Today was the best day of the comp. Not only was the weather looking perfect for a good task, with moderate winds from the East-SE, but the thermal activity was forecast to be 3-4 meters/sec. (600-700 fpm) and cloudbase was forecast to be 2200-2500 meters.
A 115 Kilometer task was called to a little farming town called Millmerrin with individual starts. Dave got in the air earlier than I did and decided to head over the back early. I launched about 20 minutes after Dave.
After launch I went right to cloudbase and waited for a few other gliders to join me so we could head over the back, on course. I pushed out, raring to get some Ks behind me, but a glider behind and left of me turned in a good climb so I backtracked to join him in a climb back to cloudbase. I was feeling very good & liked the conditions as we proceeded along course towards Warwick.
From the radio calls, I determined that James T. was about 6 k ahead of me and James R. was behind me about 5k. Dave was out there somewhere, but very quiet. I pushed on & soon Warwick was behind me & I was half way to goal. Today was a good day to get & stay high. The clouds were streeting nicely & I was able to fly for 2-3k without turning & gaining altitude. I spent more time on speedbar today than any prior task. When it began to look like I would make goal I got a little more conservative and worked some lift until I saw 6:1 glide to goal. I pushed full bar & flew the last 6k at 50-60kph but still arrived with 800meters of extra altitude.
Making goal, finally, was great. I flew well today & made some good decisions. I flew more conservatively (SLOW) than I needed to, but this assured goal & that was my priority. 114K (71 miles) is my personal best & my time was 3:17 for an average speed of 21+ mph.
James T. made goal about 40 minutes before I did. James R. (who was demoing a brand new Avax XC2 (like the one I'll be getting in mid-Feb.) went 22k. but had good things to say about the wing. David got low just past Warwick & went down there.
It's Sat. morning, the last day to fly, and it is much more overcast than yesterday. We expect a short task so the party will be well attended tonight.