The forecasts were quite bad for flying for today, and we had rain and gusts waking me up during the night, so when we woke up to completely overcast skies, wind and cold temperatures, nobody thought we would be flying. The task briefing showed some more positive signs on the RASP forecast, but it still felt like a untaskable day.
We got a 113km task downwind via the SUCK turnpoint (Which did not improve the mood among the pilots :-)) with goal at Tullibigeal. I was among the first to take off, but since the conditions were predicted very weak we had elapsed time instead of the normal race start, so we could take the 10km start at any time withouth having to wait in the air. This meant that if we got up all the early pilots would get going on the courseline so it was not a big disadvantage to start early.
As I was laying down on the dolly ready to take off I noticed a dustdevil in front, picking up and turning over Blaino’s Dragonfly tug that had just landed to tow Olav Opsanger who was next in the other line to my left. Blaino was OK, the plane was slightly damaged and needed a new prop as the engine was running when it hit the ground, I heard it was back in action a quick propeller replacement later. It was quite suprising that we had a dustdevil on a completely overcast and dark day.
I released from tow thinking it was still just a matter of staying within glide distance to the airfield so I could re-launch once we all landed again, but I found a weak thermal in the shade a few km downwind and soon had a few other pilots joining in the same area drifting with the wind and climbing very slowly to around 1400m.
I met up with Thomas just at the startgate after 10km, and we flew together with a few other pilots for the next 50-60km in broken and weak lift, but as we passed the sucky area with the turnpoint we could see a bit less clouds ahead and a few tiny cu’s were forming under the higher clouds.
I met up with the Olav’s as we were getting closer to goal, and we started to speed up a little as we were getting caught by the pilots who startet later than us and used the improving conditions to catch up.
I had a 13:1 glide to goal 16km out, with 15-20km/h tailwind, but got a terrible line with massive sink, and got very low 4km out, but finally found a turbulent thermal 100m over the trees that gave me enought height to glide to land in the thistle-infestet goalfield. The Olav’s came in just behind me, with Thomas and Erland dribbling in later.
113km and the whole team in goal on a overcast day that nobody thought was going to be flyable – How good is Forbes?
We drove through rain and a gustfront on the way home, and the forecast for the next days are rain, so even less chance of flying – But who knows, maybe we get another race under the clouds.
Results will be here;