Report from Alex J: On the 20th and 21st April the club opened up for Southampton Uni students to get some intensive flying experience in. Eight of us came along over the two days, five Thursday and six on Friday, with a solid 48 launches!
Despite the low cloud and crosswind, Ken R. and Peter E. turned up on Thursday to instruct, with Steve B. and Ken H. offering their time to help out winching and manning the launch point. Thursday saw two trial members, Milind and Jenny, have their first flights in a glider, while Adam returned for his first flight in 13 months after faithfully managing the finances for SUGC while on a semester abroad in America. The low cloud was perfect conditions for launch failures to be sprung upon me, and led to Ken R. stepping out of the back seat to send me off for my first (re-)solo, a whopping three minutes! (There is room for an inappropriate joke here, but that would be too easy!)
On Friday, Ken H and Peter E heroically arrived bright and early to sort out a not-so-small bird’s nest which meant we had two cables to play with all day Friday. Stephen O led the charge with Stan and Paul P helping out on the ground. Our new committee member, Avery, came along for his first trip, along with another trial member, James. Avery will hopefully become a familiar face at the airfield, bringing groups of students up in the next academic year. As a small gesture of thanks, we put on a BBQ lunch for the volunteers, luckily the weather was slightly better than it was on Thursday! The weather wasn’t too kind to us however, the longest flight was just 18 minutes, nowhere near any of the achievements of the Wednesday and Saturday either side!
All in all, those of us who were able to take some time away from exam preparation had a fantastic couple of days with at least four launches both days. We are all extremely grateful to those who helped make the days a success, and for everything the club has done for us, not just on the Easter camp but throughout the time we have been at Shalbourne! We hope that Southampton Uni and Shalbourne will continue to fly together for years to come.