Nick, ST – Day 10, 15 Aug
The weatherman predicts a blue day, but the sky is full of CUs. Mind you they are not working very well. I usually go exploring between release and the start gate opening to figure out what conditions are like and today I find myself back down to release height in sink wondering if I’ll be going for a relight. Not a good start.Lift is weak and cloudbase is at 5500′. Our team captain, Ed, is looking at the visual satellite picture and reports that the CUs are localised within a 60 mile radius and it’s blue to the south.
Seeing a good cloud alignment for the first turn, and the start of thinning of the clouds, I start early. The first two legs are slow, and just when I hear the Belgiums starting, lift improves and cloudbase has increased to 6500′. Started too early again… I go down the third leg until I see a good cloud street aligned for the fourth leg, but this cloudstreet is short lived and it turns blue with a few wisps. I meet up with some gliders near the fourth turn and get near an 18m gaggle going south too. There’s surprisingly good lift in the blue with a few wisps and haze domes to chase. A 6 kt thermal to 8600′ allows me to get the last turn and I just need to bump to final glide height on the way home with a tailwind. A 100 km from home, and a few bumps and slowly get onto glide path. Overall a slow day for me, just touching each zone for 386 Km, at 109.5 Km/H.