Monday, June 18, 2007

Rat Race Day 2

To view today's flight, go HERE

First I should explain what it is we are actually doing - Each day a task is set with waypoints that we have to cross. The goal is to make it to goal & get there as fast as we can. The start is a timed start - which means that we are not allowed to enter the start cylinder prior to the start time. All times begin at the start time so it's best to be right at the edge of the start cylinder at '0' hour. Points are awarded to those that fly the entire course the fastest & those that don't make it around score less.

Today's task was a couple of valley crossings and then another downwind leg to Mule-LZ - the same goal as yesterday. I have not made goal to this place in two tries so today I vowed to fly conservatively and make it to goal, no matter the time.

Dave & I launched about 45 minutes prior to the start window opening. We topped a couple of gigantic gaggles with 60-80 gliders at times. My luck was good & I topped a good bit of lift just prior to the start & was in good position to tag the first point & jog East 1 mile for the second point - A great start to the task.

I started getting excited & reminded myself to slow down & fly smart & conservative - I tanked up on altitude whenever I could. Yesterday I was never below 4000' & enjoyed the low stress flying - today I wanted the same. This flying style is more enjoyable but slower. Today I lost at least 15 minutes in a 30 minute period by climbing in thermals that were not necessary at that moment and actually drifted me downwind awayfrom the fix I was heading towards.

My final glide was not going to be the 'death-glide' I had yesterday. I needed help & was only going to fly if others were with me. At the top of a good thermal over Woodrat Peak, I chided the guys in my thermal - "Let's go" & we all took off for goal. We spread out to look for lift efficiently & I eventually found a shard of lift (I think a cougar farted) that slowly bloomed into a solid 400'/min. I climbed 2000' in this thermal & was about 6 miles from goal. My GPS said it would take a 7.4/1 glide ratio to make goal. With the 10 kt. tailwind I had, this should not be a problem. With 3 miles to go the GPS said I needed 6/1 - I had goal made.

Yesterday everyone at goal got beer - the landowners said no drinking, so today I made goal & I got a big smile. Both Larry from Springville & Dave S. made goal ahead of me.

Total distance of the task - 24 miles

I'm in 71st place at the moment - Scores are here. Hopefully, I'll be consistent this week & climb the ladder.


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