The weather this morning at 8am when I ran was extremely odd. There were cloud streets and buildups that looked for all the world like 3pm in the afternoon on a really good day, complete with at least a few towering cu’s. How those clouds got up there and got organized that way was a mystery to me. Unfortunately, those good-looking clouds did not carry over into the rest of the day. The forecast for the day was gusty winds, weak lift, and no inversion to stop clouds from building all the way to 40,000′.
At grid time, things looked OK if not great. John Lubon (JL) flying one of our club ASK-21’s was launched as the sniffer at 1pm, and he came back after about 30 minutes. However, he launched again with the comment that ‘it was almost there’. This time he found some lift and told the CD it was OK to launch the fleet, and so we started flinging sailplanes into the air. I was toward the back of the grid, and just as I got hooked up to launch, I looked over to my left to see CC (the ASK-21 flown by JL) landing, again! Hmm, is it a bad sign when the sniffer has to relight *after* recommending that the launch commence?
Anyway, we all got launched and milled around the start circle for a while, trying to figure out whether conditions were good enough to send pilots out on task. Lift was very weak and broken up, with cloud bases at about 2500′ agl. The CCSC soaring area is pretty benign, with lots of fields and lots of airports, so 2500′ agl isn’t that scary. Unfortunately we started seeing rain in all quadrants, and it kept getting worse, not better. After about an hour of trying to make something happen we eventually gave up and cancelled the day. A few brave (read – intellectually challenged) pilots flew around for a while longer until the lightning strikes out to the southwest got too close for comfort, and even they saw the light(ning) and landed. We gave it the old college try today, but it was just not to be.
Later in the evening we consoled ourselves by drinking beer and telling lies, followed by another great dinner in the clubhouse, followed by more beer and lies. The dinner was catered in by City Barbeque, by far the best BBQ I’ve ever tasted. City Barbeque is a local Ohio franchise started back in 1999 by a small group of award-winning BBQ enthusiasts with one store, and now has dozens throughout Ohio. I don’t believe they have gotten all the way to Hobbs yet, so you guys are going to have to get by with whatever is available out there ;-).
The weather forecast for the next two days is not good, so we may be left with a 2-day contest at best, assuming Friday and Saturday prove soarable – what a bummer!