Thursday, June 12, 2008

WCPC Day 4 - Task #3

The third task of the WCPC was a 63k task that took us over Rabies to Billy up valley towards Grants Pass then back to Jacksonville (Cemetery) then to the Woodrat Peak then an upwind leg to Applin.

The winds were generally North with the normal forecast for valley winds and the incumbant convergence areas. Today Woodrat got its pound of flesh by slapping & booting us in many places along the route. The first two legs across the valley & up to Billy were straight forward with some strong climbs over the high ground. The turbulant lift and strong sinky areas forced some into the lee at low altitudes. The long leg to Cemetary was challenging as the sink took many of us into the hills East of Burnt low. Many good pilots raced to the dirt here either into or returning from the Cemetery turnpoint. I had a low time with Jug and Babush but we were able to get up & back into the race.

As we headed to Woodrat Peak over Burnt ridge, we encountered a violent and strong left line along the convergence of the NE and the WNW valley wind. We got a nice climb and Jug & I tagged the Woodrat Peak turnpoint. Only one more leg to goal but a 16km.leg upwind made me wonder if a line along the convergence I had just flown over Burnt might be the route to goal. I didn't like the look of the flying I was seeing in the lee of Rabies and the fingers East of the Peak so I decided to give my idea a try. Jug didn't come with me, instead he flew a more direct line into the sinky lee of the ridge.

My route almost put me on the ground. As I approached the Burnt Ridge I encountered very strong sink and reached the ridge below ridge height in very turbulent disorganized air. I slowly worked towards the NW end of the ridge where I have had low saves before and manged to hang around for 10 minutes (it seemed like an hour) until a sweet but rowdy thermal took me to 7200'. I showed 10:1 glide to goal but had a headwind so I knew I'd need at least one more climb so I headed for the high ground over Rabies Peak.

Many of the leaders were grovelling at low altitude in the lee of the peak and on the foothills but I looked like I was in much better shape - or so it seemed. . . I saw Jack B. circling low but climbing so I headed for him (He was climbing in the turbulent lee - but I had to get up) As I approached Jack he was climbing much better & the sink I was encountering was really strong. I tried to find his ripper but had to settle for some rough lift. The late thermals were the kind where you thermal 1/2 of a turn and then sink for 1/2 turn, only to be blasted up 75' in the next 1/2 turn. I saw many impressive collapses today as the Rat bitch-slapped each of us. Fortunately I didn't get anything worth mentioning. My Avax XC2 handled beautifully in the challenging conditions.

It was at this point the wind really started howling from the NW down the valley. I saw 25 km./hr. at altitude and 20km./hr. at 1000'. I saw some really good pilots setting up to land & decided to join them. It had been a good flight of almost 4 hours, but I don't like scratching in winds of this velocity and turbulence of this ferosity. I landed in a big field with Brad G. and Dave W.

Marty won the day by a good margin, but my heros are the 4 Serial Pilots in goal - NICE JOB GUYS

I placed 17th today which puts me at 6th in the Serial Class & 24th overall. My starts have been very consistant and the bad decisions I've made have been easy to identify - which I hope means I won't repeat them. . .

Scores are HERE

Day 5 - Task 4 looks like it may be a bit more stable and light NE winds. . .


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