Only three pilots did not make goal for the rigids yesterday, so I got hit hard in the standings. I received only 270 points and dropped 4 places. Every day so far in the meet I have flown by myself for most of the task. It has been very rewarding right up to the point that I land short. Yesterday I was ahead at the halfway point only to land shortly after that. Today I am going to try some things a little different. My glider is flying so fast now, it is hard to feel the thermals. I think I can still fly fast, but I think there is something I can do to find the thermals better. I will post it if it works.
Bruce did not fly with ballast yesterday, so he was amazed that Davis on his VX could not fly any faster than he was flying. He was certain that the VX had much better performance, maybe it's not the glider?
Gary says the lift will be much later today with clouds a little higher than in the past days. He is suggesting we go later today. As a result, the pilots meeting has been pushed back to 11:00 (instead of 10:00). The first start times will be at least an hour later.
The task committee called two tasks. The primary task is an out and return for 76 miles. The secondary task is a downwind task to an airport named T-Bar, 68 miles to the northwest. All times were moved back an hour. The rigid's start time was 2:00 and the first flexi start time was 2:30.
There were no clouds on course all day. The tow went well and I found lift shortly after release and climbed to 6,200'. I never climbed higher than 6,800' for the rest of the task. With the blue sky and light lift, it seemed all the rigids stayed in the same thermal for half the task. Davis pimped off Bruce again for all but 6 miles or so. Bruce and I worked together a lot today, but he usually out climbs me a little on each thermal.
Just after the halfway point, the gaggle split into three groups. One with Mark P, Denny and two other gliders took a line to the left. Jim Y, Ron G, Davis and another glider took a line to the right. The reason Davis did not follow Bruce was Bruce and I made some turns (submariners call it a crazy Ivan). For a second I thought I could see Davis' head begin to explode while he tried to figure out who to follow. Anyway, Bruce and myself worked together over a difficult section. We watched Ron land just ahead of us. We caught back up with Davis and Jim and Davis took his usual spot on Bruce's rear end.
Bruce was about 500' higher than Jim and I when he went on glide with Davis in tow. Jim and I stayed behind and worked to get a little higher. Bruce was lower than Davis at goal and had to slow down. Davis pulled in and just barely beat him to goal. Mark P. and Denny were already at goal. Jim and I were in a race for the also rans. We both flew as fast as we could the last 3 miles. Both our ground speeds averaged 85 mph for this sprint to the finish (we had a 12 mph tail wind). Jim beat me by 15 seconds. My glider never flew that fast before. After we landed, Jim Lamb crossed goal. All the VX's but one were at goal today. The conditions have been so light, the VX's have an advantage. All of us on the smaller wings have been hoping for really big lift to see how well we can do against them in stronger conditions. It was a good task call today. Given the light lift, I don't think we could have made the cross wind task.
Tonight is the pizza party night at the Super 8 motel, sponsored by David Glover himself. Bruce dropped Jim and I at our shed so we could shower. We hope to bum a ride to the party because Jim's truck is still not ready.
Nancy tells me everything is fine on the home front. She dropped off one of her African Pigmy hedgehogs today to get it neutered (how do you even find a vet that will neuter a hedgehog?).
This is the track most of the class 5 pilots took for the task. Somewhere near Key the main gaggle broke up.