Bulletin January 2012


Club Meeting

The next club meeting is on Thursday 9th March at St Rumon’s Club.

Photo Competition

Photo comp winner was Kaz Phipps, with a picture of Graham and tandem passenger at Chapel Porth. See here for the submitted photographs, and upload your own for next month.

Quotation of the month.

As part of the new format for the bulletin, I am intending to have a ‘Quotation of the month’ item. Since we have appointed or re~appointed officers for the club committee,  I thought we’d start off with a relevant quote.

Fred Allen:- ” Committee~ a group of men who individually can do nothing, but as a group, decide nothing can be done. “


Several people have been appointed new tasks for the coming year. One of my tasks is as bulletin editor and joint publicity officer. This is the first time I have had to compose a bulletin, and you will have to give me a bit of time to get the format right. What I would appreciate is suggestions for, or contributions to, the content. I have a few ideas myself some of which I will include in this edition.   What I would like is for all of you to contribute news items for inclusion.  We should have more reports of our flying in the bulletin, which sites were flown, what were the conditions, who was there, was anything special done that day, was there any gossip etc. Let visitors to the club website see how active we are in our flying activities, let’s have pictures to back up the reports. I would like to start ‘pilot profiles’ similar to the one in Skywings, everyone in the club has an interesting story to tell of how they got to the point in there life they are at now.  I want you to write your own profile, but I will send out a template as a guide for the things you might want to include. We could do with reports about your new glider/instrument/gadget etc.  In this edition I have included an article from the October 2004 bulletin that covers sea thermals, a subject that is relevant for this time of year. For coming editions can anyone submit an item or suggest a topic for the next edition that may tie in with something that is happening or relevant to what is going on in the club’s activities? If you find an interesting article in any format, if there’s a tv programme or book or film you recommend, send the information to me so I can include it. The bulletin should be like a magazine, it should have regular features, but it is flexible enough to include anything you, as club members, want to read. If you want something including or removing, say so. SM


Pilot Exams  The club recently held a series of lectures to prepare some of our Club Pilots for the BHPA Pilot rating. The lectures were run on the basis of each subject being presented by tutors who only recently passed the exam themselves. The students were encouraged to interrupt proceedings if they didn’t understand the subject, and to discuss it amongst themselves until they were all happy. And it seemed to be good way of burning the information into their brains. Of the four exam papers sent in, we have had four passes. There are still a few exam papers to go in, subject to the pilots doing their practical tasks, but we’re sure the successes will continue. Thanks to Portreath Village Hall for the venue, to Graham May for organising, and for his advice when we were all scratching our heads. SM

Comments from the new pilots after receiving their results:~

Alan Knight “It’s amazing what a crisp £20 can do !!!!!!!”

Mike Clelford“I was pleased, relieved, unsurprised, not astonished and totally expected to pass, failure was not an option as it would of meant me moving to another country with my head between my bottom cheeks.”

Raymond On receiving a letter from the BHPA, I thought it must be a renewal or something and out dropped a new badge which I recognized. Tearing out the letter, looking  down till I saw I  had passed” Loretta said “WHAT’S THE MATTER?”  ‘Nothing only  I Passed! Passed! Passed! ’ (dancing round and round).”

STOP PRESS 26TH January 2012, Raymond is confirmed as the oldest qualified pilot in the BHPA





Tutors Steve D and Steve M with successful examinees Raymond, Nigel W and Alan Knight . Mike C couldn’t be there so I photoshopped him in, hope you can’t see the join.

Now, where did I land?

In these modern days of GPS it is very easy to forget the ancient art of plotting grid references; that is if you ever paid enough attention in O level geography to learn the art in the first place. So, I thought it might be a good time for a little reminder, to encourage people to plot their XCs and enter them in the league.

The National Grid, as used on Ordnance Survey maps, is a grid of 100km squares laid over the whole of the UK. Each square is given a two-letter reference, and these form the first part of a grid reference. The squares covered by an Ordnance Survey map are shown on its key, normally under the heading ‘The National Grid Reference System’.

This diagram comes from an old 1:50000 sheet 204, of the area around Truro and Falmouth. It shows that the Westerly part of the sheet is covered by the SW square, but the Easterly part is in the SX square.

These are the letters you should quote at the beginning of your grid reference.

Each of the 100km squares is divided into 1km squares, and the grid lines are numbered from 00 to 99. The Eastings are the numbers along the bottom and top of the map, the Northings are the numbers up the sides. When you give a grid reference you always give the Eastings first. Do you remember “Go along the corridor before going up the stairs”? ie. Give the numbers along the bottom first, then numbers up the side.

