Woodside September 19

My first flight back in the Fraser Valley after getting back from Spain.  It's definitely fall; the thermic window is much smaller than last time I flew here a couple of months ago!  Cloudbase was quite low all day, but 1050m was enough (barely) to cross west to Sasquatch, arriving at just over 300m before finding lift.

The west wind was just kicking in at Sasquatch and cloudbase was still low on that side, but Alex and I were able to head to Deroche.  (Miguel and Rob also went across but ended up landing next to Harrison Bay.)  The spines were producing quite a bit of turbulence, and the spine between Deroche and Big Nick is especially un-nice in west winds (when you're low).

I opted to turn around at this spine after getting my highest of the day (1300m) and watching a bunch of high cloud move in, while Alex kept going and got around the other side of Big Nick before turning around.  The high cloud shut things down and it was a bit touch-and-go as to whether I'd make it back, but I found a thermal back at Sasquatch which gave me the extra oomph I needed to make it back to Eagle Ranch (it gave me 200m, and I arrived back over the LZ with 200m to spare!).  In the end I got just over 28km in XC, while Alex did 40km.

Alan over at Bridal reported 1300m and there were also people flying Elk earlier in the day.  Nice clouds all over and the wind never got up too much (except around the corner at Big Nick).  Lots of people were out today to enjoy the possibly last really good day of reliable thermals and XC potential, although I'm sure there will be additional thermic days between now and the November rains.

Ager Women's Open, September 3

Skies were too stormy and very strong east winds so we canned the day.

So in the end we had 4 valid tasks out of 6, and by Chris' reckoning, we flew a combined total of around 3000km this week.  Many goal virgins, personal bests, and those who it was their first comp, so many happy faces at the prize giving and party this evening.

Overall, 1st was Yayoi on her Ozone M4, Laurie on her Sky EOS, and myself on my Gradient Avax XC3.  I also came 2nd in serial class behind Yayoi.  Garnered some swag including a free parahawking tandem next time I'm in Nepal ;) (fortunately it doesn't expire!).

All the results and photos can be found (eventually) at the Women's Open website.

Well tomorrow a group of us are off to Barcelona for 4 days, and then I'm off to Halifax for some family visiting.  After all the flying and competing I've done over the past 2 weeks I'm a bit flown out, so am quite happy to put the glider away for a bit!

Ager Women's Open, September 2

Wx wasn't looking good (t-storms predicted later as the cold front moves through) so the day was eventually cancelled after mammata spotted and increasing winds on launch.  Most pilots went on the famous gorge hike while I laid by the poolside since I did it last week.

Tomorrow is the last day and then a group of us are heading to Barcelona for some sightseeing!

Ager Women's Open, Task 4, September 1

The skies started off similar to yesterday but with no potential for rain, so we set another task that kept us around the Ager area and not over the back.  SE winds in front of the ridge meant getting to the start took a while for the slower gliders but there was plenty of lift as the cu's started popping despite the overcast about 15 minutes before the start.

I had an excellent start and was actually ahead of Laurie and everyone else until on the way back from the first TP when her superior machine passed mine.  At that point it was basically a race between the 5 or 6 of us behind her and we raced around the course, landing in goal in 1:24 or 1:25.

We had about 11 pilots in goal today and the skies stayed friendly all day.  Swimming afterwards at the Camping pool and a BBQ tonight!