Interunis Competition 2021

After a year without expeditions, CUGC decided to take part in Interunis in July. As the name suggests this is a friendly competition between university gliding clubs, offering a range of different point-scoring opportunities, suitable for all levels, so everybody can compete. These include 100 points for sending someone on their first flight ever! The premise is ideal for university clubs like CUGC, with our majority pre-solo or early solo membership.

Excited, from the 10th of July, nine CUGC members took part at Cotswold Gliding Club, Aston Down, including alumni, recently graduates and current members. The bravest wasted no time and took their site checks on the same day, ready to jump into the competition on Sunday. The site itself is very nice with lots of green landing areas and concrete runways (pic of this). After settling in and greeting our friends from Oxford, who we already knew from Varsity, the first day of the competition began. Despite the day being cut short due to bad weather, there was plenty of excitement as we watched the UEFA Euro 2020 Final. Even those of us with zero affinity towards football watched with undivided attention – the Italians among us kept celebrations respectful and only rubbed the score in the next day.

Monday and Tuesday were very successful for the entire team with lots of new type conversions and heaps of progress made by all our pilots. With all this progress scoring points, CUGC seemed to be in a good position to reach the podium. Luckily the weather received a memo about the competition by then, which meant cross-country and soaring flights could also be added to the tally. Rob scored us the most soaring points, flying in the K8 and later converting to the rare K18. Peter and Eszter first converted to the K23, then decided to take a break from fibreglass and convert to the K13 and K8, to experience more traditional gliders and score more points for CUGC.

Meanwhile, Andrew Watson tirelessly instructed, so that Teddy, Brooke, Koji, Adrian and Jamie could collect as many points for progress as possible. Undoubtedly, every pilot improved their skills massively. Jamie and Adrian were nearing solo by the end, while Brooke and Teddy went solo at GRL in September.

At the end of the day, we decided to make use of the concrete runway and settled the most important question on everyone’s mind: is Jamie’s Subaru Impreza faster than a Porsche 944? (The answer depends on the drivers…)

Towards the end of the week two members of the expedition had the chance to fly their first 100km triangle cross-country in an Arcus T, thanks to Mike Weston, the DCFI of the club, to whom we owe a big Thank You!

As the week concluded and the scores were submitted, we found out that CUGC not only earned the most points for Progress (by a large margin), our very own Dian Lu won second place in individual progress! Without Andrew Watson’s dedication and commitment this could not have been possible, and we would like to thank him again for coming along and providing invaluable support. We look forward to seeing everyone again next year.

Eszter Olah (CUGC Co-Captain 2020-21)