Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Well, the Rally has ended. Due to the lack of internet service I was unable to keep up with the daily reports. All in all, it was a relaxing comp. The weather was uncooperative with light lift and too much wind on most of the days. I think we had 4 flyable days out of 7. Still, I had a great time and enjoyed seeing everyone.
I think my favorite and best day was day 5. It was about a 75 mile task to the north to land at an airport. Inside the start circle I joined a gaggle of maybe 25-30 gliders and made it to the top for a good position to start. I continued to stay with this group for a while until they eventually pulled ahead one glide or so. A half hour later I noticed them up ahead circling but not gaining too quickly so I went to the east to look for lift over a small town. This turned out to be a great decision as I climbed fast and was able to catch up with the lead gaggle arriving 500ft over them.

This bird (osprey?) snagged a fish right out of the pond at Quest and took it up into the tree to have its lunch. That's the fish under it's left foot.

This was the day for big gaggle flying. Every time we stopped to turn, it was crowded and my neck became stiff for all the straining to see where they were. Towards the end of the flight I was on glide and about 12km from goal with only two gliders in front of me. With the airport in sight we just needed one more thermal. Everyone stopped to turn in a light one but I got impatient. I thought that there had to be a better one so I went off to find it. Soon I found myself landing at an intersection in a neighborhood just before a stop-sign and I watched the other patient pilots fly right over me and into goal. I had landed a couple miles short. Even though I didn't make it, this was an incredibly fun flight that I won't forget.

So, I made it back home and back to family, work, and play. I've been busy working all last week but it's good cause the weather hasn't been that great for flying. We went and picked out a new bat for Isaiah and have been working on his hitting. So far his team is undefeated. GO SUNDEVILS!!!! Life is good.