Linda Salamone's Blog

Monday, January 07, 2013

Forbes Day 1 Task 1 Monday started windy-ish and ramped up a bit when we were rigging. The pilot meeting was thankfully brief but informative and a 158k task was set. Setting up was difficult and I had a middle launch order that I was happy with at first. But the wind was pretty gusty- gustier than I would free fly in, and Jamie and I soon had each other fairly defensive about towing at our appointed time. Like a good teammate I kept her company when she pulled out of line to go to the back. I saw some good carnage and some bad tows that could have been a lot worse. The gaggle was not high at all and sometimes when they made a push upwind, the lowest few had to re-light. Not conditions in the air or in the ground that I like! As soon as it was just Jamie and I on the ground, it started to feel like it was backing off. We gave it a few more minutes and suited up. I got behind an Italian tug pilot (white plane but not Bobby!) and he pulled me through some of the roughest crap 100'off the ground... and then began to THERMAL IT UP!!! I was at release altitude in a minute or two but I had slack in the line a few times and never felt like I was squarely behind him at all! It was by far the craziest tow I have ever had bar NONE. When he waved me off I didn't even want to take my hand off to pull the barrel, but I did and got right up to over 4K pretty quick. I watched Jamie tow up and hers looked like it took 10 minutes and by then I was drifting towards the start. When I thought she was off tow I called her on the radio and got no response. So I guess we are going on a silent course... bummer. We were gonna need all the help we could get as we were totally left behind. At first all I wanted to do was just get out of the start circle. At 10K radius, and lots of wind (20-25kph) that should be easy. I saw 2 gliders on the ground just before the start gate and since I was at a whopping 3K i figured I wont come in dead last anyhow. very climb for the first 30 or 40k was crappy. I would get to like 1500', find a weak climb, stay til 3500' then lose it, search for it down to 2800', go on glide, then repaet the process. At this point I am just trying to put as many Ks behind me as possible. I kept thinking, Ok 30K thats respectable after thinking I wouldnt make the start gate. Then, Ok 50K, that's better than 30K... and so on. At one point I had a decent climb, 50K from the turnpoint, and then after my glide was looking to land. I had some weak lift and stayed with it at 1000' just to pick out a better field and grab a few more Ks. The next 50K I did right at around 1800' to 2500' just turning and turning and turning. I was basically still blowing on down on course line so it was all about each and every kilometer. Over the town at the waypoint I got a half decent climb while trying to sort out what the actual point was. Right after I tagged the point and went about picking out my next landing field, I heard from Jamie on the radio. She said she saw me at the waypoint but she was in the retrieve car with awesome driver Mike McFaddin and so-so Canadian hat guy Rob Clarkson. It had been she that I saw landing (the only other glider I saw all task) around 60K back. I had been unzipped 3 times on this flight, but now it was after 7pm and there was still some life left in the day. Amazing to me, I went another 20K after that turnpoint that had seemed very pie-in-the-sky to me at 3pm. and landed with my chase vehicle right behind me. WAY TOO COOL! My left foot was completely wrecked when I landed- and it was a so-so landing- because for some reason I push my feet back painfully in the harness for hours at a time without realizing it. I had drunk my entire camelback and the calvary arrived in time to help me pack up and basically carry me home. We stopped in a town on the way back for dinner- begging the proprieters to serve us this late- and joined Mitch, Polona and James for a bite. So I was 32k short of goal, and feeling ok about it- until I found that 61 people had made it in. I guess it helps to have some company (duh!) especially in tough conditions. I promise to get the sand out and place better tomorrow. Many great pilots went down earlier than me, but I know I should have made this goal. Tomorrow looks to be windy with slow climbs and low ceiling. Oh- and blue. But I am a scratch pilot so bring it on. Jamie will sort her PTT issues out so maybe I won't be completely alone that way either. Oh and my glider has been christened "Sandee"....I love her pink little self!


  • Wow! That was really quite an awesome flight. You should be very proud of all you accomplished. I sure would be. Great job, Linda.

    By Blogger JackieB, at 12:15 AM  

  • Wow Linda your first day was great and you beat 60 other pilots so I think you did fantastic.
    Fly safe

    By Blogger skydog, at 12:28 PM  

  • Photos please Linda.
    Thanks, Bob

    By Blogger skydog, at 12:35 PM  

  • Need fotos of the new machine!!! Hang n there. HAHAHAHA PK

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:24 PM  

  • You go girl!

    By Anonymous Bruce, at 1:05 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home