Sunday 16 August 2009

Last day of the Task Week.

Well that's the task weeks out the way for another year, unless like the lucky retirees any day is a good day.

The day promised to be blue (according to RASP that is) in our area. Despite that Mike set a 260 MEM-BUC-RIV and a couple of smaller ones, same first turn then Thame Chievely or Thame and home.

918, 732, 719 and 949 launched earlyish and enjoyed a local soar trying to reach the elusive cloudbase of the few cumulus that appeared for a short time and once there tried to connect with the wave (it was there you could tell by the way the thermals didn't follow normal patterns.). Whilst their were few cumulus this side of Oxford it looked great beyond. Over the next hour the cu gradually made its way towards us and eventually it looked good enough to start (by then cloudbase was 3700asl). 732 started first and reported good conditions at Chiltern Park, then 918 and 949 pushed off (didn't hear from 719 at all). Despite the wind it was possible to make quite good progress into wind until 20k from Membury when a blue hole didn't look so inviting. A period of waiting and climbing in scrappy climbs ensued. Eventually clouds appeared to the turn and the run in went OK. Just before the turn 732 having already turned was climbing steadily and the clouds to and round Membury all gave good lift although the base had come down 500ft. The run downwind looked OK until it blued out and lift seemed very poor and scrappy until just short of Didcot when good climbs beneath cu came available. 732 meanwhile turned Thame and said he was heading for home (Eventually landing at Thame).

The run to Buckingham was no problem after that and the cu reached 6/8ths. Back to Bicester under a great street and then the cu didn't perform as well south of Bicester found myself looking at Islip mast then Headington roundabout convinced that something would give a good climb. Eventually climbed over Oxford, meantime J1M had started, turned Mem, and decided that it wasn't the day to be breaking record and was going home and 949 said he was in the weeds (landing in a field near the prison I believe).

At Oxford lots of Open class and Standard class gliders passed going North. (it didn't seem the right time of day in these conditions to be heading away from Lasham. Consulting the web site later it appeared it was another total landout day) Eventually after Didcot it was obvious I could continue and landout or glide for home. I choose the latter.

It was an interesting day to finish on but roll on next week for even more punishment.

Dave C

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