It's only getting to the low 50's at night, but it sure feels colder than that. Moyes gave us a party last night with free beer. Paul Splan donated 50 pounds of smoked salmon. I am hoping my fellow competitors drank lots of beer last night.
The winds finally calmed down last night. There were no winds when I got up at 7:00. By the pilots meeting at 10:00 they were blowing 15 mph again. The forecast was for 15 to 20 out of the northeast all day, with top of lift at 4,000' and 300 fpm climbs. The goal for both flex and rigid wings was Avalon airport. The distance was 68 for the flex wings and with an extra turn point for the rigids, 85 miles. Launch was 1:00 with the first start time at 1:45 then 2:00 for the rigids and three later start times for the flex wings.
Most of the rigid wings were ready to tow at 1:00 when they called a 30 minute delay. There was some concern that the winds might pick up some more. They decided to let the rigids tow and if we did OK they would tow the flex wings. We were given a go at 1:30 and I was the third to tow. The tow was easy, but I think it was the glider, it must be the easiest glider to tow. The first glider was towed up to 3000', but I was waived off at 2,000' in what I thought was lift. I searched a mile down wind and started climbing at 100 fpm. The first start time came and went, but no one wanted to leave. We were still over quest with 7 miles to the start circle. Finally most of the rigids climbed to 4400' and we left.
Climbs were weak and far between for the first 15 miles, then clouds started to form with good lift under them. Once I hit 800 fpm and climbed to 5800' just south of Wallaby. I was between gaggles. Bruce was ahead with two other gliders and I had about 8 of them behind me. I had a really good climb and came in under Bruce's gaggle 1000' below. Climbs were good and I started flying faster. I hit 600 fpm down to the ground shortly thereafter, about 40 miles from Quest and 45 from goal.
I am really happy with the way my glider is flying. I was as slow as 23 mph in a thermal and the glider showed no sign of stalling, it was still very responsive. The landing today was in 10 to 15 mph winds. I just slowly pushed out and the glider just settled on my shoulders.
Bruce was the third rigid to goal behind Robert on the VR and the Ukrainian pilot flying the Stalker. About 8 rigids made goal and 10 flex wings. Bruce said the lift got even better after the first turn point. He did not have any problems in the section I went down, and he was only about a mile ahead of me.
This is Bruce and my track logs. I should have been a little less aggressive. It is a 90 mile drive back from goal so I had plenty of time to write up my report today.