IMAC Clitheroe is held each year during the last weekend in July. This year it was our first trip over to the Mainland for a comp and is our last chance to compete before the World Champs in early September.
We set sail on the Belfast to Cairnryan ferry on Friday evening and travelled south for 200 or so miles to the flying site just outside the town of Clitheroe. When we arrived at 11pm, everyone had retreated to their Caravans or tents so we for bedded down for the night ourselves.
Saturday morning dawned with clear blue skies and a very light breeze. Perfect conditions for a days competition. With a few competitors having last minute technical problems with their aircraft we had 10 pilots in total, a little down on normal but last minute problems can’t be avoided. 2 basic class pilots, 1 sportsman, 1 intermediate, 2 advanced & 4 unlimited.
After a short pilots brief we got underway about 10am with the plan to fly 2 double knowns, a unknown, a single known and then freestyle for those that wanted to compete in that class.
Basic was first up, unfortunately one of the new comers had some bad luck on takeoff and clipped the fence at the end or the runway, it’s caught many pilots out over the years, hopefully it won’t dent his enthusiasm for IMAC. With the prefect conditions everyone flew well and our biggest problem was keeping the suncream from running into our eyes and finding a suitable place to get some shade! Not that we are complaining, I’d happily take 28-deg each time I go to fly! Pete Mumford had an exciting first flight, his Edge 540 developed some elevator flutter, he throttled back right away but it took a few seconds for him to regain control, fortunately with the speed bleed off the elevator started to have some control, he smoothly brought the plane round and landed. The problem had been caused by the control horn departing from the elevator. Pete’s edge is a IMAC veteran, it must be 10years old, so it had just worked loose over many 1000’s of flights. It couldn’t be fixed at the field, is Dan kindly lent him his Carden PRO.
We completed two rounds before lunch break, after a short pause we went straight into the unknown and final known. The wind picked up a little for the unknown and everyone managed ok with it. On the unlimited unknown we had the tailslide to trip us up and it did, no one scored for it, I did slide for about a fuselage length but it fell to the left. It looks like IMAC’s sequence committee is pushing the Tailslide this season, so the worlds is bound to have at least 1! Practise required!
With the sequences over it was time for freestyle, Chris was first up and put it a nice flight, Dave was up second about 3/4’s of the way through his flight, his rudder closed loop gave way, he waggled his way around and needing to keep the speed up he came In fast, model dug in and tip over, minimal damage, a broken prop. I was third up, about a minute into my flight it was my turn for a mechanical problem, the aileron started to flutter, luckily i was able to throttle back, stop the flutter and land without any problem. On investigation it was the inboard starboard aileron servo that had stripped. I wasn’t too annoyed, the servos on the H9 Extra 300 had probably done a good 1200 hard flights and it’s not a bad wear rate for the servos. That was the competition flying over for the day, I got a chance to fly my fellow IMAC UK World Champs team mate Brian Horn’s H9 Extra 300, he wanted a second opinion on his setup, I can report it’s spot on, I really enjoyed my flight and Brian has done a great job getting it just right, he will do well with this at the World’s next month!
The club had kindly laid on a BBQ for us and we all enjoyed the Craic, food and flew some smaller electric models. I had the new Parkzone Super Cub and Sukhoi with me, flown on the new DX6, everyone was impressed with how they flew and for an IMAC crowd the Cub was the most popular model, we may see someone at future IMAC comps! It’s a cracking little aircraft it has to be said and the more I flew the Suk I’m enjoying it more and more! The rain came in about 10am so everyone called it a night and headed to bed after a long day in the sun!
After a night of heavy rain, Sunday was a little more grey and there was noticeably more wind. It was more IMAC UK competition like! The club spoiled us again with breakfast and we got flying with full stomachs at 10am. The forecast was for showers up to and rain after lunchtime so Phil the CD had planned on getting 2 double knowns in before that. With a few flash showers we did manage it and by 1.45pm we had 4 flights in the bag. Phil suggested we call it a day as the rain was coming and a lot of people had a long journey. By 2pm Win had the results ready and the prize giving took place.
You can see the results below;
I was very happy to take first place in unlimited and the overall “Woodvale” Trophy. For me it was a warm up comp for the Worlds and I’ve seen a few things and chatting to Chief Judge Phil have a few things to work on for the big comp. So a very worthwhile weekend!
Thanks to all who organised the comp, Phil & Mike our judges, Win for score keeping and to Andrew & his wife for looking after us all throughout the weekend, food, tea you name it we had it!
Clitheroe is one of my favourite comps, it always has been and still is a worthy successor to the Woodvale Comp, relaxed, a great site and always good to meet up with friends. Looking forward to next year already!
Thanks also to all my sponsors for their continued support! Some pics below.