Tag Archives: forbes

Forbes 2011, Day 1

Looked like an OK day, but with some clouds moving in from the west. We got a short 113km task to Peak Hill, via 2 TP. I got in line and towed up in the middle of the pack. By then the cloud were shading the start area, and we could see further development to the north. I got a less than average climb in the start circle, and had to take the first start gate quite low at 1400 meters, with a group of 5-6 other pilots.

After taking a climb on the edge of the next clouds it started to rain, and we glided through some light rain to get the first TP, and then continued out to the edge of the clouds and sunny ground. Looking back I realized we had just passed under a towering CU, quickly becoming a nimbus, and within a few minutes we had the first lightning strikes just a few km away. I turned an went on a long glide to get away from the OD, it was not moving that fast, but I do not like to play with cu-nimbs.

I suspected the task would be cancelled, but I decided to fly the task at least to the last TP as that would take me away from the storm. Conditions were OK, and at the last TP I got a nice 3 m thermal so I could take a final glide back south under the shade to goal. The air was very unstable by now, and I had a hard time getting down on the glide.

Today looks OK, but there are some development already at 08:30 so it will be interesting to see what happens.

Warming up at Forbes

Today we saw 42 degrees at the Airport, it was much nicer to be flying in the cooler air. I flew a short 100km out&return, while Olav flew locally to check out his glider after Gerolf  had been very nice and spent some time helping him out to get better handling from his RS4.

It was a very blue day, but good smooth lift up to 2200 meters, it probably went higher later in the day, I landed just before 16:00 after a nice final glide.

The forecast for the next days looks promising, with very warm days.

On the road, and back again.

I picked up Olav at the airport late Monday night and we drove through pouring rain to the Blue Mountains, and slept there before doing the rest of  the trip to Forbes on Tuesday morning. The weather gradually got better as we got closer to Forbes, and Olav got a flight there in really good conditions in the afternoon.

This morning I got up at 04:30 and drove back to Sydney to get my glider out of customs. That went without a hitch, and i got a rather beat up looking glider box out of the freight company warehouse. Luckily I could not see any damage when I met Steve Moyeas at the factory and unpacked it. So around 12 hours in the car today, and tomorrow lookks like a good day for XC flying. I will get up early (Which is no problem because of jetlag), and have a test flight in the morning to make sure glider is OK, and that my new harness is all good.

On the road again;

On the road again
On the road again

Here’s something new at the airport in Forbes, there’s standing water! Olav said the area around the airport had lots of new small lakes. It will probably dry out over the coming days, and some of hte pilots said the thermals were much smoother than earlier years.

Wet ground at the airport
Wet ground at the airport

Last day at Forbes

The last day looked nice from the morning, but the forecast for thunderstorms soon proved to be correct. We were all set up under a great sky, and had a 146km task to the SE. I took the first start gate among most of the other pilots, and flew fairly fast down the course line under building clouds. I pushed hard, and got a little bit low halfway, but soon got up again. By then a Cu-Nimbus behind us had started dropping a lot of rain, and some lightning. There was another cell to the NW, but we could always run away from these. The problem was another huge cloud dumping rain in the area before goal.

The task was stopped soon after, just as I topped out at cloudbase, and I glided to a sailplane strip with some of the other pilots. We got caught by the rain, and had to hide under some sailplane trailers.

Blay Olmos won the comp with just 3 points on Johnny. The next day Olav and I drove to Mt. Beauty for the Bogong cup, it was a long drive, but it’s nice and green here, and a bit cooler at night.

Forbes, day 5 – 6

Yesterday we were supposed to have a 350km task, but he weather did not turn out as good as forecasted. The day was blue, with quite strong winds. The task was 260 something km to the NNE. I started towing early as third pilot off. We had 1 hour and 30 minutes of waiting in the start circle, and with the strong winds and weak lift it was a struggle at times, but it got better gradually.

I teamed up with Michi, Curt, Blay, and one of the Russians. We got a good start and stayed together for the first 100 km. It was stable and inverted and lift only to 1400 meters, so we typically glided until down to a 1000 meters, and then thermal up to the inversion again. It was slow going, and because of the strong winds it was not smart to get lower. We pressed 20 km upwind of track, as the wind was 90 degrees cross, to be in position to drift towards goal at the end.

At around 120km we went on a long glide towards some good looking paddocs, we had been aiming for the plowed and dark areas all day, and it had worked so far. Blay had topped out before us a few thermals ago, and we had lost him. I was upwind and highest with the Russian just behind me, Curt low to my right, and Michi downwind of Curt. We spread out in search pattern, but soon were low and in deep shit, and could not find anything. This was over a remote area, but there was a farm up front with a waterhole and some dark paddocs around. I aimed for downwind of the waterhole, in case it could trigger a thermal. But there was nothing, I could see the Russian had found something weak about a km upwind of me, but I was down to 150 meters off the deck, so I could not go there.

I saw Michi land next to the farm house, and I went downwind to the treeline at the end of the paddock, where I could land close to the farm. I got a shitty thermal off the treeline, and managed to hang on to it for some turns, and it improved to a nice 3m/s core. I was saved for now, but completely alone as the Russian was still struggling upwind, and did not come to my thermal.

This sucked, as we were going quite fast, and doing well in our little gaggle, we were doing good time to make it to goal, despite the slow conditions. Alone in this meant slowing down and taking all the lift I could find.

As we had pushed upwind all day I was now in a position to go more directly downwind, or so I thought, but the wind was at times actually headwind. I had to cross over an area with no roads, no farms, just trees and small grazing paddocs. I hesitated as going alone meant I would not make enough time to make goal, and the strong winds were not helping at all. Getting out of that area with no roads would be a pain. So I turned into the wind and landed next to a small town, actually going backwards on the final, it was howling. I landed holding the basebar, and had to hold my glider down while packing up or it would slide away.

Olav had gone very early, before the start gate opened, and landed 80 km out. Nic was doing well but pushed a little too hard and landed 50 km before goal. Not many in goal, and many of the top pilots landed out.

Today is a rest day, and the funeral service for Steve Elliot. Conditions look good, weak winds and cu’s forming in the sky. But we are not complaining too much from the poolside though.

Forbes, day 4, sick day for me.

When we came home from flying yesterday I felt awake and thought that the jetlag was gone, I was happy about it. But I soon found out that I could not sleep at all during the night. I felt sick and not very rested in the morning.

We got a 192 km task to the NE, forecast for cloudbase at 4000 meters, and 20 km winds.

Arriving at the airport we set up in the heat, 42 degrees today, and got ready to tow. I was number 7 in my line, and was again in for a good start time if I got up. When I got up to the start line, I had one pilot in front of me, and suddenly the wind switches around, and we get strong tailwind. It was a huge dustdevil picking up in front of us, and the two pilots that were coming in to land was caught by it. One pilot slams in hard, and is picked up by the ambulance. We’re told he’s OK, just have to be checked at the hospital.

The accident stops the towing for almost 45 minutes. Waiting in the harness in the sun takes it toll, I wanted to get up in the cool air, but by the time towing started again I was so sick that I decided to not push it. I packed up my glider and got a ride back to the hotel to take a cold shower and a get few hours sleep.

Olav and Nic made it to goal, I guess it was a fantastic day as long as you got up in the air.