The day didn't start off very well after Bill had his epic "glider malfunction", falling into the trees after gift-wrapping himself right in front of launch...I was next in line to launch but stood down while he was extracted from his tree. He was totally OK but the glider, not so much.
|Cruising the flats.|
Once on the flats it actually got better despite it being very windy, simply because of less rotory stuff to deal with. I saw Marty in the skies behind me but nobody else so I kept on, and was able to stay high using a series of fields that had oodles of dust devils breaking off every few seconds.
|On final glide.|
The flats were actually working pretty well and it felt much like the Camrose flying I had done last week, so I was completely comfortable with only stopping in the strong stuff. The rest of the flight was pretty easy as I skipped from cloud to cloud and doing 70+kph downwind on 1/3 bar.
As I approached goal at the Woodlake airport I started radioing to find out the wind conditions and where the proper landing spot was. I was getting nothing on the radio and starting wondering if the lead gaggle had already landed, packed up, and were gone back to HQ...I was convinced I was last into goal.
|Arriving at goal. Was wondering if the goal vans had already left ;)|
Marty flew overhead and landed at the airport, so I walked over, fully expecting to find a vanload of pilots already waiting, and was fully surprised to find out that nobody else had made goal and I was actually here first! I was totally shocked as I hadn't even conceived of the idea that the lead gaggle had gone down short of goal and I had overflown them. But hey I guess even I can make goal when almost nobody else does; too bad the day is so devalued due to the multitude of minimum distances and not enough people in goal to get a 1000 point day.
|Marty and myself with the airport staff.|
The day was very hard in the beginning with having to be patient with the climbs and taking anything that was going up, even if it went in the wrong direction. And the wind meant landings in the valleys could be exciting, so I had plenty of incentive to stay high until I reached the relative safety of the flats. It was another quite technical flight but very rewarding to make goal. Too bad there wasn't anybody else besides Marty to share it with ;)