On this map, X marks the landing spot for a certain epic flight. To work out the grid reference, I can see it is in square SW (it is often marked somewhere on the map; can you find it, in blue, in the sea just east of Lizard Point?). For the Eastings, I find the vertical line to the left of the point, and see that it is 70. I then have to estimate how many tenths into the square the X is. I would say it is about 6 tenths into the square, so my three digits for the Eastings will be 706.

For the Northings I find the horizontal line below the X. this will be 13. Then I estimate how far into the square the spot is, which is about 1 tenth. So my three digits for the Northings will be 131.

Putting all those together, the grid reference for my landing spot will be SW706131!

Now as a little test, see if you can work out the grid reference for the point where the pilot SHOULD have landed for maximum distance from St Agnes! The answer is given at the bottom of the bulletin.

Now, go out, fly XC, work out your take-off and landing co-ordinates, AND SEND THEM TO ME! Tim Jones

Cross Country League

Rules for the Kernow Cross Country Leagues 2012 Sponsored by Cloud9 can be found on the website, there is a link here.

KHPA XC league 2012

What a start to the year! Two entries already; could this be the year when everyone puts a score in, and records are smashed?

First time entrant Adi Chirgwin got the first score on the door, but the “Silver Dart” Bill Northcott began his campaign to hold on to his trophy with a fantastic out and return from Struddick to Freathy. Well done those two, and keep them coming.

Paragliding XC League

Sea Thermals…Whathowwhy?

By Andrew Hancock

Theory: They form when the sea temperature is greater than the relatively cooler landmass ambient temperature. Air layers sitting over the ‘warmer’ sea heat up and become unstable when they come into contact with cooler (denser) air sitting over a cold landmass. A wind blowing off the sea will push the ‘warm’ air into contact with the ‘cold’ landmass air causing mixing of the two. Thermals develop where instability occurs and anything like cliffs / boats / beaches etc in the mixing zone will trigger the warm (less dense) air to rise up through the cooler surrounding air to form sea thermals. These can often be seen as fair weather cumulous clouds forming out to sea and blowing inland. Sea Thermals are generally large, smooth and up to 500ft/min in Strength.

The table and graph below show that the sea temperature is relatively warmer than land temperature in St Ives during a period of roughly October to April. So this is the best time for sea thermal development. From April to October the land is relatively warmer so mainly ‘land thermals’ develop and only cool dense ‘sinking’ air is found over the sea.

So that’s why we can go XC from a coastal site like St Agnes using sea thermals during

the autumn/winter months and only coastal soar there during the summer.

Sea Temp Data based St Ives 2002


Well, that’s an interesting article from the October 2004 bulletin, but for most of us, it’s the wind that’s the important factor in our flying. So, below is some information on wind strength and direction over a typical year.

Monthly mean wind speed and the highest monthly recorded gust for the period 1971- 2000 at St. Mawgan   © Crown copyrightwww.metoffice.gov.uk


© Crown copyrightwww.metoffice.gov.uk


Who’s Your Paragliding Idol?

By Mike Clelford

Who do you so wish you could be as good as?

To find the identity of your paragliding god, do the maths below; it’s scientifically proven to work!


1.) Pick your favourite number between 1 & 9

2.) Multiply by 3

3.) Add 3

4.) Then again multiply by 3… I’ll wait if you need a calculator

5.) You’ll get a 2 or 3 digit number

6.) Add the digits together


And with that number, see who your SKY GOD is from the list below:


1. Bruce Goldthingy

2. Rodriguez (either of ’em)

3. Graham Phipps

4. Jocky Sanderson

5. Eddie the Eagle

6. Gandhi

7. Raymond

8. Russell Ogden

9. Mike Clelford

What can I say, I just have that effect on people.  Stop picking different numbers!  I AM YOUR SKY GOD, JUST DEAL WITH IT!


 Bill Northcott popular winner of the Adventure Sports Trophy, A long overdue recognition for his contribution on the hill and in the tow field. Bill has helped, and continues to help, most of the pilots that have taken up the sport in the last few years.  Well done!

Bill Northcott receives the trophy for the  XC League (paragliding). (Looks like some sort of Masonic handshake going on there, but you wouldn’t think that policeman Steve would have anything to do with them  would you?)

Graham Phipps receives one of three trophies he won, all for XC (League, Open and UK.) I’m sure Graham will hope there’s a bit more competition for the trophies next year. Well done.

Our Sites

I found an interesting old photo of St Agnes Head from the War time. It shows what I guess is a military  camp. I have included a Google Earth image with the same area picked out in red.

And Finally

That’s the end of my first attempt at a bulletin. I now realise how much work these things take to compile. So on behalf of the club I’d like to thank Tim Jones for all his work over the years, I’d like to thank me for taking it over and I’d like to thank you for reading it if you’ve got this far. Don’t forget to send me some items to include in the next issue.  S M


Answer:  SW705115