Friday, July 3, 2009

Happy circles

Wow. The fifth day gave us even more smooth strong bounteous thermal lift, with big developing clouds over the surrounding valleys a welcome change from the clear blue skies of the previous days. Today pilots got higher than any previous day - I heard a few got to 12 grand. I got over nine grand and thought that was pretty stratospheric. I was thermalling well and sticking with good people for the first few turnpoints, but somehow I ended up alone as I tagged the second to last turnpoint after a long upwind leg. After that I got too low to hit the last turnpoint before goal, so I landed at the LZ under mammatus clouds. I think my main error today was not being patient enough to get as high as the little specks above me before tagging that upwind turnpoint. I think around half the field of pilots made it into goal today - usually that's my ticket, but I just couldn't quite put all the pieces together. Nick made it into goal again, his third goal in three days! He has to leave the next day so that will stand as his perfect record of making goal every day he flew. When I grow up I want to be like Nick. So now we have two task days remaining, with conditions predicted to be similar to this day - so I have two more chances to make it into goal. I'm very happy with all the thermal practice I'm getting, and I'm learning to make better strategic decisions to follow the courseline. Flying into goal would be a real bonus, but even without that distinction, I am turning many happy circles here and flying many difficult kilometers. I hope more people will join me here next year!

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