Well today was a tough day for Team YYY. We gridded at noon and started the launch shortly after. The start gate opened at 2:10 and I was off immediately. Amy was catching a flight to Austin for the weekend so Leah took her there once they saw that I was off. I made great time to the first circle in Hillsboro and went west past the airport before I turned Northwest towards a big huge 2nd circle. I had some more trouble running crosswind which is typical for me and had one good low save around some mining areas north of Lake Whitney. I found a good core with a couple of black vultures and took it up to 5000 feet. I was feeling pretty good again and paid extra attention to staying high. I ran into the second circle until the computer was predicting me at about 10 minutes over and turned back. Well history was repeating itself again as all the sudden all I could find was lift. The landout options in the area were not as good as closer to TSA with lots of trees, mining areas, and a few pastures interspersed. I kind of hopped from one field to the other, spent a lot of time working 1 knot lift just trying to stay aloft, and creeped along as best as I could trying to stay alive. There was a big blue hole ahead that would have to be circumvented too, just to complicate things.
Eventually it was time to give up and I had two fields under me. One unoccupied cow pasture and a hay field with bales. To me the hay field seemed to have better access so I started to set up an approach for it. However I did a lousy job of setting up the landing, ended up way high and knew I wasn't in a position to fly an accurate enough approach to go between the bales so I side stepped over to the pasture. Leah was, at the time, stuck in traffic in Dallas but after some walking I managed to get ahold of someone at the house and all was well. Leah got some help from Hank Claybourn who came out on the retrieve and by about 7:30PM we were out of the field. We stopped for Ice Cream and supper at the Dairy Queen on the way home and the trailer was tied down by sunset.
There was no one left at the field when I got home but it appeared that a lot of the 1-26's landed out, many of them got aero retrieves home. I'm not sure how my distance will compare but we'll find out in the morning. It looks like Francois was the winner again today and Kevin Anderson, 192, managed to make it around even after he took a really late start. This is a great rebound for him after a real bummer of a day yesterday. I'm sure we'll have some great stories in the morning. We'll be up early to rig. Here is a picture of me and YYY in our pasture today.