Tuesday, 15 May 2012

A Paltry 100km flight from Leckhampton

Well what a weekend it was! We had a couple of good days of good weather and everybody was out making the most of it. On Saturday we had a northerly wind and good thermals predicted, the northern pilots mainly chose Long Mountain as a launch point, whereas the southerners chose Leckhampton. I managed a 103km flight which is a pretty mediocre result compared to what others did, in fact not even in the top 20! See here for the flights logged that day, in total 6000km were flown by 80 pilots which has got to be some sort of record in itself. Kai Coleman did a fantastic flight of 243km and Simon Twiss managed the coast at Weymouth for 150+km. The next day on the Sunday we had strong southwest wind and Kirsty Cameron took off from the hill behind my house (Milk Hill) and flew to near the Norfolk coast taking the open distance women's record to 233km from Helen Gant's record of 166km set the day before, amazing. I was an hour too late and found it too windy for me to climb out safely.

The North-South cup is this weekend but to be honest the weather forecast looks pants ..

Monday, 7 May 2012

Respite from the Rain

The spring weather has been atrocious in the southern half of the UK this year and flying opportunities have been few and far between. Yesterday we did have a respite from the never ending rain and I managed a nice little 50km flight from the Malverns.

On glide with Steve Ham crossing the River Wye
A quick climb out from launch to base just after 11am saw a good 20+ gliders start their XCs together and several gaggles quickly formed. There was quite a lot of cloud and huge areas were in shade which meant conditions were quite fickle and difficult in places. Our gaggle chose a more northerly line towards what looked like a better looking sky. It was below freezing at cloud base and we got snowed on; I was uncontrollably shivering I was so cold (an important lesson to wear warmer clothes). Several low saves later we landed in the same field full of lovely ancient oak trees. The other main gaggle went further to the south towards overcast and murky conditions, they managed Abergavenny and beyond so did better than us ... We also could have done better but I'm not sure I could have handled the cold for much longer.

My new Icepeak-6 wing arrives soon - I can't wait.