Well, the contest is over and it was great fun. I ended up 7th in my class and really excited about flying in such big gaggles...we can sure move quickly that way!
Now that I am free flying again, I can choose my own routes and let the wind help me. I've been noticing that in Roldanillo, it's usually from the north in the morning, and switches to south or southwest in the afternoon. A few of the competition pilots stayed around for a few days afterwards as well, and in the air I got together with new friends Chris, Phil, Kurt, and Cody. We headed south for a while and then crossed the valley together...that really helps to stay in the air! I noticed the wind was now helping to push back north, and split off from everyone to try for a big out and back.
Across from launch I kept going, getting low only once the entire day. With the altitude limits no longer an issue (like in the competition), I was able to climb up to almost 2900 meters. I could glide a LOT longer then, and went north until a band of incoming rain had me turning around to head home.
Of course, with a strong headwind it was hard to get back again and I made it only part way. Luckily there are buses everywhere and I try to land near a big road to flag one down. I ended up with 132 km for the day, and it gave me an idea of how it might be possible to break the distance record here in Roldanillo. It's a 151 km FAI Triangle, which is hard to do as each leg needs to be almost the same length. (See below for the rules on triangles). Mine was a flat triangle today, meaning that two sides were longer than the third. And no, you don't actually have to make it all the way back to the start for it to count as a triangle.
You can search for flight records by using XContest and clicking on each launch. Here are the distance records around Roldanillo. I am currently #26 on the list of longest flights, but I intend to keep working at this distance! I'm going to do some research on XC Planner to see how I might get that FAI triangle
Here's my log for today: