The flying weather this morning does not look that great. Dr. Jack is predicting top of lift 3 to 4 thousand AGL, which is low for this area. On the good days we get 7 to 10 thousand AGL. The winds are light so we should be able to get an out and return or triangle. The only reason we would not return here for goal would be the chance of thunderstorms in the area.
The task committee called a 75 mile task for the rigids, 60.6 for the flexies and 40.6 for the sport class. Cloud base was predicted to be low, 6,500' msl, which is the lowest I have ever flown here in Texas. The predicted lift was 600 fpm so we should see 450 fpm out on course. The tow window opened at 12:30 and the first start was 1:15. The rigids had 2 start times and the flexies had 3. The flexies started 1/2 hour after the rigids.
The sky was still overcast at 12:30 so the all times were pushed back 1/2 hour. I was first to tow at 1:00. I pinned off in weak lift at 4400'. After a lot of work I climbed all the way to 5,200', wow, this would be the second lowest start I have had here. No one else towed for a while. I was in good position at the start with Campbell and Russell. I thought I had cut a fat hog and was at cloud base 5 miles out right at the start time. I finally realized I was 2 miles out side the start circle, it was in fact a 3.11 mile radius. By the time I made it back inside the circle, I was low and one of the last rigids to start.
The climbs were weak and low for most of the way to the turn point. I thought I was doing good to get to 6,000'. I was slowly catching and passing gliders. By the second turnpoint I had caught Davis and was only half a thermal behind Johan. It was blue at the second turnpoint and I got really low. Davis was there as well. He caught a thermal and I missed it. I continued to circle in zero sink at 1,500' agl and drift off course. The course line looked like there were very few roads and I did not want to go that way unless I was high.
I landed 19 miles from goal. Since days like today are my weak point, I was glad to make it as far as I did. As I write this only three rigid pilots made it with Johann first and about 6 flex wing pilots. I heard a lot of the flex wing pilots complaining about such a big task for a weak day. It is supposed to get better later in the week.
I got back late so I may add more to this tomorrow.
This is my track log for the day.