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!
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.
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′.
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.
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.
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.