Linda Salamone's Blog

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Task 4 and 5
Well task 4 was a bust- we launched but got rained on in the start circle. Flying a couple miles back was a little nerve wracking- I always seem to doubt my judgment and I was concerned that the task would continue without me. My mom and my sister had arrived during the pilots meeting, with a cake and cards, so when I landed just before they got in their car to leave (they live in Naples), it was nice to at least be able to say goodbye properly. Things get so crazy between pilot meeting and launch sometimes- especially when they move it up an hour. So we spent the day messing around until it rained and watched Raizing Arizona in the tent. Mark and Ron returned the UHaul and brought back some good munchies.
Task 5
Shitty forecast according to Davis. I only look briefly at Blipmaps and FSLs and Accuweather here. I thought that there would be storms, but decent lift because of them.... So we wait and wait til someone launches into a yucky looking sky. But hours later only a couple people do. 3 of 4 fall down but Jack Simmons stays up a while. I finally just get in line since I figure I should go fly on my 29th birthday at the very least. So I get behind Rhett and get a great tow (with a slack line at one point) and the task is just 45 miles downwind so my plan is to just keep turning and pushing slightly west if I get any lift. I thought for sure we'd all just wind up on the other side of the canal waiting hours for retrieve. But the first climb I got was good- and I let it take me across the canal. I got 4K out of that and was soon flying alone, with a small gaggle to my west. I was tempted a few times to go join them, but I really liked the line I had. I just played it really conservative, wven when I had goal by 1000' I kept stopping for lift. At the last climb, I was just 6 miles out and when I left it at 5K, I kept climbing FAST and realized the edge of the cloud was actually below and in front of me. I thought I might wind up going into it, and right over an airport, and even I know that's not a good idea.... So I stuffed the bar and went. I had 3500' to burn when I got there and there were a lot of other pilots already, but my landing was good, I didn't crash into any airplanes, and it was just all good. Mark called a minute later and was just a few miles away. Doesn't get any better than that! But wait, it does! He has ice cold fake champagne! Awesome retrieve. I thought he was in the air all that time but apparently he had to land at the Ridge field in some turbulance and re-injured his shoulder. I heard from Paul Tjaden that Lauren never launched. I guess the towing got dicey just after I left.
So making goal for the first time in a LONG time, and on my birthday to boot. Pretty sweet. Mark ran out and got Gaitor Bait food (kind of grows on you) and we grabbed the cake my mom left in the office and had a little party. This morning we awoke to Lauren yelling about an approaching storm and it looked like the freaking apocalypse on the horizon. She and I got busy turning gliders around on the line (no time to break then down and Mark's was one of them) and just in time, too. The storm totally raged for like 20 minutes when I ran back to my tent and my dog was too stupid to get inside with me.
Looks like today might shape up, regardless of th drenching. We'll see. I would love to get another chance at making goal so I won't feel like it was just stupid luck! Maybe I can get a little faster- or even better- learn when to race and when to go slow.


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