Thursday, November 19, 2009

Gulgong Classic Day 5

Today was looking worse than yesterday but there was a chance it would improve later in the day. We decided on making a later task with the conditions and set a short 103km task down into the Beautiful Glen Alice. I was the first one to open the hangar doors and pull my glider out with my harness still attached from the day before. It sure is nice not having to set up in the 39 degree heat that we've been having. I launched first and climbed out in a 600fpm climb to 8,700ft asl. I guess the day was already much better than we expected. I flew around with Atilla for 1 hr before the start gate before he left me and went downwind for the start. I headed back towards the strip for a cloud that formed but never got the climb I was looking for. Then I hear Atilla say that he was starting and I thought that I did not really have much choice as it was 20 min intervals today. I was 8 mins late and lower when I started than the main gaggle. I hit a good climb only 2kms outside the cylinder and topped out at 9,500ft. I now had only 8 mins to wait for the next start but I was 3kms outside the cylinder so I left and headed out as Atilla called a climb 7kms in front of me. I hit a climb with Chris Jones downwind of Atilla as he left high above us. We climb good in a solid 900fpm climb to 10,000ft and raced off after Atilla and the others. They all went way to east to the clouds and Chris and I stayed more on course line. We were rewarded with another 1000fpm climb almost to cloud base which was high above me. Atilla came in 2,000ft above and topped out and headed off down the course line. I left below cloudbase 58kms out from goal and glided for a big cloud that was dumping some rain just past Rylstone. I tried to go around the rain to the west but Atilla was higher and went straight through the middle on course line. I got through the rain and still had a 12:1 glide to goal so I kept going. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Chris just on my left wingtip. I thought that I had left him behind in the last climb but he must have gone straight through and caught me again. We had great air and actually climbed for about 5kms and ended up on a 7:1 to goal. Tim was at goal telling me that there was a East wind at 15kph which meant almost straight headwind. I was thinking that he was confused with East and West being that he is in the southern hemisphere. I must have been in convergence ans Chris went a little more right and climbed even higher. I got my ass kicked coming into goal as Tim was right and I was now diving in to rotor behind the scenice Blue mountains. Chris and I will cross the line to the second taking 1hr 47min with Atilla winning the day in 1hr 40 mins. Next in will be Ollie about 30 mins later followed by another 7 more litespeeds. It was an amazing day out today achieving some new PB's and seeing the scenic valleys and cliffs that belong to the Blue Mountains. Looks like similar weather tomorrow but a bit more wind..