Today was the first task in the Sprint race. Weather conditions were looking good with top of lift around 6500 with stronger winds above at 8000 ft in excess of 20mph. The task was called and it was pointed out that it was the longest task the sprint has had. At 42Km this was the type of task I was looking for again, not too long and not too short. Not that I have made goal yet but the longer the task means that more people are spread out and the air is less congested.
The sprint always follows the Race in this event, at least to my memory, and this meant the start was scheduled for 2:15 with 3 start gates to spread out the pilots even more. This was not an issue today as there was plenty of lift around launch. I launched at 2:00pm and quickly got to base which was nice. Still was a little windy but once at base I only had 3 minutes before the race started which was even better! No hanging around in the sky for an hour or so.
A lot of people had drifted back behind launch with the thermal and got to base while I had pushed out to the valley a little and then thermaleld up to base. This meant I was positioned well for entering the 1.5Km start cylinder around Squires and then onto tag the first point which was again Squires with a 0.4Km cylinder.
Prior to the task I had outlined my plan to a few other pilots. Get high at launch, glide to tag first waypoints and back, get high at launch again, transition to Burnt, get high again, push out to Rabies ridge, follow the ridge around to the peak, get high again move out to Sugar L gliding and returning to the ridge again to rabies then over to Burnt, get high and glide to Donatos.
The plan went pretty darn well today I have to admit. In fact I was leading all the way out to SugarL. Once on Rabies ridge it took a while to find lift. I was flying straight over the ridge get about 100 ft/min up. I got high over the peak and pushed out to SugarL. I arrived there too low for my liking and had to scratch around a while with not that many landing sites that looked good. However, with the West wind I managed to find a screamer that took me back to cloud base. It was quite funny flying back to Rabies ridge with a lot of folks flyng towards me!!! That’s what you get for being in front I guess.
I transitioned to Burnt and still could only see one other glider flying with me. When I got to Burnt I noticed a whole bunch flying low below me. I thought where the heck did these folks come from>? Turns out it was the Race pilots on there way back looking for lift at Burnt.
They quickly found it as they saw me hitting a good one and climbing fast. I had a good chuckle to myself looking down on boom 9’s and IP6’s climbing up below me. I was cranked pretty hard over trying to keep the tight circle that these guys were flying and stay above them but it was not to be. They quickly gained ground on me and I had to give way leaving the lift at around 5200ft.
By now there were about 5 gliders of the Sprint that had caught up with me. I saw Rich Hass and Randy close by as we all now looked for lift. I wasn’t getting that high and when I saw Rich push out again I followed him. We both arrived near Cemetery low and had to look for lift. It was very light. I saw Rich go even lower and I decide to saucer my way to the next ridge.
When I got there there were only weak bubbles and nothing to take me higher. I landed in a nice big field like a butterfly. 1:45min in the air and 32.7Km travelled on task. At last that’s what my Flymaster said.
Turns out that it registered that I had hit Cemetery even though I hadn’t. Going to talk to that with Jug today! I got picked up by Sarge in the bus and headed off to goal to pick up more pilots. I couldn’t believe it when I heard that Rich Hass had once again made a low save and got to goal! Darn it. He came in 3rd so it was a little disheartening to know that I could have been in the top 5 today also.
Never mind, tomorrow is another day!