The pizza party last night was a great success. David ordered 20 pizzas, which were quickly consumed by the horde of pilots not used to free food. For the first time since arriving in Big Spring, I wore shorts and was quickly regretting it when the mosquitoes arrived for their free food.
I felt a lot better last night after making goal. Unfortunately, I am so far down in the standings I wont be able to place in the top three. I learned some good stuff about finding lift yesterday and hope to be able to use it from now on. I still need to work on finding good lift lines while on glide (more often just lines of weaker sink).
It was overcast when we went to breakfast this morning, but it looks like it is moving out and we may have a good day to fly. I told Jim if we did not fly I would do my laundry.
At the pilots meeting we had an Elvis impersonator for entertainment. It was Terry Presley's birthday so David Glover dressed up in an Elvis costume. He did his best Elvis impersonation, which sounded like a cross between Elvis and Bill Clinton. He told Terry that his wife had saved up for 10 years to by him a Hummer 2. Just then, a yellow one drove up outside the door. I looked like he was going to cry. But then a RC controlled model Hummer drove in and David said he got them mixed up. Terry's was the model. The real Hummer was just for display purposes. David also got all the women in the room to line up and give him 50 swats on his rear for his 50th birthday.
The task committee called two tasks. The primary was a polygon to the south west and back, 65 miles. The other was a straight down wind to the south to an airport called Rankin, 72.7 miles to the south. We got an entry start and two start times. We were hoping this would spread us out a bit.
The lift was a little hard to find after tow, but I got up and worked to the start circle. No one seemed to realize how far it was, 7.7 miles, or did not care. I worked my way toward the circle. All the rigids bunched up together 2.3 miles from the start circle. I started and no one followed so I came back a little low. Bruce started and everybody followed. He passed a thermal and most everybody stopped and left him. He made a big mistake at this point. He thought he started early and turned back to re-cross the line. He fell 5 miles behind.
To his credit, Davis led for several thermals. I even saw him go out on his own. The lift started getting better and better later in the day. Jim Y. had some really good climbs and he and Davis were in the lead for the first half of the course. I was a mile behind trying to find the best lines to glide. My big break came when I saw 9 rigids turning just ahead of me. Just beyond them I saw two huge dust devils with the dust rising 3,000' in the air and a cloud right over it. I could not believe that no one was over there. I glided right over the gaggle and hit 1,000 fpm for the first time in Texas this year. I climbed to almost 10,000'. After this thermal, Davis took a line to the left and Jim Y. and I took a line to the right. I hit two more big thermals that were greater than 800 fpm.
15 miles from goal I climbed to 9,800' and my vario said I had goal by 1,000'. I entered zero winds for my glide. My 1,000' margin slowly went down. I had to slow down to just above best glide to make goal. As I crossed there were about six other gliders crossing or just crossed. The airport looked really bad from the air. I saw a glider land in a field across the highway so I headed over. There was an irrigation line in the middle of the field so I figured it had some type of crop in it. It turns out it had 3 to 4 foot tall mesquite. I had no room to run on landing so I flared and dropped between some bushes. The glider that was in the field was Davis.
Five minutes after I landed Mark P. landed. I thought I beet him. He said he crossed goal 20 minutes earlier, before any one else, and could not get down to land. He took a line to the east of everybody else. I think that most of the rigids made goal. By the time we left the airport, at least five flex wings had made goal.
David Glover dressed as Elvis.
My track it in red, Bruce's track is in blue/green.
I still have dirty laundry.