Boys – and some very expensive toys

Take-off for competitors in the European Model Gliding Championships at Hamilton Farm, Hamstreet

The European Model Gliding Championships flew into Hamilton Farm, near Hamstreet last weekend but sadly, the usual contingent of European competitors was missing due to European Covid-19 travel restrictions.

This didn’t, however, deter some serious “flying” from a band of 22 dedicated competitors from across the UK.

Peter Allen, the contest director said; “We’ve contestants from as far afield as Scotland, Northumberland, Dorset, and Worcestershire, not forgetting those from Kent, Sussex and Surrey.”

Running over two days with nine slots (or heats) for flying, culminating in a final “fly off”, the contest is points based, with up to six competitors flying against each other in ten-minute slots with points awarded, or deducted, for take-off, time in flight, and accuracy for spot landing.

Among the “aces” flying at Hamilton Farm, were six who have represented the UK at international level in overseas events. Colin Paddon, from East Grinstead, is a reserved, almost shy, Top Gun among these enthusiasts. A multiple national champion, he laughs as he says: “We’re all just big kids, playing with very expensive toys.”

These “toys” weigh in at 1400grams, have a carbon moulded fuselage and a four-meter wingspan. Competition models cost anything up to £2,500.

The contest was organised by the British Association of Radio Control Soarers (BARCS).

Anyone interested should visit the British Model Flying Association website to find their nearest club.

“We’re a friendly bunch of enthusiasts” said Peter Allen, “And we love welcoming new people to the hobby and are happy to train them in any discipline.”


Image Credits: Chris Lawson .


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