The 12th May 2012 was a busy day for gliding, with a welcome return to spring sunshine after the wettest ‘drought’ on record had flooded much of the United Kingdom. Many glider pilots made the best of the conditions, including a new 823km UK triangle record in an EB28 glider whilst several paragliders flew the breadth of the country with cross country distances of upto 243km.
Southdown Gliding Club honoured one of their founding members, Joan Cloak with a display of club Memorabilia, barbecue, and family day at the club. Joan was an incredible lady who gave much of her life to supporting Gliding and the Southdown Gliding Club. She gained her ‘C’ badge in 1953 soaring the sea cliffs and was club treasurer for 23 years until 1977 and then club chairman until 1984. She helped move the club from Firle to its permanent home at Parham near Storrington.
In 1979 she was awarded a BGA Diploma and in 1981 an MBE for her contribution to gliding. Sadly Joan died at the end of December last year.
Guy Westgate displayed one of the Club’s ASK21 training gliders and thanks must go to outgoing club chairman Craig Lowrie for organising the tribute to Joan with such a memorable family day.
Further up the country, the Windrushers Gliding Club were hosting the annual Airleague ‘Youth in Aviation Flying Day‘ at Bicester, with dozens of students taking flights in gliders and powered aircraft.
Ian Gallacher and Paul Holdnall took the Fox and had a steady stream of eager young students, including Khotso Marumo, Tom Crucian, Max Bond, Alex Mazzoleni, Rosie Homer, Colin Field, Emil Benson, Hollie Roser, Tom Crow and Emily Duffy.
Ian then gave an aerobatic display in the evening.
Thanks must go to Andy Perkins, Luke Roberts and Steve Pozerskis for organising such a successful event.