Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Issoudun Wednesday 11 July 2012

Bread purchased, breakfast eaten, glider on the grid, work emails started, second ‘petite dejeuner’ eaten, then it was briefing time!
Today the Director admitted his error at yesterday’s briefing, and duly declared today to be the ‘second best day of the week’!  The task set for today was another Assigned Area Task of 1:30 hours and a take-off time of 13:00.  The Met Man declared that there would be no rain, at which point the heavens opened and the rain hammered the tin roof!  We’d left the tent open and the chairs outside, so several items were sopping wet.
Map marked, lunch made, glider programmed, route planned, we were back to grid squatting as the sky was still overcast and dark.
Launching was delayed through 13:30, 14:00 and finally started at 14:15 as the weather brightened up, with the Standard Class and we were stream launched directly afterwards. 

I was able to stay airborne without too much difficulty, in fact the main problem was the sheer number of gliders milling around the start line waiting for it to open, and at times, there were gliders far too close for comfort.  I started at 15:42 with Liz and Ayala starting shortly after me, but they decided to return back to the start and re-start again.
I had no problem flying to the first sector and even managed to fly further into the sector than I’d originally planned, mainly to take advantage of a cloud street.  The potential problem area would be the second sector, but in fact I managed to find suitable thermals, but this is where Claudia and Ayala ended up landing out. 
I flew out of the second sector into a problem area; Liz and Helen ad caught up with me and I followed them out of the sector, but as I was already lower than them, I found myself in an area of poor lift and really struggled just to stay airborne.  The others continued on their way as I drifted inexorably towards the final sector.  Eventually I was able to make my way under a decent looking cloud, and I was able to enter the sector and climb up to 3500ft which gave me more than enough height to return to the airfield and complete the task in 2:21 hours.  At least I’d managed to get back home, but it wasn't a particularly fast time.
I need to keep working on my speed between thermals, because what I’m finding is that the Cirrus is much noisier than the Mosquito and I tend to fly far too slowly.  I guess I need many more hours in the Cirrus before I’ll finally feel completely at home in it.

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