Fly day 3 - Task Day 1.
Crazy launch – with lots of wind – folk just before me got hammered and thrashed. – They will have to tell the story. I got lucky and when I was on launch it was mellow and no worries.
Launch was fine and initial lift was fine as I went out to find that my right speed was not connected. I pushed out and got away from others and connected up and headed back and caught lift to 8k or so. At the top it was out to the Rock and I just made the corner. – A little save and then lift to well above El Pinon level and over it. I passed over El Pinon and was just a bit low to go direct for the wall so I went out into the middle of the space between El Pinon and Crazy and caught a nice thermal up and onto the mesa.
With the late launch I was scrambling to get up and get high to join the gaggle before start. – The start was the Piano plus 5K which meant that you could be near the edge of the mesa and leave to Divs from there. – There were lots of gliders in the start gaggle and I just got up to the base of them as we moved into start configuration.
This worked to my advantage because there were enough gliders behind me and enough in front for me to top off the climb and then head for Meguey. On that track from high I could see all the crew and where the lift was and it was inland rather than on the majority line which was out and closer to the Kings. – I just cruised along mega high comparatively and made good lift over the rim near Meguey. – From there it was a textbook run down the ridge using the “above the rim” line. – Been there several times so I was very comfortable and topped off all the big lift cycles.
Divis was nothing – I was high at that point and I topped up as well then back but now the pack and pickings were getting a bit thinner. – By the time I was at Meguey on the way back it was an R10 again that teamed up with me. – We took a deep line over the peak where it usually works but it wasn’t there. – This required a dive back to the wall and a bit of close work and pushing out until we both got it. – He had headed back first but I could crank closer to the wall and got to lead the way up and back.
At about 9 to 10k above he peeled off and I kept climbing to 11,500 or so before the end of the climb – by then a couple of other wings had joined me and I let one of them head out first – I just stayed high and kept someone below me as best as I could. By this time I was starting to get drilled and I was hoping for a bit of lift in front of the hills but didn’t find anything and had to bail over Saint Agustine at treetops plus a couple hundred or so.
I remember hearing from someone that if you don’t get up there just bail over because it can be lifty lea side and it is down wind and down hill so you will make Jovans for sure and maybe find a bit of lift. – That is what happened – a bit ratty but lift here and there and I drifted with a couple of others as we worked it as best we could till light lift and drift began to consolidate.
Now the fun – A nice big – likely the biggest of the day thermal developed right up and out of the flats just south and west of Jovans. – This boomer – Not mega lift but solid rocked all the way to 13,850 according to my leo track with compensation for launch altitude. – This was a new max height record for me! Yippee. It also made for a great high line for the second turn point almost 12,500 at Salcos and glide on return.
Even with that height and a bit of a lifty line/ convergence just before Jovans I wasn’t able to tag La Casa and had to settle for (not that I am upset – I am jumping off the wall) a landing in the soccer field by Jovans. – A quick fold up and pack and as I got to the road the van was just loading its last glider and up mine went and a quick retrieve to the lake.
At the lake I had my required beer and food. – The flight lasted almost 3 hours and 40 minutes with over 50k - 49.5 official score I think. We will see what tomorrow brings – Chances of getting as lucky two days in a row are slim – I will keep pushing but try to remember it is a XC flight with way points not a race – right Steve – keep reminding me.
All the best to all of you