Yes it was a good day at the club and if you look at the ladder a lot of tasks from away used us as their turnpoint.
We set ourselves the modest club task of Mynd-Llandeilo and back for 225km. I was first off but was soon struggling over the Begyns near Lane Farm after having crossed a blue gap over the Wye valley. From there it was a relatively easy run to Mynd with cloudbase at 5000ft QNH.
Things started getting difficult from Llandrindod Wells down the valley towards Llandovery as the thermals were very scrappy and just didn’t want to take you to base which was down to 4000ft. I was continually keeping a beady eye on suitable landing fields because at between 2000 and 3000ft amsl it always felt that the flight could end very quickly. I was close to landing at Llanwryd Wells, field picked etc, but then got a mercy thermal at about 1000ft agl and managed to climb away – phew!
Just as I was pulling away John Clark came on the radio saying he was landing out and to my amazement I looked down and there he was lined up and going into a field. He landed in the boonies near a small village called Tirabad right on the edge of the danger area.
The thermals over the danger area were looking great but obviously we couldn’t enter and to compound the problem as they drifted off the Epynt plain they collapsed into the valley we were flying down, hence the struggle in not very compliant air.
I got within 3 miles of Llandeilo before giving up as it had gone blue, which was probably sea air pushing in underneath, and the thermals were quite frankly rubbish. So I turned and had a buttock clenching glide over Usk Reservoir (remembering where Mark fisher had landed a few years back) to Sennybridge and then Brecon. As I approached Brecon, too low to get across, I was greeted by a column of about 10 gulls merrily thermalling away, so I thought it would be rude not to join them! They are brilliant thermallers.
Flight time? don’t ask – it took forever due to the Mynd-Llandeilo leg which was a big struggle and it was mightily hot under the canopy but nevertheless an interesting flight and one that is “character building” – like I need more of that!
Also congratulations to Chris Short on Silver Distance and (maybe) 100k diploma. Well done.