Gary Davies and Alan Gray

The Great British Long Jump 2010

Well here we are again back doing the long jump! After last year’s cock up with the mileage I sent my GPS to Lindsay Muir for an accurate distance LOL.
So Adrian Waters, Steve Drawbridge and Mark Omega and I set out early to Folly Farm, Hungerford in the lovely Cotswolds. We had an ordinary journey down with all the usual stops, Adrian’s breakfast parlour at the bikers’ favourite pull in. (Silverstone)
We met Pete Bish at the field to let us in. Adrian bought himself an air band radio – not sure what he was going to use it for!
We set up the balloon, Oh Zenith what a work horse she is! She never lets us down. Alan Gray was my passenger for the flight (he’s top crew man and chief navigator).
Our take off had fantastic conditions, blue sky, good upper wind and good direction.
After 20 minutes we were crossing between Brize Norton and Benson airport squeezing through without them noticing. Time for a coffee and sugar rush, Alan was doing really well on the navigation, we were roughly using 55 litres an hour – less as we got lighter. We then travelled to Cranfield where we spoke to a very busy airport that day and were pleased that we called and stayed at 4,500ft until we passed.
The fluffy clouds had arrived by this time and were getting a bit menacing with black areas spreading. Alan said, ‘I will keep an eye out for them.’ I just said, ‘Look the other way and don’t worry!’
So onwards and upwards to Bedfordshire, Peterborough then over our patch Wisbech. Then we tried to get more left to go up to Coningsby however the southerly winds didn’t kick in as forecast so we decided to take the height with right and went across the east coast so covering Kings Lynn then Sandringham, couldn’t see her Majesty waving in the grounds. The sea looks awfully close “much” said Alan “please don’t go left when we come down”.
We started our descent over Sedgefield, Norfolk and luckily stayed on track for Brancaster love the candy floss there! We had around 12 to 13 knots on landing in a great stubble field along the main road between Docking and Ringstead and couldn’t find a landowner for love or money.
We had a brilliant day 5 hours in my lovely balloon with great company, direction and retrieve that I was so pleased I was not involved with!
Adrian can tell that story.
Regards, Gary.

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