21 January 2017

Day 7 - Dave

The A task for today was a 370 km racing task.  I thought it was a little optimistic based on my weather assessment.  After re-gridding the entire contest between 1145 and 1245 to switch ends of the runway and the 15 M class launch and struggle for the first 30 minutes the 18 M class was put on the B task of 280 km.  At the end of another low, weak, blue day, this was a good task, but it was a struggle once we approached Corowa and then moved south towards the final steering point.

The deviation that you see to the west on the third leg south goes over a small set of hills called the Warby Range.  These hills are often the best source of lift to get home.  Today they were working, but it was still very weak.  I can't imagine what it would have been like without their influence.

I started a few minutes behind a pretty good lead gaggle and chased them down most of the flight.  At the first turnpoint, I had caught up, but was 1000 ft lower.  With only a 4000 ft working band (ground to 4000 AGL) I pushed to about 2000 AGL trying to stay with them, but it was always weaker down low.  I found a couple of good climbs on my own and by the second turnpoint I was with a group of 3 other gliders.

At Corowa, I was down to just under 1100 ft AGL and found a 3.2 kt climb that took me to 3000 ft.  The three other gliders were a little further along track and seemed to be out climbing me, so I moved to their thermal for a 2.2 kt climb up to 3800 ft.  I guess I should have stayed where I was.

Another run to the feedlot at the north end of the Warby range for a 3.1 kt climb and from there a couple of more weak climbs to get on final glide.

On the barograph trace, you can see the grey part of the trace before the start where I was down to about 1500 AGL trying to get connected and move to the start area.  I was getting a little worried that I might have to relight, but was able to connect to some weak climbs and slowly move up and out to the start area.

Today's flight was good for 10th on the day and that moved me up 2 places to finish in 16th.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent results in very difficult conditions, Dave! Congratulations.