Sunday, April 18, 2010

Florida Ridge Day 1

Today was one of them days where it was hard to decide on whether to set up or just keep my glider in its bag. The task was set which consisted of a dogleg to a goal at Shell. I decided to program my GPS and get my harness ready and wait to see how the weather was looking. The window opened and pilots started towing so I had no choice but to set up and get ready to fly. Davis was up early and was reporting lift and cloudbase at 2400ft. It was looking more and more like rain as teh minutes ticked on. I decided to move back over to the tie down area as it seemed things were getting worse. Moments later it started raining and many pilots that were in the air came back and landed in the rain including Davis. I then decided to go for a fly after the rain front has passed to check out my glider and see if conditions were improving. All the pilots had landed so they moved the start times back 30 mins and I was first off. I towed to 700 feet checked my gps on which direction the first turnpoint was and saw that it was not going to happen as a huge wall of rain was moving in. I released and flat spun my glider down to the ground and quickly started packing up. Many pilots were looking at me like I was crazy because pilot were still towing and they day had not been cancelled. 5 mins later the safety commitee decided to call the day which was to late for some pilots who were now being sucked up infront of the rain. The tandem glider was up there and about 15 mins later landed in pooring rain as people on the ground were running around trying to pack up their own gliders. Dustin and Max a brazilian pilot could not get down and were forced to outrun the storm downwind. It turns out they landed safely about 30 kms from goal 1 hr later after the storm has passed us. Dustin reported 500 fpm lift all the way to the 2nd turnpoint flying with the basebar to his knees. The rained cleared and 2 girls were here for tandem flight from Orlando 3 hrs away. James had a great idea, sense there were so many tandem pilots here at the comp that he would line us all up and let the girls pick their pilot. So we lined up and when they came out of signing paperwork they had to decide on their pilot like it was a game show. They were asking us questions and soon enough one said who is the best pilot here.? Hmm I could not help myself so I mention the world ranking and that won me the birthday girl. Jamie whispered something into the othe ones ear and soon Alex was picked. So we both went up for an instructional tandem flight with the girls. We are now just chilling at the Ridge doing what pilots do whe there not flying. Tomorrow