A great day out…
I’ll have to give this report from my perspective because I was in the air for nearly 6 hrs and so don’t really know what else was going on.
We set ourselves one of the club tasks (see the ladder for the whole list) of Llandeilo -Mynd and back for a 224 km triangle.
Soaring conditions got going from about 11.30am and soon Dave Hope was off in his Ventus followed by me.
There was little wind so we opted for some good looking cu NW of the club for Tony C to drop us off and, after getting to cloud base at around 4000ft QNH, flew back to TAL for the start.
I turned my radio down as the chatter was non stop and a real distraction so didn’t keep up to date what others were doing. However, my flight started going to worms fairly early on! I got into the Beacons via the Talybont end and made my way up to P en-y-fan where, despite some lovely looking cu, I found myself scrabbling around low down near Llanfrynach picking out fields!!
After a slow recovery in some very iffy lift I headed towards Cray where I’d had enough of the scary low stuff and so changed my task to another club one TAL-CRY-SAR(sarnesfield between TAL and Shobdon)-TAL for 114km. This I achieved without too much stress although as it had gone blue by then it became a bit of a lottery as to whether I was going to find the next thermal.
After returning to TAL i just played around for some hours all over the Black Mountains and up north to Llandrindod by which time the coud base had gone up to 6000ft QNH.
Near Llandod the sea breeze front had pushed in from the west and gave some very consistent lift. However, as it was now getting late in the day things started decaying quite quickly so I made a straight line glide back to TAL.
There was a paragliding comp on at Hundred House (just to the east of Builth Wells) and the number of them all over the sky at varying heights was a sight to see. They are doing some amazing flying these days regularly putting in 100km and even 200km flights.
By the time I landed just before 6pm most had de-rigged and gone home but I slowly put my glider away reflecting on a gorgeous day playing around the skies and left the club with that lovely serene feeling of satisfaction.
Oh nearly forgot to say congrats to Dave Hope as he was the only one to get around the original task.
Yes it was a lovely day – summer is here! I went quite high and slow all day – it probably paid off.
Starting at about midday I made it to Llandeilo quite easily, but with some quite big diversions to stay near cloudbase. After some dithering I eventually decided to go to the East of the danger area – not the shortest way but the Beacons were definitely attracting lift in the weak NE wind. At Builth it went blue but clouds of colourful paraplonkers gave me some targets to aim for, so I pressed on.
Note to self: the blue is never as barren as it looks. If you’ve got some height you are bound to bumble into something usable.
The thermals were a bit broken and affected by wave so solid climbs were hard to come by – I often had to abandon a climb rather than ride it all the way up. This made progress North quite slow. Coming back to TAL after a l ucky climb over MYND was fairly easy – as Martin said, bases were getting higher all afternoon.
I could see the convergence that had developed from 2 sea breezes from the west and the south, but I was getting tired after 4.5 hours so called it a day. The landing was interesting – landing East in a flukey breeze I think I got a bit of a tailwind. I used the opportunity to test my wheel brake and have a close look at the hedge. Note to self: don’t embarrass yourself by making an approach that might appear to the CFI to be ‘hot and high’.
I’m sure we don’t use the local convergence patterns enough. It was predicted by RASP – just click on the ‘BL Max. Up/Down (convergence)’ button for about 2pm on any sunny day with light winds.