We smelled the Coors brewery while we set up and Andy, the Irish Maverick, and Sam soared around before toplanding and waiting for it to get better. Last nights’ cold front snow layer was still there on most non-South facing earth and I think it held back the potential some.
Forgot to turn on the video cam after I mounted it on the keel and some of the best footage yet will have to be entrusted to my memory. Which has limited shelf life.
Andy and I climbed to about 7800 over launch and headed N. towards Boulder. That’s low for an XC, but it seemed like the lower levels were just boiling. Andy and I were flying close and trying to make the most of every little puff so we’d converge a bunch. I remember diving to go under him once. The last time I was gliding from Lookout on this route, I was following Loopy and Andy with the 225 Falcon. This time, it was awesome to see the Sport 2’s glide as I went next to Andy once and cruised ahead. Then I had to watch his shadow to see if he started to turn in anything. We both found lift that just wasn’t organized much. We’d swap and try each others lift and repeat but couldn’t gain much. Then, lower over a ridge with Andy, Kiernan(way above) and 2 eagles, I was lower and decided to start heading back to Lookout. Big altitude was necessary to press on to the N. and I was getting too low over a ritzy gated community I landed in last year and I ain’t doing that again. Andy got up to 8k(?) there and made an attempt to cross over Ralston and we thought he had landed. Turns out he did land after a while, but hiked up a hill to relaunch. Awesome.
It was Kiernan’s 1st or 2nd flight on his new Maverick PG and it seems like he’s already put a deposit on the high ground. He came in super low under Andy and I by the Highway department and climbed thru me when I was sure he was destined to deck it. Then we all kinda shared the ridge where I pointed to on the below picture for a while, all trying to find a ticket back up. Driving towards a thermal that Andy was sharing with 2 Golden Eagles was the coolest thing. They were probably 30-50ft below him and I headed straight at them. One flipped over and tucked in his wings to a massive speed and then rejoined us on his climb back up. He was on my wingtip for half a circle. It really was spectacular.
It was great starting an XC together. I was watching the best glide indicator a lot on my 6030 trying to keep on speed and using 3/4 VG a lot. It will take practice and bigger thermals to be proficient at that for a while. It’s pretty different to digest the subtle air messages when the glider responds so differently with the tight sail. Also, I’ve noticed for 3 flights now that I’m flying 27mph at my “trim” vs the old 24mph when I had the stock sprog setting. I tried to slow down in some thermals but was only a little bit successful. I kinda like the extra speed to push out (tighten up the turn) with when I get in the crappy side of the thermal anyway.
Almost forgot, I had my first crappy landing on the Sport 2 and broke a dntube.. Another reason I wish I’da had the video. That would have been priceless. Reason being is that from the opposite end of the field, you could see I was going downhill big time with a lot of speed at the beginning. You could see my problem way ahead of me as it played out. There was no coming down as I drug my feet on the ground, was hitting cat tails and finally, as I approached the other fence (barbed wire model), with power lines above it, and a highway on the other side, I still wasn’t at a comfortable flare time. I knew I had to flare anyway so I started one and climbed 10-15 before I aborted that. I let her turn a little left as I kinda tried to mush down and turn a smidge too. So I did a ground loop kinda thing and my body just bent the left dntube like a twizzler. Oh well. Didn’t hurt a bit.
Next time I won’t fly over a perfect LZ to gain another 100 yards. Although I was hoping a thermal was back there and it kinda was too btw. Oh well. I’m off to Costa Rica on Monday for 2 weeks of sun and learning to Surf, and whatever else we can come up with.
Sorry about the lack of video, it hurts me to have missed so many highlights! Next time. Nice flying with you guys!
Airtime: 41 minutes