Today looked like a great day at launch. The forecast was for over development to the South. As the photo shows, it did. This didn't affect the flight today though.
The task set was a simple downwind dash to Clifton 58 kilometers Northwest of the launch. Dave & I were far enough down the launch order that we decided to use the East launch to avoid the hold-up of the launch grid. It worked out very well as the cycles up the launch were perfect & we were able to setup and launch at the time we desired. I went first & found a nice thermal right over launch. Dave followed immediately.
We worked the same lift for about 15 minutes until I jumped to a better thermal & bumped the top-of-lift. I decided to head over the back with 3 or 4 others. We found some weak lift along the way but things weren't booming the way the sky indicated they should. I found some lift & the gaggle flocked to me for about 1500' of climb. When the lift faltered I headed off & was getting 7 to 1 glide with a groundspeed of 50 kilometers/hr. Unfortunately, the lift suddenly became sparse. I was with 2 others in a beautiful valley (called Emu Vale, we were to find out later) scratching to save ourselves. A Boom Sport (David from Italy) landed and watched me as I tried repeatedly to climb out. Once I was down to 700' above the field and found a bit-o-lift that allowed me the titillation of climbing to 900', but the drift in the 9 kt. wind was too much & I couldn't clear the ridge behind me. . . I landed 10 meters from Italy David.
Davis S., meanwhile, left the hill after me but was in better shape & made it farther down the courseline than I. It was a tough day & we didn't go as far as we wanted - but that's the challenge ;-)
The clouds were spectacular today. The CBs to the South merged into one and became a supercell that eventually dropped rain on the campground around 4:30. I am not understanding the micro climate here. I've been let down by conditions that seemed to be better than they were. I need to stay with a gaggle that knows what it's doing, but with the individual starts that we've had the first two tasks, it's been very hard to pick your gaggle.
The week is shaping into a good one, with conditions for tomorrow looking very good. I hope to make goal tomorrow.