The mosquitoes attacked again last night. When I leave here I am going to end up looking like a connect the dots picture. I long for the good 'ol days of DDT ;-)
I think I am approaching my maximum soreness level for the meet, or at least I hope so. I don't want to hurt more than I do now. In northern California where I normally fly, we usually fly the ground since we seldom get clouds on flying days. Here we have been flying the sky and I spend most of my time looking up to try to figure out what clouds are working. My neck and shoulders are taking the most punishment.
The scores are not finished as of this morning. I can't move up from 7th place unless someone ahead of me bombs for the day. I am 300 points behind the next person ahead of me. I have been gaining about 100 points a day. There are only two days left. I am going concentrate on just making a good run around the course. Even if I were to win the day, I would not move up more than one place.
The weather for today is supposed to be about like yesterday, but with a little higher wind speeds. I checked Dr. Jacks and he said no clouds and lighter lift. The soundings showed good lift and 6,500' cloud base. A 77 mile task was called for the rigids and a little shorter for the flex wings. The task was to the north 12 miles then back south past Wallaby and finishing back at Quest. The Rigids had an extra turnpoint to pull us to the west a little more and keep us away from the flex wings. Launch opened at 12:15 and first start time was 1:00.
When launch opened there were no clouds in the sky. I started to think that Dr. Jack had been right. The first climbs was slow and I topped out at 4,000' which was higher than I thought I would. Suddenly clouds started to form and all the rigids formed up in one gaggle one and a half miles from the start circle.
I thought I had a good start, but at the first start time it looked like I was last (though I did see a glider low, which turned out to be Jim Yocom). I caught 600 up and was fat and happy, then I looked over and saw the rest of the gliders climbing at 800. I got a good line to the second turn point and came in over the slower gliders and caught a good climb. I climbed 1,500' higher than them and went on glide. Bruce was just ahead of me and I soon joined up with him.
We flew well together the rest of the flight. I flew a little slower and would have a little better glide. He usually found an area of lift first, and with both of us searching we quickly found the lift. Once we joined up, I don't think we got under 4,000' the rest of the flight. We did have two thermals that we missed which cost us about 15 minutes.
We crossed over Wallaby at 5,600' and saw a kingposted glider turning. He was wearing a cocoon harness so I figured he was recreational flyer from Wallaby. Bruce and I approached him at 50 mph. Bruce joined him in lift just like he would any other comp pilot and I think it freak him out a little. He turned away from the lift and waited until we had climbed above him until he moved back into the lift. We did help him out a bit by showing him a better core. We topped out at 7,200' and headed for the final turn point. We got the turn point and crossed back over Wallaby at 6,600'. We passed at least three rigids with that good climb.
At 20 miles out Bruce's instrument said we had goal. My glide angle into goal started getting worse and I realized we had to get one more thermal. I had a slightly better line than Bruce on the way to goal. I found a good 600 fpm thermal and Bruce came in under me. There was not much left for him and I headed into goal. He had to do some more searching before he found enough to get high enough to make goal. I think I placed third, I saw only two rigids on the ground when I crossed. Bruce crossed a couple minutes after me.
Jim Yocom had a tough day. He was low more times than he wants to remember. He did make it in, which is worth a lot more than landing out.
Bruce forgot to erase his track log from the past several days so his track log is not listed. Jim Yocom's track is in blue/green and my track is in red.
Wally, the Vince report roving photographer got this picture of me on the cart just before I launched for today's task.