I took another rotisserie shower last night. The shower stall I was using was next to the dryer vent. The warm moist air from the dryer seemed to confuse the mosquitoes so I only had to turn at 15 rpm instead of the previous days 30 rpm.
I have been getting a lot of email while I am here and I hope those who have sent me one can understand why I can't answer them all. If we get a goal back at Quest I should have some more time, but I will need to go to the store soon and get some more supplies. Yesterday I remembered all my cables for my laptop and was able to write most of my report in the truck on the way back, including downloading Ollie and my track logs. I'll try to do the same today.
The pilots meeting went smooth, no one had any issues with the way things have been going. Davis said the weather today should be a lot like the weather the first day. Climbs were to be in the 500 fpm rate with wind still out of the east. Since we have been flying to the northwest every day, some of the pilots wanted another direction. The task committee came up with a task around the green swamp taking the southern route and then back northwest to the Inverness airport. There were two turn points to keep us out of the swamp and over more landable terrain.
The rigids still had two early starts, 1:15 and 1:30. The flexies starts were 2:00, 2:15 and 2:30. By noon there were lots of clouds and it looked like it could be a good day. Campbell Bowen said it looked good to him and he loves flying the clouds. He has been trying to teach me what to look for. In Northern California, we seldom get any clouds where we fly.
Campbell towed first followed by Stump. Several other pilots got in line then me and Ollie towed. The lift was light and the drift was just a little strong, which had me worried. You don't want to drift too far west of hwy 27 and Quest as you fly south due to the swamp. Ollie and I hooked up together to the start circle. Stump was there for a short time, but his radio was not working again and I could not here his position reports.
Right at the edge of the start circle we joined up with Jim Yocom and Ron Gleason. I did not see any other gliders. It took us until the second start time to get there. I was wondering where all the other gliders were. It turns out they had drifted west and 12 or more gliders converged at the first turn point. Jim got low and was struggling and got left behind. I did really well and climbed all the way to the top of the gaggle with David and Alex.
Now it was just the three of us together for several more thermals. Johan and another pilot were just behind us. It was great flying with two of the best pilots in the world. I could see the line they were taking and what types of clouds they were flying to. The Atos VX glider that Alex was flying had such a greater glide, that neither David nor I could even come close. David's glider has a little more performance than mine and he slowly pulled away. Johan and the other pilot caught up to me just before the turn point. The clouds were working well and it was fairly easy to stay high. After the first turn point I seldom dropped below 4,000'
I got separated from them and was flying alone for a while when Ron Gleason caught up to me. His glider fly's so much faster than me if I try to glide with him, he just pulls away. He got ahead of me and I came in under him 13 miles from goal. It was a monster thermal near the top. I was climbing more than 1000 fpm when I saw him above me. He was getting ready to leave the thermal and did not see me. He turned and I did a radical diving half wing over. Even so I still was going up at more than 500 fpm. Obviously we missed each other.
I could he Ollie still in the air and working toward goal. Stump managed to put it down near the first turn point. 8 miles from goal, Ron took a few turns in a thermal and we were back next to each other. He just pulled in the bar and pulled away. He probably gained 2 minutes on me on that last glide. As I crossed goal I could see only Alex on the ground. There were 5 other gliders still circling below me. I guess I placed 7th for the day, but my time was close to the lead gliders. Yesterday I was almost an hour and a half behind the leaders. Ollie made it to goal about 20 minutes after me. Jamie Sheldon made goal to day. She was looking very happy.
John our flex wing pilot made it to goal landing at 6:00. One of Ollie's friend, Carl, got left behind by his driver. We are going to pick him up. We should get back by 8:30.
Today my neck was starting to hurt in flight. It was all that looking up trying to read the clouds. I think my body has reached the maxim soreness that it will for the comp, at least I hope so. Just about everything hurts. I flew 2.5 hours this year before arriving here, and I now have more than 15 hours in 4 days.
This is Ollie and my track logs. I stayed to the north west of course line to stay under the clouds. He went a little more to the left of course line which made for a little more work.