Hay, NSW, Australia
Today is rest day, as we have had 6 days of flying. Everyone seems to be quite tired, so it’s a good idea to have a day off before the two last days. My right hand is quite stiff and sore after flying the glider with a right turn in it for many hours. I finally got it sorted out yesterday, so now it goes straight. Seems like all Litespeeds come out with a right turn from the factory, it has something to do with the way the sails are made. The sprogs and consentric rings are set to compensate that from the factory, but some gliders like mine still needs some adjustments.
Gordon is fixing his glider, it needs new divesticks, otherwise it’s OK. The harness also broke from the deployment forces, he’s got a proto M2 harness, with a carbon backplate that broke. It was not properly reinforced around the load areas. Davis Straub had some extra carbon and epoxy stuff for the ATOS, and Mike Barber know how to fix the backplate. Yesterday Gordon borrowed Steve Moyes glider, and Zypy’s harness.
Yesterdays task was 265 km SW, to Hopetone in Victoria, pretty long task… It was quite windy at the paddock, but light higher up. It was alos quite stable, and totally blue until late afternoon when a few whisps formed. People started towing quite late, and I got up around 15:00. It was bumpy on tow up to 100 meters, and the totally calm sinking air all the way up, I towed all the way up to 2000 feet, when the tug pilot waved me off. I did not find anything until I spottet Atilla circling low over the SE corner of the tow paddock, glided in over him and got up to the inversion at 1000 meters with the rest of the gaggle. We drifted outside the startgate at 15 km, while working broken and weak lift up to 1500 meters. I was in the middle of a gaggle with 15 pilots, and we glided off on course. I got hit by some turbulence with full VG, and lost some height doing a 360 in sink to get back on course again. It was a long glide towards the gaggle ahead, and I arrived at the bottom, only to find sink. That was basicly it, went downwind over some waterholes and treelines that might trigger thermals without any luck, got a small thermal that triggered off a truck that passed on a road i crossed, but I was down to 30 meters, and could not drift with it into some ricefields. I landed around 30 km out, It felt unbelivable. It’s a small comfort that lots of people never got out of the tow paddoc. Some cheated and went back to restart after landing out near the towpaddoc, I could have done the same but I did not think it was allowed. (There’s a big discussion about this today, many pilots thought like me)
Nobody made it to goal, Davis came close and landed 17 km before goal, Gordon flew a little over 200, and Andreas 170 km. Gerolf and Atilla landed 30 km before goal. We got home by 1:30, so it was a quite good retreive. (We did blow a tyre though, not one day is boring out here. A new tires is only $90, wich is cheap compared to European prices)