|The "7" is still visible...late-melting year!|
The HG task was to Spilli and back, about 116km OR. With the SW winds aloft I wasn't sure about doing Spilli and back, but I was gonna try Harrogate and back (90km OR). Once in the air I made an interesting discovery...it wasn't as lifty as the skies would make you think! The lift was all scattered and it was hard to get to cloudbase which was on the low side to begin with (2800m). So it took me forever to get high enough for the glide to Pagliaro, and cost me some valuable daylight time.
|Looking across to Pagliaro.|
The winds were SW but not insurmountable, but combined with the low cloudbase it was hard to make progress southwards. But cloudbase eventually rose all afternoon, and I was able to get high a few more times; my highest of the day was 3556m (11, 600').
The shade was threatening to come back and I was having to dodge shady areas, hanging out on one side of a gap while the shade passed on the other side, or racing ahead of the shade. Just past Parson I decided to call it quits on the Harrogate idea and pulled the plug, turning around rather than fly into the wind into yet another chunk of shade.
|Looking south from 3550m.|
Of course the way back had a big shade cycle too...but I was doing 50-55km downwind and was easily outracing it. I had an awesome boaty glide from the 25km mark all the way back to Nicholson LZ and arrived with plenty of altitude, but not quite enough to make the glide back to launch and properly close the OR. But I didn't feel that bad when the HG's, on their way back from Spilli and trying to tag launch again for their final TP, couldn't get back up, and we all ended up landing in the LZ together. So in the end I had a 70km OR instead of the 90km OR I was aiming for, oh well!
|Racing the shade back to Nicholson|
The flying today wasn't what I would call "Classic Golden"; the climbs weren't the usual yank-you-up but were all waffly instead. But no incidents/accidents today, other than some broken downtubes in the LZ, and lots of smiling HG pilots in the LZ after finally getting a good day in!