Linda Salamone's Blog

Friday, June 08, 2007

This picture of Mark and Emily- a caption eludes me....
So this meet has been pretty great for me! I keep waiting for the bubble to burst- but until it does- I am going to get as much mileage out of it as I did with the dead baby shark!
The task on Wednesday- task 2- wasn't really very easy. I missed the start so I took my sweet time. Which means I flew even slower and more conservative than I usually do. Which is pretty slow. I flew with Lauren and Bob and Kraig in the beginning, when I found myself low and just outside the start, I said screw it, I better just find this snaky climb before I deck it. And I kept going. Kraig left me and two seconds later I finally got a good climb. Good enough to page through every damn waypoint on the 5030 to make my instrument tell me the right way to go. I never found it in the "go to" so I went into routes and manually entered it. But I was climbing the whole time, with 99% of my attention on the instrument, and I think that just goes to show you the value of not overthinking a thing (like thermalling). Every once in a while I had to look around to see if anyone was nearby or if Lauren was coming up to me, but no, I was alone. So I topped out at like 4200' and tried to find another. Soon my climbs got better and higher and I got to 5200' and misted at one point. I saw Sonny and he smoked me and then I caught up with Jim Prahl, and we flew most of the rest of it together. We went on a glide together, 14 miles out and he just totally outglided me. I was 1000' below him and searching for anything, and I was at 1800' and at the edge of a large forest before I found it. I did get back up high again, and I saw goal, had it on glide by 2500', but I hit such a nice thermal on the way, and having already missed the start gate, I took the climb. I flew over goal, saw just two gliders on the ground and figured the gang was already packed up and gone since I was so slow. I landed and Pete Lehman said later he could hear my glider flapping. Jim came in just after, I hadn't seen him since he left me in the forest, and then a few more people landed. A two hour wait with no ride, then Lauren and Paul showed up with Jen to get Rich, so they let me in. Taco Hell on the way home. Great day! Came in 4th. I flew for 2.5 hours and got 5250'.
I'll write this now while I am still in my "bubble". It will sound more upbeat!
The lift was nonexistant according to Rich, the wind dummy. And when Davis and Pete didn't get anything, well, I just got in line. Suddenly there are a ton of people here and I didn't want to wait to long with just 3 tugs. Jim gave me a great tow- he was headed left and saw a gaggle of buzzards and headed for them. He planted me in a good one. I was alone climbing then Kevin joined me, although I didn't know it was him. He said later I violated his personal space some. Oops- I don't even remember it. But I will take care to give him wide berth, he really wants it. So I left sort of alone, hooked up with Sonny and then was alone again. Then Kraig and Rich caught up and smoked me in glide, that is when I noticed how badly my trailing edge was flapping. Two panels are just wagging away! My climbs were like 100-300 fpm and sometimes just part of a turn. You really had to pay attention. Clouds were not working unless they were brand new and when I glided I would just watch the sky ahead to scan for wispy beginnings. Not really haze domes, just wispy things that would glue together into a cloud. I got low at 12 miles out from the TP and Bob was 2 miles behind. I had on and off 100fpm and just milked it, then PK came from behind me and stopped short for a good climb so I actually FLEW BACK half a mile to get it. And it was shit. So I lost anything I gained and went on glide. I had the TP in sight and with 2500' so I went for it. I saw PK tag it and glide away very low and into the dirt on courseline, so I didn;t want to go that way. I went back from where I came on the first leg, thinking I would get pushed onto course when I found a climb since it was upwind, and searched. I see Bob above me, turning, so I hunt for the bottom of it. At 1500' I am not finding it so Bob says check the brown field, I do, but NO, not there. 1000' and Bob's not saying much but he's still above me, so I keep looking.... and looking and then I am landing. But to the EAST in a very strong headwind. 180 degrees from what it had been. Okay so it is a seabreeze and I was hunting through the Maytag effect and getting fooled. But Bob leaves and later I ask him what he was climbing in there and he says- oh I wasn't climbing, I just wanted to make sure you were okay.....My freakin guardian angel... huh! We had a little chat about what signals he's giving by hanging out turning in an area!!!! He glided to a good finish in the shutting down day. Pete was next to where I landed and he shared his ride which was Drew, and he was already there waiting. Drew was thoughtful enough to pick up all the roadside garbage where we had been. Nice.
Okay, so that's my story, and I am sticking to it. How I moved up a slot coming in 10th place is just weird, but hey, I am not complaining. Somebody pinch me!!!!


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