Saturday, January 26, 2008

Killarney - Task 1

The morning dawned very dewy and overcast with little appearant prospect of good flying. We had the pilot meeting at 8:30 & decided to meet at the top of the SE launch at around 10:30. When we arrived at launch, the cloud was at launch elevation with drippies falling. Patience paid off, though, and the weather improved. A short task was called that overflew our caravan park & then drove downwind to abeam Warwick for a total task of around 63km.

I launched around 1:30pm and flew down the ridge, scratching a bit until I connected with some good lift to cloud base. The area was really looking good at this point with abundant cumulus clouds and some streeting. I was right behind the lead gaggle of 15 and in a loose group of 6-8 gliders at various altitudes. At one point, the lead gaggle stalled in some rather weak lift & I stopped short of that gaggle to work some 3-400'/min. lift.

Soon I was at the height of the top guys in the lead gaggle & my lift was waning, so I took my chance to reenter the lead gaggle. I hit the gaggle about halfway up the stack but found nothing to warrant a circle. This was the end for me & many others. The whole gaggle went on glide & many of us never had a peep on out varios beyond that point. The wind in the valley was blowing at 10-13 kts. so the landing was fun but very uneventful.

Dave got caught in the launch order queue for about 15-20 minutes behind me & didn't have much company for his flight. He was able to hit the first turnpoint at the caravan park, but landed fairly close.

As always the locals were friendly & in good spirits (It is Australia Day) and we had a great debrief at the pub & a feed at the rec center. I've asked a few Aussies what the celebration at Australia Day is commemorating, and the best answer I get is that it's a chance for a three-day party. . .

I don't know the scoring yet - I hope to do better today. The weather looks like we may have more wind & a nice cumulus day.
(EDIT) I just got back from the pilot mtg. & I went 17km of a 63km task - not great but good enough for 25th place (3rd in the DHV 2 category). Only 9 made it to goal due to the scratchy conditions & strong valley winds along the courseline. Today looks good & I'm off to launch -

Fly safe -

Tim

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