I forgot to mention this in yesterdays report. To add insult to injury, after I landed I set my harness down on a fire ant colony. I looked over after 2 minutes and it was completely covered with ants. It took me 10 minutes to get them out of all my gear. I did not get bit today so I must have removed most of them.
I have been getting to bed late these last few days. By the time we have dinner and take care of all our gear it is past 10:00. One of the benefits of making goal is you have about 2 hours more free time at the end of the day.
I'm not certain, but I believe yesterday was Ron Gleason's first win at a class 1 comp. Congratulations Ron. We drove over to the Chevy dealer to pick up Jim's car and found out they found something else wrong with it (or it could have been the cause all along). They said the wires to the fuel pump looked bad and they need to change them. He may be able to pick it up tomorrow.
This morning when we left our shed, the winds were stronger than any day since we arrived in Big Spring. We were all sure we would get a down wind task. The weather prediction for today was for south winds 10- to 12 knots and cloud bases at 9,500' later in the day.
The pilots meeting have been a little shorter than usual. I think David Glover is running out material for his comedy act. There is a story line he has been keeping alive about Dustin and some French girl he met at the European championships. As we predicted, the task committee called a 88 mile down wind task to an airport just south of the town of Lubbok. The start times were the same as yesterday, 1:30 for rigids and 2:00, 2:15 and 2:30 for flex wings.
A few clouds started to form at 12:30 and the line to tow formed up at 12:45. They changed the start rule at the last minute. You could now start before the first start time and still get speed, and arrival points. I had a nice straight tow upwind behind Bobby. He let me off in lift and I climbed to 6,200'. Cloud base was about 7,000', but I was not able to get that high. 10 or more gliders were in a gaggle 3 miles from the start circle when I decided to leave early. I was at the top of a thermal and I did not want to get low before the start. Bruce followed and got low. I climbed up to 7,000' and went on glide.
I just about landed on this first big glide. I climbed back to 7,000' from 500' agl. The lift was far apart and the climbs were slow. I was happy to find 400 fpm. Bruce had climbed up and was now in front of me. I followed the clouds and stayed well up wind of course line. I tried my best to stay as high as possible. Almost landing early my me worried. I never saw another glider until 50 miles from goal when I came in over Bruce, Davis, Jim Y, and another glider. Davis followed Bruce and I took a slightly different line to some clouds that were building. I could not believe it when I caught sink all the way to the ground. I flew under at least three clouds that were building and found only sink. I was 38 miles short of goal.
In past years they called the conditions in Texas "Florida on steroids". This year I would call it "Florida on Prozac". The cloud bases have been low and the lift less than half of what we saw last year. The clouds and lift were much better in Florida in April. I was hoping for some stronger days, but with all the water on the ground, I think we are going to be stuck with this weak lift and low cloud bases for the rest of the meet. I looked at both my and Bruce's flights for today. His average thermal was 230 fpm, mine was 229 fpm. Last year it was over 600 fpm.
Bruce was second into goal. Russell was first. Davis pimped off Bruce for close to 70 miles. Bruce said no matter what he did, Davis was right on top of him. Just before the final glide, Davis missed a core and Bruce was able to out climb him and beat him into goal, which was a small victory for having to have to drag him so far. It looked like most of the rigids made it into goal. Maybe Davis should have pimped off of Russell, because Russell was flying Davis' old glider and beat him in to goal.
Mike Barber was first into goal for the flex wings, but he was not sure if he was the fastest. He took the first start time. It was possible that someone else who took a later start time could have a faster time.
On the home front, I found out that Nancy (my wife) brought home a new dog. The first I found out about it was when she wrote an email to me that the new dog was going fine. It seems that every time I leave her home on one of these trips, she adds to her zoo. She later told me she is only taking care of this dog for a couple of weeks, but you know how that can go.
This is Bruce's track log for today. I would post Davis', but it would look the same.