It was worth the wait
Saturday’s forecast was for strong and gusty winds, with rain until mid to late morning. The upside was that it was predicted to be Westerly, and for the sun to come out. So the day went ahead, with ridge flying eagerly anticipated. The morning started with briefings for those wanting to “mutual fly”, and a session on the simulator for a couple of keen pre-solo pilots wanting to practise their co-ordination. As soon as the rain cleared, the clubhouse was abandoned and it was a case of all hands on deck to de-rig the blue K18 to go in the workshop, followed by getting the gear out and rigging.
Ideal ridge conditions soon followed: Excellent visibility, 20-30kt average measured on the weather station, and almost straight onto the ridge indicated launching to the west with minimal need to ‘pull back’ during the launch. Long thermal streets passed overhead quite quickly, enhancing lift in both bowls, with wave influence felt in patches of smooth lift extending west from the ridge and further north in the Hope Valley. Win Hill was visited with little lift found there – seemingly under the sink between thermal streets.
Four and sometimes five gliders had a great time, as seen in the pictures of John MacKenzie in the K13, exploring the stronger lift closer to the ridge.
The day ended with a glorious sunset, providing a colourful backdrop for the winch driver.