Friday, August 19, 2011

Ager August 19

Pics of Ager can be found here.

Finally I got to fly!

Hot and stable-ish, but it was flyable which was a relief from the heat in the valley.  Bombed up and down the main ridge and then crossed the valley to the other side, before landing next to Camping d'Ager and a dip in the swimming pool.  Flight is here.

The ridge here is very imposing with all the exposed rocks and the strong bullet thermals coming through.  But it's very reliable...you don't have to turn at all and you are able to stay up just fine.  There are actually two ridges with a bench in between, which makes the larger in-back ridge a bit bumpy with all the rotor coming off the front ridge.  The front ridge works just fine as well, and the thermals off that one are much smoother and nicer.  But since it's lower you end up bombing along at a lower altitude than the back-ridge pilots.  I'm curious to see how the start gaggle will form with a whole ridge to wait on (assuming the start will be on the ridge in the first place)...will it stay as a ginormous cohesive merry-go-round, or will it be spread out a bit?  With all the cliffs around I'm hoping pilots will be sensible and not be playing too close to the rocks.

The flats in the valley work too...I found this out as I was trying to land and kept climbing back out.  Good to know if I ever get low!

The heat here is enervating...you want to fly just to get away from the heat on the ground. Every time I got low I could feel the heat radiating up and would have to unzip until I could thermal back up to a cooler altitude.  Today was getting to 2400m or so.  I'm told it will heat up again for tomorrow (predicting 40C) and then "cool" to 35C on Sunday...OMG!  Thankfully I'm flying with lots of water ballast in the strong conditions here...at least I can drink it!

Most pilots stayed local due to no organized retrieve being offered today; a few went farther afield and eventually flew back.  Most did the ridge run and then crossed to the other side of the valley since there are turnpoints out there we may use during the comps.  Discovered the open-class 2 liners can do the crossing much easier than me ;)

Tomorrow is another practice day, and then things start for-real on Sunday.

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