I found out how I got the rope yesterday (on tow). The tug pilot's vario had slipped into the control stick and when he pushed forward on the stick, the rope release hit his instrument.
I decided to celebrate my crossing goal first yesterday with about 1/3 of a cup of beer. Since I don't usually drink and I was a little dehydrated, it hit me so hard I had to hold on to the railing to walk down the steps. Bruce had to drive to dinner. Now you know why I usually don't drink.
I placed 4th for the day yesterday. Campbell has said in the past that you have to beat the next fastest pilot by 71/2 minutes if you take the first start time and they take the second. The top three finishers had beat me by more than 7 1/2 minutes. Almost all the rigids made it in yesterday. I think we will do a lot longer task today. Personally I like the shorter racing task as apposed to the endurance task. This is especially true since the last time I flew prior to this meet was last August at the Texas comp. All my flying muscles are still terribly out of shape. Bruce also last flew at Texas, except for a couple of short flights this spring on a borrowed glider.
Normally I don't eat much during these comps, but this year I have been treating myself to a nice dinner (mostly due to the fact that Wally and Bruce like to eat nice dinners as well). Still, I think I have lost a pound or two these past two weeks. So far I have only been to Dunkin Donuts once. The caterers are here again this year. Everyone I have talked to has been raving about the food. You could get dinner and breakfast for the entire comp for $156, which is a pretty good deal.
This is what the sky looked like just before we launched for yesterdays task.
The weather for today called for light winds and higher cloud bases. Lift should be like yesterday. The task for today was what some of us like to call the "romp around the swamp". We flew clockwise around the green swamp. Total distance was 93.7 miles for the rigids and about 10 miles shorter for the flexies. By the time you take into account all the maneuvering at the start circle the distance was well over 100 miles. Due to the longer task, all the times were moved up 45 minutes.
The clouds started to form at 10:30 and by the 12:15 launch time the sky was filled with nice clouds. I had a great tow and caught 500 fpm right after I released, in which I climbed to cloud base, 5,200'. Bruce was right with me today and we were in great position. Unfortunately, I slowly sank to 4,200 feet while Bruce stayed at cloud base. I was too low to take the first start. Bruce was still in good position so he started. Later, he was not happy with this decision.
I was right next to Robert for the first glide to the turnpoint. He chose a very good line and soon was ahead and above me. By the first turn point he was already several miles ahead. I climbed up at the first turnpoint with another pilot, but chose a different line to the second turnpoint. I flew this section all alone. I had one slow climb and a few gliders caught up with me.
On the second leg I flew with a couple of different gliders, but finally ended up flying with Neville. He glides really fast and would pull ahead, but I would stay a little higher. He usually found the area of lift first, but I would usually find the core first. We were climbing to cloud base most of the time which had risen to 6,700'. The glides between climbs was much longer than yesterday, averaging 5.5 miles. Almost every glide had me under 3,500' which was much lower than yesterday.
At the third turn point I saw a glider ahead of us. It turned out to be Campbell. I had passed him on the second leg and could not figure out how he passed me again. On the third leg, over the prison I out climbed Campbell and also left Neville behind. I took slightly different line from Campbell. I rounded the fourth turn point at 6,000' and when I changed my waypoint to goal, my 5030 vario said I had goal by 2,800'. I passed over Campbell just after the turn point. I flew the final 12 mile leg at 55 mph and the height above goal number slowly dropped to about 700', the height I actually crossed goal.
Bruce got low several times and I passed him at the third turn point. He said that nothing seemed to be going right for him today. Given his bad luck for the day he got extra high on final glide, expecting to hit sink all the way in. He hit lift and crossed goal at 2,500'. Yesterday he made goal by less than 100 feet (meaning he landed just inside the 1/4 mile diameter goal circle), just clearing the trees at the north end of the runway.
After landing I saw that I had placed third for the day. Robert and another VR pilot had beat me into goal. Since I took the second start time today, I should have a lock on third for the day.
After landing I jumped in the shower. When I closed my eyes to wash my hair I felt like I was still turning in a thermal and almost fell over. The feeling reminds me of being on a boat for a day then standing on solid ground.
Jim Yocom flew with a slower gaggle today, so he was not as fast as yesterday. He really enjoyed yesterdays flight when he was flying fast with Bruce and Robert. Tim Denton made goal today, his first goal in a comp. He picked a big day to do it.
I decided to eat dinner here after grabbing a quick sandwich from Subway. I have been getting my report done late each day and I just was feeling like I had no time to relax after flying. After almost four and a half hours in the air today, I needed a rest.
My track is in green, Bruce is blue and Jim is red. Bruce did not erase his track from yesterday which is why there is a double track at the top right of the map.