Thursday 15th August 2019
Posted: 16/08/2019 17:11
Thursday 15th. Thursday started with low cloud and rain, but this soon cleared, and with a moderate to fresh W'ly blowing, the winch was soon in operation launching the first of the day's Task Week competitors on primarilly a hill soaring task but with thermal and wave based options. By midday, however, the wind became WNW'ly and increased in strength, causing significant turbulence over the airfield and after 10 launches, flying was suspended in the interests of safety and the gliders put back into the hangars. After a break of around 2.5 hours the conditions in respect of wind speed and turbulence were considered acceptable for a resumption of flying and winching then continued until 1730 hrs by which time the day's launch total reached 20. Initially, the only option available for soaring was hill lift, but as a transient ridge moved in, the cloud broke up and strong convective conditions developed with a associated cloud base of around 4,500' asl. Later still, wave became an option with a number of pilots climbing to around 10,000' asl. Those flying the Task Week task could be split into 3 groups. Chris Booker, Toby Wilson and Jon May, who launched early before the strongest convection and certainly wave became an option, all stuck with the hill soaring task, while those launcing later, ie John Ellis, Fred Brown, Andrew Clusky and Bruce Grain/Paul Bulmer transisioned into the wave. George Rowden combined a portion of both options, initially flying the hill soaring task and then flying the wave. All the pilots flying the hill soaring task covered around 300 km, while John Ellis covered around 350 km, but with all the traces not to hand the day's scores are yet to be finallised. All but one of the day's launches exceeded 30 minutes, with 14 exceeding an hour. John Ellis's flight time of 6:13 was the longest of the day, while Andy Parish gave Bill Payton a long BI check of 1:14 in the DG1000, during which they did a hill soaring O/R to Guisborough W, covering 78 kms. Bill later took Nora van Genugten for a 2:29 flight in his DG1000t. Those pilots utilising the wave were George Rowden, who climbed to around 11,000' asl in his LS8-18, while others to climb to between 8-10,000' asl included Fred Brown in his Ventus, John Ellis, Bruce Grain/Paul Bulmer in the DG1000, Peter Goodchild in his Pik 20D, Andrew Clusky in his Shark and Steve Thompson/Andre Teldmann in K21 KLW. All in all a day when the attributes of Sutton Bank in terms of hill, thermal and wave soaring were comprehensively demonstrated.