11 January 2017

Day 1 - Dave

The forecast was for low, blue and windy conditions today.  Lift was forecast to be 3-4 kts with top of thermals 5000 ft and wind in the 15-20 kt range giving a buoyancy shear ratio of 3-4 for the day.  End of convection was expected to be around 1800.

The lift forecast was pretty accurate, but max altitude was about 4500 ft.  Fortunately, the wind was lower than the forecast 15-20.  For the downwind first leg I saw about 16 kts wind and for the upwind leg it dropped to about 11-12 kts.  This helped as the thermals certainly didn't feel like it was a buoyancy shear ratio of 3-4.

The day started very slowly and launch was delayed from 1300 to an eventual take off at 1410 with a change to a newly created Task C for the day.  I was 8th to launch today and was airborne at 1415.  Off tow I climbed very slowly to about 3500 ft and 45 minutes later we eventually climbed through 4000 ft. (airport elevation 570 ft).  There was a lot of milling around the start gate waiting for things to improve, but they didn't.  At 1545 most in the 18 m class started on our 282 km task that I expected would take about 3 hours to complete - remember that 1800 end of day?  Well we were now 45 minutes past time to leave to be home by 1800!  As it turned out, the day kept going and the last finisher in 18 M came home at 1941.

The picture below shows my barograph trace for the day and the rather low day we had racing in the blue.  It reminds me a bit of the Provincial competition this year up at Toronto Soaring.

It turns out I was able to keep moving along throughout the course and never found my self too low or in serious trouble giving me a 2nd place on the day.

On the third leg towards home, I was by myself after having been with a large gaggle for the first two legs and when I couldn't see anyone ahead of me, I started wondering if they had left me in the dust and were racing home ahead of me.  It was nice to hear the gaggle calling their 10 and 20 km inbound calls when I was crossing the finish line :)


  1. Great start to the contest! Hope the weather improves to typical Aussie boomers!

  2. Great flight Dave! I watched it live (no sleep...) and noticed your lonely westerly route pay off handsomely! Congratulations!

  3. Great result Dave ! I followed the tracking until 1:30AM. Some pilots caught up on first leg, but their speed steadily decreased on the second leg as they were pushing low, and your speed decreased less, and you seemed to work a higher band. I was apprehensive at the late start and thought you were going to run out of day...

  4. Southern Ontario training pays off! Great result -- keep 'em coming!

  5. Congratulations! Exciting to see such a great result! Nice to have a big "yee-haw" moment at the finish ahead of the gaggle.
    :) margaret