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Varsity Match Gliding 2021

The 2021 Varsity Match for Gliding was held at Gransden Lodge Airfield from June 22nd to 24th, a Cambridge home game. It was a Cambridge win, with 333 points against Oxford’s 279.

The Cambridge team consisted of Charlie, Flavio, Matt, Eszter and Peter. Oxford brought Francesca, Aili, Siobhan, Tai-Ying and Azmi. Accompanying them was Neil Swinton, the CFI from Oxford Gliding Club, and the OUGC K21, ‘ESB’.

Neil arrived on Monday 21st and, with imminent rain showing on the radar, got straight to flying the OUGC team. ESB took 10 flights in an afternoon of packed flying for OUGC.

OUGC and CUGC agreed that Tuesday 22nd would be a warm-up day, given the forecast looked much better for Wednesday. As such, OUGC used Tuesday for cable break practise and the CUGC team members got current on each of their chosen aircraft. Most of the CUGC team flew CU, with Peter taking JEC and Flavio taking HTV.

Wednesday 23rd proved as good as forecast. Charlie began the day with a soaring flight in CU. Unfortunately, having landed after 59 minutes’ flight time – 9 minutes over the allotted 50 – the flight was heavily penalised. Matt and Eszter flew CU later in the day, with Matt taking a particularly high-scoring flight with two good climbs. Aili took a soaring flight at a similar point in the day, which at 47 minutes, proved to be the longest scoring flight of the competition. Tai-Ying and Eszter launched at a tricky part of the day, where the thermals were tough to contact from winch height. Once this passed, Fran and Siobhan took Oxford’s highest-scoring flights, with Fran obtaining the largest cumulative height gain of any scoring flight. Flavio and Charlie took two of Cambridge’s highest-scoring flights, Charlie remembering to check his watch this time... Peter took some good soaring flights too, though they were not included in the final count since it was agreed that only 4 pilots from each team would score per day. Cambridge won the day 333-279.

Thursday 24th looked potentially soarable in the afternoon. Oxford took the opportunity to send their Captain for her first solo in the morning – congratulations Siobhan! Far from soarable, the afternoon ended up being drizzly. The teams agreed not to enact the bad-weather rules for spot-landing, calling an end to the competition.

This left the final score as Cambridge 333-279 Oxford. Of course, Oxford gets a special mention for Siobhan’s first solo. Thank you to Cambridge Gliding Centre for hosting this year’s Varsity – especially to Andy, Steve and Chris. OUGC were delightful guests; thanks go to them for their outstanding sportsmanship. A great week was certainly had by all. We look forward to Varsity 2022, wherever that may be.

Charlie, CUGC Captain 2021