Linda Salamone's Blog

Sunday, April 15, 2007

US Nats- Day 7 Task 7
I wind up in 22nd place- out of 27 pilots (two of whom got sick and left....) BUT, I must say, I flew my ass off and did way better than I ever have, with the exception of one day. I just keep telling myself the field of pilots is just very experienced..... But the last task was a weird little jaunt across to LaBelle, and south, then back north to a little airstrip. It was designed to keep us away from the lake effect since the wind was easterly, and the forecast strong. Ron carried my glider to the staging area, in a good position, so Mark and I started packing up our tent. When it came time to launch, I realized just how weary I was. All this flying and I was just beat. But I got into position and towed up, again behind Rhett, and he pulled me to a group of turning pilots who scattered when we approached. I got dropped in the bits that were left and left it almost immediately. I ran back upwind to the field and thankfully got a little climb all by myself 900' off the deck. It turned into something decent but I had company that was making thermalling a bit challenging and when I finally got high enough, I just left. I went on course and things were great at first, but I wound up getting stupidly low and thought I was going to land just 8 miles out. I waited in some zero sink and it turned on. When I got high enough to relax, I swore I wasn't going to get low again. And I didn't. I flew mostly alone until the first TP and then George and I hooked up. We were on the radio together and bailed each other out repeatedly as we made the next TP and headed to goal. .At one point we got above 6K and goal was looking probable, but we had to work some stuff along the way. My glides were sucky but when I knew I had it I could hardly believe it. We landed and some very late guy comes in and lo and behold it was Mark, who I had thought was a couple thousand feet below us earlier buut I couldn't be sure. Lots of people made goal but it didn't matter- it was a pretty sweet flight and a good way to end a really good meet.
Mark and I got a room later, blowing off the festivities at the Ridge. He was making plans to fly the Freedom towards Quest so I would be driving the next day. I needed a day off. but once I started the chase, and saw those big juicy clouds all the way up Rte 27, I wished I had flown. You can read about Davis' and Campbell's and Mark's flight on the OzReport. Just a note- Mark landed .86 miles behind a locked gate.... guess it ain't just ME who does that!
Anyhow, we are at Quest, just waiting for the storm to pass and the 50+ mph winds to die down so we can start the meet. Day one is cancelled but we have regrouped and are ready to fly. Dustin is here getting us all psyched about the Arizona meet, so we will be staying in "comp mode" for a while. The Jeffs are here and a whole bunch of other people that I really like hanging out with. More tomorrow...


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