’s solo flight of 117 miles but only managed 110 miles so I have included both flights and both reports.
My thanks and congratulations to all who entered and you can all be proud of your efforts and particularly to those whose flights help qualify for their BBAC Silver Badge.
You can read the pilots’ reports
Founder & Judge.