Thursday, April 19, 2007

Flytec day 4

Day 4
Today was not looking great with the forecast of 250 fpm lift and 3500 ft agl with 10-15knt wsw winds. This made it very hard to select a task as we can not go down wind from here due to Orlando airspace. We decided on a 72km crosswind then downwind task to the North east.

We had a visitor to the launch line today!

We has some amazing sky’s before launch with high winds up high there were heaps of wave clouds they were rolling through like waves on the ocean.

After a 30 minute delay we take off and to our surprise we find great lift and we climb to about 5,000ft agl. I was beginning to think we had under called the task but when we did the start gate we glided into the shade and soon we were all scratching in light lift. We caught the 2pm start on the first glide and soon there was a death gaggle of about 50 gliders turning in less than 200 fpm.
Gerolf along with the Brazilians and a few others decide to glide off and I did not want to get even lower and try to thermal with all these pilots at low altitude. Luck has it they hit a strong climb from low in the shade and over a lake and by the time we got there we missed the good part of the climb and dribbled in light lift before gliding to the turn point in light rain.
Kraig and I arrived there at about 1500 ft agl then we glided down wind with wet gliders for a few kilometers before hitting a light climb. As I did my first turn the glider dove out of the sky and realized that the glider was not flying sogood and this climb was now going to be a zero climb rate.
I struggle at 1200ft agl with a death gaggle of about 15 pilots including the French combat team. We will spend the next 25 mins drifting in zero for just over 15kms with a height gain of 50ft. Eventually we hit a forest 17kms out from goal and the thermal kicked to 3-400fpm. This will be the best thermal for the day and will get me into goal in 3rd place behing Gerolf and Robin.
Only 3 of the guys that were in front of us made goal plus the gaggle I was with with a total of 14 pilots there. Many of them landed after the turn point, were the weather was very difficult. Lets hope the weather will improve as it can not get any worse than the last 2 days.

Here is Gerolf landing at goal after winning the day.