|This year we arranged to have our Midsummer competition at Mains Farm Camping Site near Kirkoswald in Cumbria, this was a place identified by Dave Marshall as a possible venue to replace KLRUFC in the aftermath of our sudden cancellation although at the end of the day we opted for Wrenbury instead.
20 members and friends attended with 3 Balloons, most getting there on Friday afternoon / evening the rest arriving on an occasionally wet and windy Saturday, so socializing, walking and visiting the local pubs was the order of the day.
Sunday morning forecast gave us the best chance of a flight so with all getting up for a 4:00am briefing all 3 balloons eventually took to the sky, unlike some Midsummer completions there was no real rush to inflate as the wind direction was going to curtail any great flying distances, the winner achieving just over 5 kilometers before sensibly landing in almost the last field before the hills.
With a 16 acre field to take off in it seemed sensible to get as much westerly angle as possible and laying out near the river Eden, I forgot we had agreed to take off as far away from the other campers as possible and was properly scolded by Julie our host for forgetting, although they really would like us back!
John Hartley in Fort Vale was first off the ground and seemed to have a good northerly track at 4 knots but this quickly backed to easterly as the forecast had predicted and they headed for the hills, all be it, slowly. Peter Donkin and Ann Rich followed soon after in Samsung also heading easterly and ended up in playing hop scotch with Fort Vale up the Raven Beck valley towards Renwick. Jim Lawson and Tony Oxon in G-TRUX took their time, taking off from the correct part of the field and achieved a slightly better track but did not manage to capitalize on this and landed short of the winning distance.
We all met up at the Stonybeck Inn on the old A6 near the M6 J41. The Midsummer Maddness Trophy was awarded to Peter and Ann for a winning distance of 5.5 kilometers which in the light winds took an hour, second came Jim and Tony with 4.6 Km and bringing up the rear was John with 3.3 Km, after a big breakfast, some set off home while us campers returned to pay our dues and say our farewells.
Everyone was very impressed with Mains Farm as a venue, the facilities are excellent, the walks and scenery are delightful, local interest and history is there in abundance and the local pubs and shop quite unique and in spite of my blunder, Julie and Robert would love to have us back.