Sunday, March 26, 2017

GSWK: Day 1

The first day of most competitions are chaotic at best, but the first day of the Green Swamp Sport Klassic went amazingly well.  My mentees were first up and were all ready and in line 10 minutes before the launch opened.  We were on it!  I was really surprised when I, as the last pilot in the group, was climbing through 3000 feet only 14 minutes after launched open.  It was amazing how quickly the five tugs had us up and on our way.

The course was west northwest to an airfield labeled GROSS and then north northwest to the airfield at Inverness.


Greg and I got low after our first climb.  I was wondering how the mentoring would proceed if two mentors decked it after the first glide!  I made a mental note to be a bit more conservative with my altitude and how much I would spiral down to help struggling pilots.

Greg on our way back up

Things were going well as we pushed around the northwest corner of the Green Swamp.  Jeff and Rich pushed ahead while I stayed with Matt and Thor.


Although it was fun at first, I watched the sky overdevelop about 2/3 of the way along the first leg and warned the team to slow up and take every climb.  We all tried to stay up, but the area was soon littered with downed pilots.

Looking for lift while pilots land below

Matt was the only one on my team that almost escaped the killing fields, but succumbed just short of the climb that lifted the remaining pilots up and out.

Matt landed next to the airstrip (center), Greg landed across the highway (upper left center), we found a climb along the far tree line (upper left)

I had goal on glide just past the turn point, but teamed up with Ken and Mark and tried to help them into goal.  We bobbed around within reach of the field longer than I preferred, but all three of us eventually made goal.  Mick (another mentor) was the only other pilot in goal.

Ken, Mark, and me

I enjoyed the ride home with Audry at the wheel.

Flights: 1, Duration: 2:59, Distance: 56 km

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