16 April 2019

Task 1: 74km around Fantasy turnpoint

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West wind directions at Quest are the least favourite ones. The trees give us quite strong lee side turbulences when towing, also landings get quite rough. I kept checking wind speed and gusts for my job as safety committee member, but thankfully, all was ok.
To my relief, Bobby Bailey pulled up for my tow. In the end of the tow, I still managed to break my weaklink, also I couldn´t find any lift that took me higher than 550m, so I had to land again, in very turbulent conditions. Thankfully I pulled it off, and about 12 other pilots landed shortly after me, also Jonny Durand and Christian Ciech had to refly.
Our task was almost due south, so we had to fight a strong crosswind all the time, while an inversion kept the maximum altitude down to 1000m. I kept drifting in climb, flying slow and late and on my own quite a bit.
It was great to see Sara Weaver in her Sport glider after about 30km. What a job, to go so far on a difficult day like today in a kingpost glider! She will be doing well next year at the worlds.
When I hit the Lakeland/Haines area, I faced a lot of water, trees, houses and orange orchards - not enough safe landing fields in the 25km/h west wind that my instrument measured, so I decided for the biggest, safest spot possible, even though I could have done some more km, or possibly goal.
It was a fun flight and a fun landing, so I was happy anyway! Zippy Zac Majors won the day - only because we fed him really good food last night, I´m sure! 7 other pilots made the goal in Wales Airfield.
In Sports Class, Gecko pilot Erik Grabowski (USA, not related to our Tim) won ahead of Mark Dowsett (Canada).

The picture of the old Lufthansa Superconny was taken at the Fantasy of flight museum on the drive back. That was our first turnpoint, and I would have liked to visit owner Kermit Weeks again - he was the one who introduced me to Sherry and Joe Kittinger many years ago! But it was already closed down when we passed it.

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