The morning weather briefing was for similar weather to yesterday, with lift and cloudbase in the 4-5000 range and southwest winds aloft in the 20-25 mph range. No one was very happy about this of course. The task was a 1.5 hr MAT with only the start and finish defined, everything else was up to us. We started the launch earlier than the last few days which was encouraging. My first flight featured a nice climb to about 4000 feet and then a glide to a landing. A few others had landed back at that point and a few others followed. I launched again pretty quickly and the second flight went better. I got a climb to around 4800 and started at 3:10.
JimBob Slocum was right behind me and we both ran to WalMart for our first turnpoint, just upwind of the airport. I had a really good run there, finding a lot of lift lines and really good thermals, eventually topping out around 5000. I was feeling pretty good but the clouds didn't go over to Lebanon to the west so I turned back downwind towards Caesar Creek. I considering continuing downwind towards Harveysburg, but as I came over Caesar Creek I found a decent thermal and was drifting towards Waynesville, so I topped out that climb as I was in the Waynesville turnpoint and then decided to try a second run upwind to either Wal Mart or Lebanon. There were some nice clouds and I had followed Curt Lewis out of the Waynesville turnpoint (he was starting the task) and could see a few other gliders around. Unfortunately I quickly found myself alone and on a river of sink, not a good place to be. I once again saw glide ratios over the ground below 10:1 and quickly was picking out a field.
A lot of guys experienced unpleasant landouts yesterday with a foursome in one field spending some time with the local police and Kevin Anderson (192) visiting the local and state police, fire department and the three local news networks. I think that really colored a lot of decisions made today as a lot of people flew mostly within glide to Caesar Creek and landed back here instead of risking a landout. I found a big church with a large asphalt parking lot and a large grass area next to it, and landed in the grass. I figured I wouldn't have to deal with angry farmers that way and also figured odds were that a church would have a friendly welcome. I was right on both counts. I was greeted by a couple folks who gave me the address and then by Jared, a 16 yr old CAP Cadet, who helped me get the glider onto the parking lot and stuck around for most of the de-rig before he had to go help with Vacation Bible School. It was pretty easy and unfortunately Leah and I are getting pretty good at putting Joan on her trailer.
At supper tonight a line of strong thunderstorms passed through, so the field is pretty wet right now. Preliminary scores were just posted and it looks like 3 pilots exceeded the magical 30 mile mark but 10 attempted the task, just missing the 1/3 requirement for having an official day. So unless some magic happens overnight, tomorrow will be Day 2 Take 5. With a 60% chance of storms Thursday and Friday and our last day on Saturday, the mood around here is pretty low. Hopefully we can get a day in on two out of the three remaining days.