Thursday, August 5, 2010

15 Meter Day


Everything really clicked for Al and me yesterday. Cloudbase was only 2700’ above the ground, and we left 5 minutes after the gate opened at 3:00, both because the day ends promptly at 5 and we had a 2 hour task, and because the start gaggle seemed pretty dangerous to us.

We were able to click along, working from 2,500 to 3,000’, doing a lot of long straight glides. We worked together very well, each finding the core about half the time.

We had a bit of a low point after the first turn, but with a few minutes of fishing got right back up again. The gaggle caught us at this point, but we led out and never saw them again.

The last leg was a beautiful street, still 3,000’ MSL but right on course. Our twin clearnavs set us up for a perfect finish exactly on time. The street was clearly soft and the sky was bluing out however. We took two one knot thermals to build a little cushion on final glide, closed the vents and came on home in formation.

There were only one or two gliders on the airport, the sky was totally dying, and for a moment we let ourselves dream that we really had smoked the day. It was not to be. The winners somehow flew far over time, going to the back of the turnpoint that we nicked, and finding an even better street to come home on. Oh well, our speeds were still pretty good and 15/16 is still a decent performance. Yes, we probably could have saved several minutes with a more aggressive final glide, but on the other hand we’ve seen enough Hungarian and Serbian farm fields to last a lifetime. All in all a really good day.


John Cochrane (BB)