The weather continues to improve for the week, and our second task was looking to be a good one. Thunderclouds were forming earlier than usual so we were all looking to launch earlier than normal to get some distance before the day turned to rain. Although the weather briefing by Chris Galli mentioned that the day might be drying up later...that should have been a clue.
I hiked up to the upper launch at Inspo to give myself that extra couple hundred feet of elevation to start with. I was back to my old harness and helmet, so comfortable again with my equipment and hoping that the speedier wing would help me out.
I did launch pretty early but waited until I saw at least someone else staying up. I was able to stay flying for a few turns but eventually sunk down to the lower launch, where I top landed. But it was still looking good, so a quick relaunch was called for. This time several of us were around to mark thermals and I got high enough where I said, "it's time to cross Provo canyon to the north".
I made it across the canyon. Barely. A thermal thumped me up just as I was picked out a landing spot. Then I scratched and scratched, gradually getting higher on the low slopes of Mt. Timpanogos. It started to get fun then, as the southern wind was just pushing me up the ridges.
I finally climbed up to about 8,000 feet coming across American Fork canyon when voices on the radio started worrying about rain out in the valley. I wasn't sure how much danger I was in from wind gusts, but I saw 3 wings on the ground below me and no one was flying. In retrospect, I should have thought about this a little longer, but I just made a snap decision to spiral down and join the other pilots on the ground. I literally spiraled down 4,000 feet to land in the soccer field next to Becky, Cliff, and David.
Anyway, the rain left soon after and more pilots flew over our heads and proceeded to fly all the way to Farmington, Utah; down south to Nephi, Utah; and northeast to Ft. Bridger, WY. It was an amazing day to be in the competition...the furthest distance was flow by Chris Galli at 155 kilometers!
To watch us fly LIVE during the rest of the comp, see the map of our spot trackers here http://xcfind.paraglide.us/comp.html?id=62
To check out other people's perspective on the competition, read Two-Can Fly's Blog HERE
And Chris Galli, the weather guru, blogs about weather HERE for the week.
Results are HERE
|Rob putting out lunch for the competition|
|My bag of dirt for "dirting" the most times of the day!|