Easter 2012: You should have been here next week

The Easter weekend was very well attended by the Vintage group and we did get one 13.5m glider here to fly some silver-C tasks. The best flight of the weekend was Dave’s 260pt/223km effort. However most people elected to go home on Monday.

Tuesday was the best day. David Goldsmith did 120km in the Ka6e and then Jenne took the same glider up for a short flight and did 150km!
2 Vintage Gliders Landing at Warkworth

Wednesday was declared a rest day.

Thursday was absolutely epic! We started out with the idea to fly to Lake Keepit (300km O/R) but took a look at the Liverpool Range (below) and decided that the higher layer of cloud on top was going to make it difficult. Not to mention the clouds touching the peaks. The south-westerly was blowing up the face of the range, encouraging good thermals along the line of hills for 100km. Dave actually outlanded at the Denman ultralight strip and got a re-light to continue soaring. Then Mick called ops-normal from Wellington! The race was on to go west!

Before takeoff, we had looked at the meteorological predictions for the day and each formed an opinion that the thermals would stop around 4pm. Well, we were partly right and partly wrong. The good thermals stopped at 3:30. This left all of us stranded some 50-80km from home. But there were enough poor thermals to stay airborne. A reasonable headwind was blowing so, to gain 1000ft on the final glide, we needed to thermal up 2000ft as we were drifting away from home so quickly. Mick pushed forward in a show of bravery but ended up too close to the hills to actually utilise any thermals. He landed at Jerry’s Plains/Arrowfield and managed to get permission for two aerotow retrieves from there. This gave the rest of us the confidence to push away from our last stepping-stone and head in for a squeaky final glide to Jerry’s. Some somewhat more useful thermals were found and everyone made it home, nearly two hours after the thermals had ’stopped’. Mick achieved 408km, up to the outlanding and I only did 354km but I had a ‘closed’ triangle so my OLC score was significantly higher than Mick’s.
Liverpool Range (South Side, Near Scone)

Friday’s flying was influenced by the experiences of late Thursday, so we all turned for home early - about 1:15pm. The SparrowHawk was best able to use the gusty thermals of the day, so just squeaked in ahead of Mick on OLC points. The photo below is an unusual mine blast, spotted while on the homeward leg from Broke.
Blasting Near Warkworth

Check out the OLC scores for Warkworth takeoff: OLC Flightbook Warkworth (Note that the permanent link on the right-hand side of this Blog only shows HVGC pilots.)

Check out the ranking for HVGC in the worldwide list of clubs. Statistic Club OLC Before Easter, we were 26th in the world. Now we are 25th! That’s a pretty good effort for the 13 pilots who uploaded flights to the OLC. We are beating much larger clubs. [The ranking for Warkworth as a takeoff point is much lower - around 56.]

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