Saturday, September 19, 2015
What a beautiful and awe inspiring place. Many pilot opted to skip the practice task and did some free flying across the valley to the south, at Walts launch in the Sierras. Meanwhile, those of us sticking with the program had a tough practice day today: stable conditions and strong valley wind. One guy got dragged across launch and bounced off some rocks, and headed to the hospital to get checked out. Quite a few talented pilots made it up and out to follow the 108 km course line, some almost completing it, but many pilots hit the dirt either below launch or someplace a few miles downwind of launch. JK and Christopher made it the farthest of our group today, as far as I know, taking the frisbee thermals a few fingers downwind. I bobbled up and down around launch for what felt like an hour, pitching around in strong blown out bubbles. I felt happy with my new wing in that stuff. But I have never flown so long and so low while so bundled up and with prongs sticking up my nose (in case I headed to space and might need oxygen). Thom and Scotty were a bit farther back in the launch queue and opted to skip it like many others when it really started to blow. Hopefully the next few days are a bit easier for everyone!