May 25, 2009

Miles in May

May 22 Vulcan to High River to Nanton to Vulcan

The day was forecast to be light south east wind so we called a triangle that should be challenging in those conditions. It was much more challenging than we imagined. The wind was 3 times faster than forecast and just about straight south. The first leg of the triangle was east north east heading. I decided to not get excited about getting starting early and waited around waiting for something to change with the conditions. What that did for me was wait till the day turned on a little more and I was not fighting light lift and getting blown off course. No one made it to the first turn point. I made a fatal mistake and didn't trust my GPS. I headed for town instead of the way point causing me to get downwind of the way point and getting second for the day. I originally thought I had won the day but at scoring the next morning I found out I had lost by a very small amount and would have easily won had I trusted my gps. Another lesson learned.

May 23 Last day, Short task to Strathmore (75k?)

Forecast was for the same as yesterday, learning our lesson on that we called a mostly down wind task to Strathmore. I towed my entire team up (twice) and after they were all gone, got a tow from Brett on Leif's rig. I pinned off into lift at around 1000' and never looked back. I climbed out like a rocket to 9000' and met up with Dave at cloud base where we went on glide. I followed him for a kilometer or so before I realized I was taking the wrong approach to gaggle flying and moved over a few hundred yards to take advantage of the separation. Soon after a long glide Dave started turning to my left and I pulled in under him. We climbed to base and I lead on ahead. I tried to stay on course while Dave pulled to the left. I was soon on the ground after a long glide and Dave picked a better line and continued on. I made it 20K or so and landed right beside Rob G. He had a ride on route so I lucked out there.

Final Notes.... After attending Miles in May for three years, This was by far the best one yet. Comp headquarters was a bar that we never left, except to fly. The drive to launch was minimal inconvenience and access to internet was much more convenient then years past. I did my best placing at second place (novice) and my winch performed beautiful with the highest tows and consistent performance. Best of all the only incident was one perturbed farmer.

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