Friday, May 11, 2007

Day 3

Well I am not sure how much better this place can get but we are all really enjoying the flying here. Today we had a vote on who wanted to come back here or land away and nearly everyone wanted to land back at paradise. We ended up calling a 107kms box task with 3 turn points progressively getting harder toward the end. Today was the first day that everyone had the chance of making the start and all but 3 pilots did the first start. Dustin, Jeff and I waited for the last start and I was able to catch up to the field by the 2nd turn point. The conditions here change dramatically on the first leg I was getting strong climbs to 11,000ft and then we had also some good climbs on the 2nd leg. When we got to the 3rd leg we had a headwind and the climbs were not as good and we were having troubles getting back through 6,000ft. I pushed low along this leg which proved to be a mistake as they guys that hung back in light lift got high and sailed over me. I rounded the last turn point about 1,000ft below Dustin and Dave and was forced to go down wind to look for lift. They headed straight crosswind for goal and were rewarded with a climb on the other side of the green fields. I hit a climb and then pushed low to try and catch up with Dustin and when I got there to his thermal I was really low. I saw a huge dust devil form just in front of me and I dove in there with my hands firmly wrapped around my carbon basebar. It is amazing the thoughts that go through your head at a time like this especially after hearing that Phil tumbled the day before in California. I was thinking I was high enough to get my chute out if I got into trouble but it turned out to be not so bad. Because it is so dusty here just about every thermal is a dust devil which makes it easy to see unlike the invisible ones that we are used too. I topped out to around 9,000ft 24kms from goal and then went on final glide. Dustin was much higher than me and out in front getting good air and I could tell he was going to make it easy. I got drilled and had to take another climb 15kms out to make sure that I would get in with a safe height. 5 Pilots will make goal with Dustin winning the day in 2hrs 22 minutes followed by me then Dave Cameron. The 2 Marks will come in a little later with a few pilots landing just short. I have flown 340kms in 3 days and have not packed my glider up yet how much better can it get? To find out you had better come here next year for a first hand experience.