HCV at the Junior Nationals – day one

My first competition day!  I spent the morning rushing around getting everything ready, despite the weather not looking very promising.   Almost 70 gliders were lined up on the runway, a rather awesome sight!

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(view of the grid taken from the sniffer)

Launch was originally planned for 11 but kept being pushed back until we finally started launching at 13:15.

As I was on row 12, by the time I’d released from tow there were already gliders marking thermals (at this point mainly in the blue) so I managed to find a weak climb and had my first proper experience of gaggle flying!  Flying with 30-40 other gliders in one thermal was a fantastic experience, especially when at the top and looking down a funnel of gliders.

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(HCV ready for launch with Dan McCormak behind in KMF)

The weather didn’t look very good, even after having waited so long to launch.  I waited around the start for a while with quite a few gliders and set off with a bunch of them.  We flew 15k before finding any lift and by that time was at 2300′ QNH but luckily found a small thermal.

After that we seemed to be getting lower and lower finding little pockets of lift until we found a decent 3kts when at only 1300′.

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(Dan Welch thermalling in Arcus ‘EW’ next to the shower)

Several of us, including Tom Russell in 566, caught some nice lift right next to a massive shower which we somehow had to get round.

I didn’t.

After trying to skirt the shower, myself and another ASW19 got low and tried to join the same thermal as a glider a couple of thousand feet above us which was the only option around.  Expectedly it didn’t work very well so I soon found myself low enough to start picking a field.  The first thing I spotted was what seemed to be a little farm strip slightly uphill and directly facing into the 20kt wind.  I then saw a motor glider taxi off it towards a hangar by the side so this seemed proof to me that the strip was landable.

The strip turned out to be very smooth and had a very friendly owner who showed me around his two motor gliders whilst I was waiting for my trailer.

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(HCV pushed to the side of the strip incase any other gliders decided to land)

Rhoan, who had got back and won the day, very kindly came to pick me up so thanks for that!

I finally got back to the club at around 9pm and was pleasantly surprised after handing in my trace that I was 27th for the day!

Overall a fantastic flight during which I learnt loads.  With quite a few scrubs days appearing to be lining up I hope we’ll get some better weather towards the end of the week so we get some more flying in.

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Joe Roberts – first landout

Joe went for an attempt at his 100k diploma yestreday but, due to a combination of a strong wind and poor gliding weather, landed out after turning the first turn-point at Bedford.  Joe picked a lovely field for his first landout, a large and flat stubble field.  A good first experience!

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The First Post!

Right, so the blog is now up and running, and if it goes well will hopefully take over as the front page on the website. In order for it to work it needs you to update it showing what you have got up to at LGC or other clubs, and achievements you have made or just general gliding stuff. Hopefully you should all have received and email invite to join as an ‘author’ which means you can add comments, photos, videos etc. If you haven’t email Dan C and he’ll invite you in.

So now it’s up to you….

In other news congratulations to Rhoan to achieved his silver distance the other day with a flight to HusBos … and nearly to Dan I who was about 5 mins short of his 5 hours! For those of you working towards bronze and silver it’s a good time to get your duration flights done … remember it’s 2x flights of 1 hour on an A/T (or 30mins off the winch), 1x 1 hour flight and 1x 2 hour flight for XC endorsement and 5 hours for silver.

In the meantime some of the UK Juniors have created ‘Junior Gliding TV’ which has various flying videos which is worth a check out on youtube. So far there are 3 videos…….