Miles in May Camrose May 19

Our tow group is in Camrose for our annual Miles in May, where we try to fly far and work on bettering the Canadian PG Open Distance record.  This year our tow team is myself, Alex, Peter Spear, Andrew Berkley, and Steven Semisch.  Many thanks to Brett Yeates, who despite being unable to join us this year, graciously lent us his winch and told us to fly far and bring it back with a bunch of new records on it.

Peter coming in after a test tow on Steven's winch
Yesterday was blown out and thunderstormy so we bailed on the day, but the HGs managed to get a short window in between the wind dying and the storms arriving.  I think Ross did something like 60 km yesterday.

Today was looking much lighter winds but still a chance of thunderstorms, and there was a lot of overcast and shade so it was not going to be super-early, although there were Q's forming to the west and north where the skies were bluer.  After doing some experimental tows on Steven's winch we changed venues and went to Rosalind to join the puffy Q's which were starting to form in our vicinity.

It was not going to be a fast or easy day as there were storms brewing to the west and north, and with the SE winds it was blowing us directly into the maw of the shade.  After getting a low save after my tow (97m AGL!), I was able to get established and start heading NW with Peter a few km's ahead of me.

Alex and Steven also got away although they had bad sinky lines and ended up landing quite early.  Alex had a bit of a circuitous walkout as as he landed in a dry spot but surrounded on most sides by water, and had to find a dry route to the road and a waiting Andrew.
A line of storms to the north, and it's getting hard to skirt around them.

The climbs were pretty slow considering the way the sky looked, and the going was slow enough that I had to decide on each climb whether it was worth it to climb all the way to cloud base and allow myself to drift closer to the storms, or leave the climbs partway up and try to fly east to skirt the edges of the storms.  There was an obvious blue hole to the NE which Peter and I were attempting to skirt, and the geographic distance between the blue hole and the storms was getting smaller and smaller, so Peter and I opted to land before things got too hairy.

I decided to land before the storms got too close.
We discovered something when landing on the prairies in mid-spring: you can either land in a plowed or stubble field and deal with the accompanying turbulence, or you can land in a nice mellow green field and get devoured by mosquitos (presumably they are living in the grass).  We both opted for the latter and gave a generous blood donation to the local wildlife ;)

Not much distance made today since we both had to do a bunch of zigzagging to jump between clouds and make our way crosswind as the wind direction switched during the flight, but it was nice to get back in the prairie air and see the enormous countryside which is central Alberta.

Follow us on live tracking at XC Find Canada.

52 km not-so-straight-flight.

The boys out at the local driving range to work off some extra energy.

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