Dateline Chelan: Hot, Hot, very Hot. After a reasonable practice day the Open was underway today.
This year I have the honor and the anxiety of being “boy weather.” Calling the weather for a comp is more stressful than I had imagined. It is quite important to get many elements right so that the task committee can make a good task call. They have done their own weather but I had to dig deep to make wind calls and lift calls that help the task committee make their task call.
As the day progressed things were not working out. – Lift on launch was just not there. – It was hot and stable with winds out of the NE – The NE had been discussed as a likely dynamic but the stable nature of the day was a bit of a surprise. Top of usable lift was right on at about 12,000 ft on the flats but the lift was very slow at the
and didn’t top much above 7,500 which was meager at best for the river
Stinking High! - view from 12,000ft
A great deal of effort and skill was expended by those who made it up and onto the flats. Once established the reward of solid and enjoyable climbs to between 10,500 and 12,000 ft were common but not universal.
The challenge of launch was predicted and came to pass. – Many were challenged by the light and switchy cycles. – Hot and switchy – some spent more that an hour and a half trying to get off launch.
I determined to wait for the best of the day, likely just a bit late but I did climb out to 6,700 without much effort and then with a lifty line got deep on the rim above some very good friends who had found a little squeeker that was working. – I was able to center on them and boost out to well over 10,000 and slide up north and inland on a fine track that took me to lift gaining and passing 12,000ft. – Just lovely high.
I didn’t find the house thermal SW of Bridgeport so I ended on a terminal glide to a landing about 45k short of goal. – 2.75 hrs of nice clean work – much less effort than most. I made up by working hard at retrieve but from inside of the AC cooled van. Apologies’ to those who had to wait for us – it was a mega hot wait / hike for some.
All in all the weather turned out to be just about as predicted, (except the stable Butte climb) max altitude was dead on and the NE winds were challenging as expected on launch although the Strong S at altitude and late didn’t really quite manifest itself, though we did get a very nice task with 5 in goal and a good distribution over the coarse. – I scored 21st or so which is great for me. Much better than my stellar 60th at the Rat race.