The wind is blowing harder this morning than any day so far this week.  Some predictions are for 15 to 25 mph, others say no more than 15 mph.  No matter, a down wind task will be called.  The weather reports I check this morning show weak climbs to 6,800' (4,300 agl).  It is predicted to be blowing again tomorrow.

My neck and right shoulder are starting to bother me.  Looking up at the clouds for 5 days is taking it's toll.  Since I usually only fly twice a month, my neck and shoulders are never fully prepared for these comps.  I have tried a massage in the past but that did not help.  I'll just have to put up with it for two more days.

There is some talk by the local citizens of Big Spring of turning the old county airport into an ultralight/hang gliding flight park.  There is a lot of work that would need to be done.  The runway has bushes growing in it.  There are a couple of hangers there. 

My protest was rejected.  The only thing I can do now is appeal to the USHGA competition committee.

The tasks for today were a 127 mile downwind for the flexies and a 150 mile downwind for the rigids.  Davis gave the weather for today and the lift was supposed to be in the 500 to 550 fpm range and cloud base at 1:00 over the airport at 7,500.  So far if I subtract 2,000' from the predicted cloud  base that is what I end up seeing on course. 

The wind was blowing 16 to 17 mph when we launched.  It was a little tricky to get the gliders turned around and onto the cart.  My glider wanted to fly off the cart.  I had to keep all my weight on it just to keep it down.  I was second to tow.  Sure enough the lift was 50 fpm and cloud base at 1:30 was 5,500' (3,000' agl).  Just before the first start time the lift died and I lost 1,000'.  I went ahead and started at 2,000' agl, figuring I would find lift out on course since it looked pretty good.  I did find lift and climbed to 6,000'.  I could see two other gliders off to my left and three below me.  I decided to go on by myself.

I was able to dolphin fly under the cloud street for several miles, then the lift died again.  I searched all the way to the ground.  I made a total of 22 miles.  I guess my heart was just not in it today.  There was a better line I could have taken to the left and the second start time seemed to be better, but that's hindsight.  The drive back would have got me back at 11:00 pm and the gas would have cost $130 for the round trip.  Yesterday the gas cost us $56 just for the 88 mile task. The cost is just another reason most pilots like to return to the airport (when the weather cooperates). 

That's all for today.  I am going to enjoy my early evening off.