Mandy and I made the long journey down to Eastbourne at the weekend about 5.5h from sunny Lancaster, if you travel at stupid o'clock (5:00 a.m) Saturday morning. We went for a walk at Beachy Head, those cliffs rise about 165M straight up and would be awesome to fly off, unfortunately no wind today. We then walked the seafront at Eastbourne and resisted the urge to jump off the pier into the aquamarine blue sea, even though there were many signs telling us not to!
We had the obligatory fish and chips, before continuing our walk on the pebble beach looking at the Lobster boats coming back with there catch that had to be hauled up the steep beach, carving new slip ways in the pebbles. There is an old Napoleonic Fort called the The Redoubt, which seemed to consist of a brick and concrete squat building complete with Cannon emplacements and dry moat. There was some sort of Historic Reanactment going on, we could hear the loud cracks of the rifle's going off inside and the clouds of gunpowder smoke rising above. Although we only got as far as the entrance bridge before a man in a bright yellow jacket challenged us with the admission price of £6 each, we decided to pass this time.
We then walked back through the town centre, resisting the coffee houses full of delicious cream cakes to make our way back to our accommodation in Alfreston, although we stopped on the way for a quick walk up to the Long Man.
A small meal washed down with some Golden Best Ale at the Smugglers Inn and I felt pretty shattered and Mandy was a bit out of sorts so it was an early night in preparation for tommorrows race. Unfortunately the weather forecast had taken a turn for the worse and it looked like our trip may had been in vain with lots of rain predicted for Sunday.
Sunday dawned and we had a cracking cooked breakfast from our B&B hosts and then it was up to Butt's Lane to stand in the rain, wind and mist deciding whether to pay the parking fee or not as we might not get a comp in. At about 10:00 a.m. we were summoned to the hill as the clag looked like it might lift and after erecting our sports brella, racing eventually got under way by 12:00pm
I had decided to try the EM style that I have been practising after doing badly at the Long Myndd, for the first time in competition as I had confidence in finding the bases, but was struggling with the climb outs, my sollution was to fly light with less ballast to help me out, and things turned out no worse than if I had used the trusty reversal. Got a 57.xx, 57.xx, 51.xx and a 58.xx I got a cut in the 2nd round so the 57.xx wasn't too bad considering, the 58 killed me though, but it was just bad air, as the model came on step too late on the last leg.
Team GB were there fresh from the recent WC at Rugan, they were pumping out 45.xx and 48.xx times and were in a league of their own. With the bad weather there were only 15 of us, and we were lucky to squeeze 4 rounds in 2hours before the clag came down. I ended up in 6th, but wandering what it could have been if I hadn't cut. In the video is my 51.xx run which wasn't as quick as the run I cut, but with a bit more practice hopefully I can tighten up on those bases and perfect my left hand turns.
Video & Photos below.
Eastbourne 2012 BMFA Rd7 from Tom Foreman on Vimeo.