Friday, February 10th, 2012

Horsham week Day 4

Day 4

It was a good day for me as I won the day and gained much more satisfaction from this win than winning the Hw last day last year in 2011. The competition winner will be John Orton flying his ZSD55 as he has won every day so far except this one. Flying a 300k racing task was fun as the cu were working with a few 8 to 10 knot climbs. Handicapped average speed was 108kph.

Thursday, 09 February 2012 Written by Colin Adam and published on the Horsham web site http://www.horshamweek.org.au/

Day 4 started with cool temperatures, a clear sky and light southerly winds.

At briefing, the sky was already showing low cumulus development with strengthening southerly winds. Standard / 15m / Open class was set a 295.7 km FAI triangle task: Horsham – Netherby – Birchip – Horsham in expectation of a blue day with initially slow climbs under a stable inversion at 5700 ft.

Performance Class was set an AAT task which allowed maximum pilot discretion: Horsham – Jeparit (40 km radius) – Birchip (30 km radius) – Horsham (149.2 km min and 249.4 km max.).

Local cumulus began dissipating about 1230, and launching commenced at 1300 with 15 kt southerly winds and 4 kt climbs to 4700’.

36 aircraft were launched in 58 minutes into an increasingly blue sky, again with anticipated improving conditions to the north.

Pilots reported climbs from 5 – 6 knots to 5000’ during the early afternoon and less reliable lift to 6000’ later in the day.

The best speeds were reported by pilots who worked the strongest lift between 4000 and 6000’ later in the day, taking advantage of the decreasing southerly wind strengths.

The final leg home, into wind, proved to be difficult. Four aircraft outlanded.

In summary

I had a classic day spending a little time planning the flight before the flight, thinking about start times and water ballast requirements. Started a little late because I went out over the scrub on track to see what was happening with the clouds. A couple of good climbs on the first leg saw me with a few other gliders at the first turn – tried to fly across the lake but in the end flew around the southern shore. Caught up with John Orton on the second leg and I am always fascinated at what other gliders look like as they glide and pull up in lift. Needed to adjust each time I pulled up into a thermal but worth the effort finding the centre. Final glide as with was most of my flying this week was alone – took and extra thousand feet or so to ensure a stress free final glide home. Horsham aerodrome is difficult to see from 30k out and I have been looking for it since 1977 when I did my second 300k out of Horsham in an Arrow (single wing wooden glider) took me 7 hours 20 minutes.

Greg Jackson

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