Much the same as the days before in terms of conditions, but a bit more sun from the morning. We got a 160 km task straight to goal. I got a long tow in very weak conditions, nearly had to go back for a re-launch but got up in some weak stuff and to cloudbase in time to take the third startgate at 13:30.
I saw a few other pilots taking the same start, but all were spread out quite far. I met up with Conrad after a few thermals, he got a ripper and got above me before a long glide towards a powerstation and the beginning of a overcast and shaded area. I got low there and spent the next 20 minutes getting back up to 1200 meters before spotting a dustdevil a few km ahead in the shaded are. I dived for it, found good lift in three turns and then it was weak and broken the rest of the way up. There was grass and leaves everywhere in the air from the dustdevil, but I could not find any stronger lift in the area no matter how much I was looking for it.
After getting high again there loosing another 20 minutes, I saw only a few small patches of sun on the gound, and overcast the rest of the way to goal. I found some lift, but it was not enough to climb in, and had to land 76 km from goal.
Today looks like a repeat again, very cloudy in the morning, windy from the SE.
The grey skies broke up at little, and we got a task of 77 km direct to goal at Chinchilla airfield. It was a bit more windy than yesterday, and with more overcast conditions it looked like a difficult task.
I got a great tow straight into a nice thermal and got to cloudbase donwind off the airport, where I pushed into the wind to get upwind on course when starting form the startgate. It was gray to the east where the wind came from so it was a balance of staying over somewhat sunny terrain, while not drifting too much off the courseline in the 35 km/h winds. I had an OK run about halfway, but soon found myself under some very overcast conditions and no good clouds ahead. I got down to 500 meters, and were going downwind before I finally found a very weak and broken thermal that took me up to a 15.1:1 glide to goal.
The glide varied around the 15:1 angle all the way in, and I would not have made it if I did not get a small bit of good air just as I came in over the end of the runway, it gave me 50 more meters and enough to get into the 400 meters circle and land.
So a bit better than yesterdays disaster, but I was still slow today. It was a pretty nice flight despite the windy conditions, I hope we get some more sun tomorrow.
It looks like a gray and windy day, there is a layer of thick high clouds in the sky shading the gound, but with some embedded CU’s. The forecast is for it to burn off and become better around midday. We’ll see, the briefing has been postponed to 11.
It looked like a repeat of yesterdays conditions, windy and strong lift. We got a 12o km task via one TP, mostly downwind. I towed up and took the second startgate at 13:15, and headed down courseline with a few other pilots. It was OK going in the beginning, but as we got closer to the TP we flew in under a layer of high cirrus clouds that shaded the area.
I got there in a bad time as the clouds were dying and conditions in front of use were shutting down. It looked a little better further to the north of the course line, and after getting up from low after the TP I gambled on going a bit more to the north for some good clouds. I flew with Dave May for a while, but we got stuck in really slow conditions and just drifted more and more off the courseline.
I got up to 1800 meters again, and glided for a nice cloud ahead where I could take a final glide, but as I got close it started to rain from that cloud and I had to divert into the gray overcast. I landed 18 km from goal, but almost 90 degrees off course.
So it was not the best start of the comp, but I could not say I did any major mistakes, the other pilots who made goal were either one start in front, or came after us and took a different courseline.
Great sunset sky over Dalby. We had an excellent practice day today, booming conditions but a bit windy. I found out I had no batteries in my instrument, it would not turn on at all. But I was already on the dolly, so I flew and practiced flying without vario. It worked out allright, and I stayed up over the airport for about one and a half hour just pushing into the wind and trying to feel the thermals. Cool flight.
Lars went downwind on the Malibu and I picked him up around 30 km down the road.
It was quite gray skies at Lake Keepit this morning, which was perfect for doing a few tows to train aborted tows. Apparently I did well as the instructor got out and asked me to fly solo. I did four solo flights, the first two was just a landing circuit, then the weather cleared up a bit and I stayed up for about 1 hour in weak thermals. The electronic variometer with audio stopped working after about 10 minutes, I could look at the mechanical one to stay up, but it’s a lot better to fly with audio. After landing and getting some water I took the last flight and stayed up for about one more hour.
Tomorrow I will fly a single seater Jantar Junior, should be fun!
It’s been really heavy rain in southern Queensland with some massive flooding in some areas. The competition in Dalby have been postponed due to the floodings. Dalby itself was not too bad hit so far, but there is more rain to come in the next few days. The new dates are 18 to 24/3. It’s a long drive from Sydney at around 1000km. Atilla said he used to do the “Queensland run” in one day, but I think I might want to stop in Manilla to maybe do some Sailplaning at Lake Keepit.
We got a 106 km task, via Baan Ban to a goal west of Narrabri. Blue day with low climbs, windy and difficult, I only got to 1600 meters ASL. I had a low save after gliding out of the start circle, just before the Boggabri Gap. Johnny was 10 meters below me and landed there, I got up somehow, and flew with a small gaggle of pilots towards the TP. Going to the TP was hard because of the wind, and it became a struggle to get there. I got above Conrad and a few others, and went on my own to the TP. We were 6 km downwind and with a 35 km/h headwind it was not an easy task to get there. I found some patches of lift, and that gave me the glide to get there. But I could not get up when I turned around and went downwind again. I saw Conrad getting up over where I landed 10 minutes later, and he got to goal from there.
In hindsight I should have stayed with what was left of our gaggle, but I was way above and needed only one good thermal to get to goal… Scott Barret won the day, I got tenth today. Seems like the day was fully valid, which is strange since the average distance flown was less than the nominal distance. Conrad is now in the lead, I”m in second and John Smith in third.
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.
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