Topsham glider pilot completes a cross-country flight over the peak of Snowdon

PUBLISHED: 11:06 07 November 2018

Devon and Somerset Gliding Club member Rowan Smith. Picture CONTRIBUTED

Devon and Somerset Gliding Club member Rowan Smith. Picture CONTRIBUTED


October was a busy month for Devon and Somerset Gliding Club members, writes Jill Harman.

By tradition, October is a good month for experiencing gliding at other sites, and this year has been no exception.

Devon and Somerset Gliding Club members have travelled with their gliders in trailers to Scotland, Wales and other gliding sites in England on club expeditions.

Portmoak just north of Edinburgh in Scotland provided Pete Startup, from Ottery St Mary, with the opportunity to complete two different Club 100 tasks in two days.

Pete said: “Two days where the thermals wouldn’t have been out of place in the summer- it was good to try out another club’s 100km tasks for a change.”

However, the conditions in Scotland turned after these two good days, and most of the expedition members decamped to Denbigh in North Wales to look for the elusive lee wave conditions usually found in October.

And they weren’t disappointed - Rowan Smith from Exeter completed his first high climb with a gain of height of 3000m achieving his Diamond height, with other members also enjoying high flights.

Later in the week, the conditions enabled Wyn Davies from Topsham to complete a cross-country over the peak of Snowdon (having walked up to the top the previous day).

The next expedition was primarily for our junior members, who enjoyed soloing at the Midland Gliding Club at Long Mynd in Shropshire, where along with the DSGC Instructors and mentors they had a great half-term holiday.

Later in October, an impromptu call to travel to Parham in Sussex saw four gliders joining in the fun with the northerly wind blowing onto the South Downs, 334kms were achieved by Pete Startup, Ron and Dan Johns, Phil Morrison and John Burrows, and Wyn Davies.

Visiting other clubs on expeditions is a great way of expanding your gliding horizons.

Try gliding by starting with a trial lesson. Find out about trial lessons at Devon and Somerset Gliding Club, purchase and book online, by visiting

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