We went back to the Chinese buffet for dinner.  Wally pack it down again.  Jim Y. came along as well and said he liked it.  We heard some people at a table near us talking about which town was better, Big Spring or Midland.  The one thing they could agree upon was that Big Spring had a better Chinese restaurant.  

We had quite a thunder storm last night, lots of thunder, lightning and rain.  It was still raining off and on at 7:00 this morning.  The local forecast is calling for thunderstorms off and on all day. 

The task committee called a 60 mile triangle.  Davis said the lift should be good with climbs possible to 8,000'.  Jim Yocom looked up the soaring forecast and said the climbs should be weak and lift to only 4,000 agl.  

We started launching at 1:05 for the 2:00 start.  Jim's forecast was much more accurate.  I spent and hour between 3,800 and 4,300 feet in very week lift (ground level here is 2570').  I was in the worst death gaggle since I started flying.  We had 30 to 40 gliders circling less than 2,000' agl with very little vertical separation.  I could hear other pilots yelling at each other.  I was yelling at other pilots.  I had way to many close calls.  The worst part was, the tug pilots kept towing pilots into this mess.  I moved several times only to have the gaggle form around me.  I looked out on course and saw we had to cross about 8 miles of very rough terrain.  I was only 1,400' agl and had enough of this disaster waiting to happen.  I went on glide to try to work around the bad terrain to the south.  I made it 2 or 3 miles and ran out of LZ's so I landed, glad to be back on the ground.

The task committee made some good calls all week, but in my opinion, today was not one of them. 

Vince