Linda Salamone's Blog

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Day 6 Task 5 Santa Cruz Flats Race

Corey towed me to a strong themal after a really long wait on the ground, relights and reflights kept the line from moving AT ALL. Finally in the air, I saw 25mph on my windspeed indicator and knew the day would be tougher than we thought. The first leg of our figure 8 task was into the wind, and the wind was a big issue now. I got low on the other side of the golf course, and desperate for a climb, I worked down to 600' and couldn't get back up before being blown out of range. I was swearing and spitting and praying. I thought I was toast and I did a stupid low glide just over the tops of the trees in the golf course to go relight. I was trying to figure out what green was wide enough to land on, but the trees were so tall... I slipped in barely touching the edge of the trees to get back in to re-tow.. . I was exhausted all ready after my half hour flight and Jim Prahl towed me back up high nearer to courseline. I yo-yo'ed for a while, and ever time I thought I had made some progress in a climb, I would see the resort right there behind me. There seemed now to be no getting away from it. I cought up with who I thought was Mark but since his radio wasn't working again, I wasn't sure. There are a lot of red white and blue T2s. After flying with this one for a while I decided to leave since I was trying to go fast and he was only turning left. I saw a gaggle ahead but they left when I got to the airport they were over, and I got no climb. At 500', I saw a dusty and by the time I got to it, I realized it was taller than I was high... I grabbed hold of it and saw my vario- 278' agl... climbing... I had 700', 850', then 900'.. then no lift. This thing was drifting and broken and I chased it across 3 fields at 400' now... turning, turning, turning... finally landing. I was only 7 miles away from the resort after 90 minutes of struggling!!! Mark Dowsett and Bruce Busby witnessed this excercise in futility (well, they recognized it as futile long before I did!). My mantra was, "flight ain't over until my feet are actually ON the ground" again. Mike retrieved me really fast and I was all showered and clean by the time Mark called after landing. What a frustrating flying day for me. I knew I had to make a big mental shift to stay positive about my performance here this year. I had made a change in my usual flying style and was leaving crap sooner and pulling in the bar more than I was used to. But it was paying off only some of the time. The real lesson to learn will be when to fly like a bat out of hell, and when to go into turtle mode.
Flight time: (2), 30 minutes and 1:30
Alt2: 4000?
XC miles: 7.3


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