Manilla 2010, day 3.

The road up to Borah was fine even after the 30mm rain yesterday, so we drove up and set up on the West facing launch. Some of the paragliders launched early and stayed up, but did not get very high. We got a 94km task with two TP, where the last two legs would be headwind.

After a bit of waiting we got off in a big gaggle, I climbed out and headed for the edge of the 5 km start circle. Grant, and Niel had already started, as well as Johnny. I was 5 minutes too late for their start so I hung back with Conrad and a few others to take the next start.

It was not exactly booming conditions, and we had a bit of a struggle getting up after the first glide. I got above the pack and glided off alone to a good looking cloud, I heard Grant on the radio climbing up under that cloud, and found a weak 1 m/s climb there. From there it was another long glide towards the TP, where a few gliders were marking the next thermal. I missed the core, and had to go back a few km, but there we got the best thermal of the day with 4,5 m/s lift up to 2200 meters.

I had now caught up and passed the gaggle in front, and could only see one glider in front. It was blue and headwind to the next TP, so I headed over to a paddock that had a fire burning in it, and got a few hundred meters there before gliding to the second TP where the conditions did not look very promising.

My VG had started to jam, and I saw that the pulley in the A-frame corner was not turning, the rope was melting the pulley and generated a lot of friction. I tried to leave the VG alone, but to glide headwind it must be on otherwise I lost too much.

I took the TP quite low, at about 800 meters (~400 above ground), and went downwind to the other glider that was drifting with something but not getting high. We struggled there for a while, drifting 5-6 km back, but we could see a group of paragliders getting up about 5 km upwind of us. It was very much a hit and miss glide, but I got a good liftline and managed to find a thermal and get up to 1800 meters just behind the second TP.

From there it was around 22km glide to goal, so I tried really hard to get to cloudbase, but the lift just died out and it was completely blue towards goal. It did not look very good, I started to glide hoping to find good air. I started off with 13,7:1 glide to goal, and got some good air while high and had it down to 12,5:1. As soon as I got lower the wind got stronger, and the numbers just got worse and worse. I get some broken lift and tried to get up a few times, drifting back, but could not gain enough height. The day was shutting down and I landed 8 km from goal.

Only Johnny got to goal, I saw Scott land in front of me on the next paddock, so I got 3. place for the day.  Not too bad, but it feels much better to be in goal 

It was the first time in many years that I’ve been flying with radio, it worked out well as we all could hear only each other since we set up Tone Squelch on our radios.

Today looks like a good day again, SE winds, 75% chance of OD so we might have to fly out on the flatlands.