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Region 4 North - Day 1 - Hallelujah

Well, it wasn't necessarily pretty, but we got our first official day in today.    Richard Kellerman, our weather guy,   gave us the good news first during our pilots' meeting.   A very unstable airmass with WNW winds was an improvement from yesterday.   We could expect 5,000 feet in thermals with a ridge that, while not strong, should support saves or conservative ridge running.   The bad news was moisture leading to over-development and spreadout.   Oh, and there was evidence of wave. 

As it turned out, the forecast was spot on.   Most of the pilots were able to stay aloft (barely) off tow, but the sky was almost completely overcast by 13:00 local.   The task was set up to take advantage of the nearby High Rock ridge (Blue Ridge) with turnpoints located along the ridge.  The one exception was an upwind run to Williamsport MD designed to create some additional challenges.     

Thermals were sometimes very strong but super tight and turbulent, so standing the glider on a wingtip was frequently required.    Areas of "up" wave were offset by areas of nuclear sink,  so progress into the wind was tricky.    The technical conditions were too much for a few guys, so they wisely came back and landed.   Ultimately,   6 guys went on task in Gold and 6 in silver, with most completing.    We did have several field landings with no issues, and a bunch of guys came back with tales of tricky saves.   Chip Bearden wins the iron pants award, completing the task at 5:30 pm (only an hour before sunset) after working his way back up from halfway down the highrock ridge.    

Looks like we are into a string of decent weather, so hopefully we'll have more to report tomorrow. 


Posted: 10/14/2015


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