Wednesday, February 6, 2013

what a day!

I still can't believe it ... the highlight of the day was a climb that I just had to take from 10000 ft all the way up to 14500 ft. The vario went kaboom! and stayed beyond the scale. The average from bottom to top was 15 kts! 4 hours AAT was the task and I have flown 460 km with an off stick average speed of 120 km/h in an empty SZD-55. It was so "slow" because the whole first leg was into 20+ kts headwind with just 90 km/h average. The second one was a killer: 150 km with 150 km/h average, the third one: 145 km with 130 km/h and so on ... This was the best day I have seen in Australia so far.

life is good

yes, it is really showing 14100 ft

Ziggy is at work somewhere down there in Dimboola
I'm pretty happy with my performance today:

and over all doesn't look too bad either:

Unfortunately tomorrow doesn't look this good anymore but we will have fun anyways!

cancelled Monday and blue Tuesday

We spent few hours on the grid on Monday waiting for it to cook up. It never did. It's really amazing how you can have a warm sunny day, with no wind and no thermals at all. Keith was launched to sniff in his PW-5 and I can tell you if there is anything to stay up in he will find and work it. This time he almost managed to beat the tow plane down. An hour later or so the day was cancelled. It was a good decision cause it just never got going.

We had a great dinner with the Waikerie crowd in the beautiful garden in the house that they are renting for this event every year. Great food, awesome wine and Selma's dessert was the winner. She called it leftovers dessert but I'm not sure about that at all. It was all delicious and we had a great night.

Tuesday was a blue day. A good day though, with thermals wide, strong and predictable. There is a big scrub area about 100 km north of Horsham and this thing was just magnificent. We all managed to get up to 9000 ft over there. I wasn't doing that great for the remaining part of the task but I got around and didn't loose my 2nd position in total results ... as yet ;)

Here are the daily results and totals:

We've got a 4 hours AAT task today ... tricky.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Horsham Week Competition day 1 & 2

So here we go again - the Horsham Week Competition is on. Two days are already behind us. The first one was a real struggle where nothing but truly nothing worked the way books describe it. There was no rule for lift or sink, no cloud was similar to the other and strong wind was just killing the 55 that I'm competing with. Hard, hard work and I was glad to be back home at all. Obviously my result from day 1 was not a success but we've got the whole week to go.

There is many gliders competing but because we have 4 classes they are fairly small. So here are my class results for day 1:

We stocked the fridge with Polish beer and guess what? It's all gone now. I think this was the best seller in the club's history.

Griffo is doing a great job towing with Wilga and I can relax and enjoy something much less noisy with no big fan on the nose. The day 2 was a real pleasure for me and also the results show that I had a good run. The weather was just amazing. Not very high but so reliable. I had the thermals figured out really quickly and was able to move around them stopping only for the best ones.

So here are today's results:

I will show off now. My average speed off the stick was over 112 km/h but the handicap puts it that far down. One way or the other I managed to make few places up in the totals after 2 days:

And here are some Day 2 pics to enjoy:

It was a great day. We'll see what tomorrow brings.

Model slope soaring and towing with Wilga

Unfortunately the day has come where TF had to be returned back to her owner. This good bye wasn't easy at all. I'm so spoiled now that it's really hard to step down and fly other gliders.

cleaning before return

Ziggy proudly presenting his present from Michael

We drove to Adelaide Friday night, dropped off the glider in Graham's hangar at Gawler and stayed one night in town. Saturday was Australia Day. Last time we were in Adelaide Ziggy got a haircut and it was one of the best he's ever had. He booked an appointment for that Saturday and since I was also overdue we did the same for me. Two guys and two haircuts later we looked like this:

It's a pretty long drive just for a haircut but I'm sure we can find an excuse to visit Adelaide some time soon ...
Saturday evening we drove to Normansville and stayed with Ziggy's long time friends Mike and Janine in their beautiful vacation home with ocean views. We had a great time over there and enjoyed their hospitality big time. The boys also enjoyed the golf course the house is situated at and found a much better use for it. Every evening they've flown their models there and I was chasing kangaroos that were coming pretty close enjoying their evening meal at the golf course.

On Sunday Mike took us to the ocean site where they are slope soaring models. I have never seen it before. I could be sitting there for ever just watching the gliders flying with the ocean in the background. We were really lucky and spotted dolphins very close to the shore. Unreal views. I've taken tons of pictures and just couldn't decide which ones to pick so here is a few:

We came back to Horsham Monday night. The Horsham coaching week was already well under way and we started towing with Wilga on Tuesday. I did a few tows with Griffo and he was ready to go solo. Everybody congratulated him but according to the old Polish tradition I was the only one allowed to slap his behind really hard.

We also installed new tires. This wasn't hard at all but took us almost 4 hours. All these split pins and lock wires as far as the eye can see ;)