Last night after we got back and set up our gliders, we talked Bruce's driver, Wally, into going out for Chinese food. He has only been out for Chinese food two or three times in his life. We just about had to drag him in kicking an screaming. The place we ate at was smorgasbord style. Wally took one look at the food and fell in love. We had to drag him back out when we were done, he did not want to leave.
The weather today was supposed to be scattered thunderstorms, and light winds out of the east, southeast. The task committee came up with two tasks. The primary task was back to Gains airport by Seminole, the secondary task was to the south west. Neither task came back to the airport. By the way, I talked to Terry Presley about his birthday present. He thought the entire presentation was a blast. He didn't really believe his wife bought him an H2 Hummer.
At the second pilots meeting (we have a second meeting at 12:45 to go over any last minute changes), there was an entirely new task with a new waypoint we had to program into out GPSs. The new goal was the Reagan airport in Big Lake. We all were frantically trying to get our GPSs programmed at the last minute. The launch and start times for the rigids was move back 15 minutes.
Today was my first tow behind the only trike that is here. It was quite a ride. I released at 1500', I had enough excitement for the day. It was a long slow climb to the start circle. I got to the edge of the circle 10 minutes before the start. Bruce towed early and was at cloud base in great position. Jim Y, Ron G and I started about 1,000' below. I never saw Bruce again. In fact, the only other gliders I saw for most of the way were Jim and Ron. About half way we went our separate ways. Every couple of thermals I would join up with Ron, but I never saw Jim again. I heard he landed half way.
Ron picked a good line 20 miles from goal and jumped a thermal ahead. I got stuck in a blue section. I really, really wanted to make goal, so I took several thermals of only 200 fpm just to make it in. Finally I hit a good one 12 miles out and climbed to 8,400' and had an easy glide in. The day was good, but not great. My average climb for the task was 320 fpm. I had several climbs in the 700+ fpm range, but I got low a couple of times and had to work weak lift.
Bruce took a completely different line to goal. He flew about 5 miles to the west. His average climb was 340 fpm. It took him 18 thermals to my 23. Davis was first to goal, followed by Mark P, then Bruce, Ron G, Ollie, Russell, me, Mark Stump, and Jim Lamb. I hope I did not leave anyone out. The flex wings started crossing goal one minute after me.
Wally said he talked to a flex wing pilot at goal to day who said he almost tumbled. The pilot described going past vertical, nose down. He went weightless, but the glider recovered.
Bruce's track is in blue/green, I am in Red. This really shows that the quickest distance between two points may not be a straight line.
I may not get my report posted tomorrow. We have the award ceremony, and I am going to help Jim load his DragonFly into his trailer for the drive home.