Just in case I did not mention it before, I wanted to than Ron Gleason for his tip about towing and bending your knees forward it you start to get high on tow. It takes less effort than stuffing the bar. Another he gave for rigid pilots is to adjust your flaps during tow for the speed the tug is towing you. If you are constantly low, add a little flaps, is high take a little off. This is not something you due several times, just to adjust for the speed of the tug.
The scores are not complete this morning so I don't know how I finished. Several pilots are downloading their GPS's this morning. We should have the results by the pilots meeting.
When I left my tent this morning, the winds were lighter than anytime this week. Hopefully they will stay light enough so we can get a task that ends back at Quest. (this did not happen, we had another late night).
At the pilots meeting, David told the Jamie joke of the day. I can't repeat it and do it justice since there was a lot of animation and sound effects. Davis gave the weather and said it would me much like the first day except we should have more clouds. The task was a long dogleg with two turn points to try and keep us over landable terrain. Total distance 75 miles. Since the task was so long, the start times were moved up 45 minutes. The rigids had two start times, 1:15 and 1:30.
There are only 15 or so flex wing pilots now who participate in the race to the staging area. The flex wing pilots just wait for some of the carts to come back and make a leisurely time of it.
The launch opened at 12:00 and the lift looked really bad, especially on the course line. No one wanted to launch. The starting line was 10 miles away from Quest so you have to figure it would take an hour to get into position. An hour before the last rigid start time no one was towing. I jumped in line and was about 4th to tow. I pinned off in sink and found nothing until 800', at which point I was drifting over a swamp, away from Quest. I gave up and figured it would be quicker to land and get a re-tow.
I landed far away from the tow line so I would not interfere with the operations. I radioed James and told him to tell the people on the flight line that I was landing. What was really nice was they sent a car towing a launch cart to get me. I was barely on ground when they showed up. I put my glider on the cart, lay down in my harness and they towed me all the way into the line for a re-tow. The only down side was my head was 2' from the exhaust pipe all the way back.
I got up from the second tow but not very high. I knew things were going to be tough today when I found myself over Jim Yocom still over quest 45 minutes after he had towed. The flight went from bad to worse. I don't think I got much above 3,000' for the first hour during which I circled over fields to land three times. To add more misery, the end of my camel back came off and soaked me. This happened early, so I did not have any water to drink in flight.
Mark had a stuck mike and we had to listen to his vario until he was finally able to turn it off. Ollie was having as much trouble as me. We joined up over some scary unlandable terrain. I saw Bo about 1/2 mile away so I figured we should be OK. We did get up and we flew to together until the first turn point. I was much higher than him by then so I went off on my own. I flew the entire task except for the short time with Ollie by myself.
Mark landed 8 miles short of the first turnpoint. He called James on his cell phone so we new he was OK. From the turn point on, things really got good and I started enjoying myself. The lift was 700 to 900 fpm and I was climbing above 6000'. The glides were long and the sink was light. I only dropped below 4000' once and that was after the final turnpoint. There was so much lift the last 8 miles to goal I crossed 2000' high. There were 9 other gliders ahead of me. Ollie landed about 8 minutes after me. Our flex wing pilot, John, landed 10 miles short of the second turn point.
Ron Gleason and Jim Yocom beat me to goal. And to think I felt sorry for them when I left them low over Quest. Today was just a survival day. I came so close to landing so many times I was just happy to make it to goal. Jim said that the lead gaggle was able to get to 4000' at Quest and 5,000' at the start circle.
The red track is mine, the light blue track is Ollie. With the east winds and the light lift, we drifted off the course line than we liked. A lot of the zig zags were us trying to stay over landable terrain. Several times we had to fly straight east, into the wind just to stay over safe terrain.
Well it's late again so that's all for now.