Sunday, August 19, 2007
This weekend I headed to Tollhouse with fellow SLOSA members Dave S. & Jack G. We all were looking forward to a good weekend of XC because the local conditions have been weak. Dave is flying a new Boom Sport & this weekend will be the first real test. It's also my first high flight with my new Ram-Race harness.
Saturday looked good with light S-SW winds forecast. The inversion looked like it would be weakened by 1PM. The task was a leg to the NW to 4-lane-turn at the NW end of Sandy Ridge, then to KNOB (in front of launch), then past Black Mtn. to Humphry's Station, then to Piedra - down by Pine Flat Reservoir. The task total distance is 26 miles.
I started off strong with a quick start & made it over to Squaw's Tit with moderate altitude. Alex & I climbed a bit to the inversion (at about 4500') & decided to head out ahead of the normal lead gaggle, which had found a bit of a hole. . . we made it to the first TP at 4-lane-turn. At this point, we were joined by Josh & Eric R. I found myself climbing alone in my thermal while watching Alec & Josh & Eric climb in a thermal slightly upwind. Their climb put them about 1/2 a climb ahead of me & I was comfortable watching from about 1/4 mile behind.
After hitting the next turnpoint I watched as A, J, & E headed due West over the back of Black. This course was upwind of the courseline by 30 degrees. I watched them as I topped out my climb. They really weren't doing that well so I headed directly towards Humphry's. By cutting the corner I saved some time & distance, but now I was flying over low terrain & risking my longevity on a flat-land thermal. I found some weak lift & was able to bubble-surf along towards the TP at an uncomfortable but adequate altitude. As I hit Humphry's, I saw Alex come in under me & we moved south to the low-lying hills on the south side of the valley. I was maybe 900' over the field & just loitered in bubbles until I got hold of a thermal that allowed a climb along the terrain. Alex tried to hang, but eventually landed below. It seemed forever until I was able to make a 360, but once I did the core carried me up to contact Josh & Eric who had gotten skunked farther South. The three of us carried on for the next 15 miles together. I wasn't able to use my speed bar (due to some new harness set-up issues) but I still stayed with the guys & was able to watch & learn from the best. I also did a pretty good job of pimping ;-)
About 5miles from goal Josh & Eric went into race mode & I was content to just make goal. Eric finished ahead of Josh by 15 seconds and they beat me by 7 minutes. I was so thrilled to be in goal with that kind of talent that I was happy to buy the beer.
Results: Flt time - 3:12 Distance flown - 26.2 miles 3rd to Goal behind Eric & Josh.
Dave & Jack had good flights also. Thanks to them for making the long drive to goal for the retrieve.
My SAT flight is HERE
Results will be HERE soon.
Sunday's flight was flown in challenging conditions. Lots of sink & lots of violent area of thrash. I can't say I was having fun, but I was enjoying the challenge. I made a slow, laborious trek down to 4 lane turn again & had the lead gaggle (which included Dave) in sight, but things weren't 'clicking'.
I found myself flying alone & got a bit more aggressive than I should've. I made a glide for the turn-point at the high school & tagged it low. I was depending on a suspicion, backed by some success of those ahead of me, that I would snag some lift. None developed & I put in to a small field with a nice big oak tree to fold up under. As I stashed my gear I watched, the more patient Dave, fly over head & proceed on course. Dave made it over Black Mtn to Nichols. His accomplishment doesn't go without notice on me - today was a hard day. He placed 3rd or 4th for the day. Not bad for a second XC on his new Boom. Jack made it to the LZ & was a big help in the retrieve again.
Results: Flt. time - 1:12 Distance - 10.1 miles - About 10 miles short of Goal,
My Sunday flight is HERE