Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Ager Women's Open, Task 3, August 31

Cloudy skies on launch with more cloudy skies to the south, so we made a short (50 km) task that would keep everyone on the ridge or in front of it (no going over the back, as it seemed dubious that there would be much lift away from the cliffs).

We originally had a race start but after watching the wind technicians bob around with some sinking out and others not getting very high, we changed things to an elapsed time task so that pilots could choose when to do the task according to when they thought it would be the best conditions.

I had accidentally left my Flymaster on all night after downloading, draining the battery to 0%.  Of course this meant it was dead on launch so I had to fly with my backup Garmin 76S.  Which is fine except for its lack of a vario function, which meant I had to fly the task using the Garmin's altitude readout to determine if I was climbing (or sinking) and by how much (and my backup Sonic died too so I had no audible beeping to help me along).  (I am now recharging the Flymaster so it'll be good for tomorrow!)

Time to stop the task?
So I had to fly the task the old fashioned way, by feel, which meant I had to be slower since with the very light lift it was hard to tell if I was actually climbing or not.  Slowly I made my way around the course and the skies were starting to change.  There was embedded towering cu's starting to form in the overcast and virga was starting to appear all around us.  Hmmm, time to land?  With pilots reporting rain at the penultimate turnpoint Nicky made the decision to stop the task.

Of course this now meant it was very difficult to get down as we all spiralled into the Camping Ager LZ.  The task ended up being cancelled due to the rules regarding elapsed time tasks and what criteria must be met in order for such a task to remain valid after stoppage.

So in the end things remain as they did after task 2, and we will fly again tomorrow.

Tonight is a belly-dancing class :)  More to report afterwards!

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