We all got there in plenty of time, on the Monday or thereabouts, with lots of time to rig and explore the place. An unofficial practice day was held on 8 December, with 4 of the eventual 18 entries taking part.

The following day was the official practice day, with most people flying. The forecast was for thunderstorms and rain, which initially weren’t looking likely at all. The task was reasonably short in case they did eventuate. Everyone got back.

Late that evening (just before dinner-time) the western skies turned black, and we all decided to tape up gliders as much as possible, then someone came along and advised us to get them all in trailers! By now it was getting even blacker. Meantime a south-east cool change roared in, with 45-kt winds threatening to take away all gliders that weren’t tied down properly, and the temperature dropped 10 degrees in microseconds.

By now everyone was out de-rigging, or taping up when it was obvious that there weren’t enough people to de-rig 15 gliders simultaneously, and some were left out in the rain. Meantime there was lightning all around, just to keep us entertained.

The wind damaged most of the tents, with one being totally destroyed, and leaving a fairly sorry campsite the following morning. But the rain didn’t increase drastically, and the wind abated, and those who elected to leave their gliders tied down were rewarded with intact aircraft in the morning. Presumably the hail fell elsewhere.

Today is Day 1, and Colin’s away in the Mozzie. Eric suffered a flat tyre in the Mini and with the help of several people managed to fix it, taking a delayed launch. The weather’s looking good, with Cu’s everywhere and a good breeze to kick the thermals off. Task distance is AAT between 122 and 384 km distance, most people will fly around 200-250 km I guess. Time is two hours.

Later in the day…

The results are in, after a day that turned out to be not as good as it should have been. Three gliders outlanded, including Eric. Colin came fourth, but the most impressive aspect about the results was that second, third and fourth were separated by the most impossibly small margins imaginable, with 961, 960 and 959 points and all with the same speed to 3 figures 86.9 km/hr. The scoring program needed to display the speed to FOUR figures or more. Some gliders had marginal final-glides, and came in over the lake with not much more than the ability to land on the runway immediately following (you can do that at Keepit).

What will tomorrow bring?

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