Manilla 2010, Day 6

Similar conditions to yesterday, but with clouds. We got a direct line task to goal, 120 something km, 5km goal circle. I got off and up easily, and waited around under the clouds for the next start gate. Many pilots took the first start gate, and I was in the position to do so, but having markers out front would be good and I expected to catch up. It seemed like a good day, nice clouds, good lift in the start gate, and not too much wind.

I left with Johnny and a few other pilots, we went on glide and got some good air but it was not enough to stop in. I saw a gaggle in front over the hills where the Boggabri Gap is, and went on a glide under them – That was a mistake as I could not find the lift under the gaggle, and nearly landed there. I struggled to get up there for a long time, and the shit thermal I was working did not get me anywhere near cloudbase. I lost sight of everyone else, including the gaggle I started with, and knew I had lost way too much time there.

It would not have been too bad by itself with that low save, but I had a horrible run for the rest of the flight. I was alone and out of sync with the conditions and could not find anything usable under perfectly good looking clouds. I nearly landed again halfway through the task, I was unzipped and ready to land next to a waterhole when a thermal released off the treeline next to it and got me slowly out of there again. After struggling on in more crap lift for the rest of the task I finally got a good thermal off the big forest next to Narrabri, and got to cloudbase there. This was the first time I was in cloudbase since the start circle, and also the first relatively smooth thermal since the start.

From that cloudbase it was an easy glide to goal, with good air I had 25:1 glide in and came in with around 15 gliders before me. Johnny won the day again, and will be in the lead again, I will probably fall way down the list. Tomorrow is the last day of the comp, looks like a good day on the forecast.