Linda Salamone's Blog

Monday, January 14, 2013

Forbes Day 5 and 6 Another crazy windy day at the tow paddock. I am beginning to believe that the organizers at launch think if they just TELL us it’s blowing 10-15 mph then we should just take that as fact and not question it. But no way n hell would I have free flown yesterday. No way… So I did what I do when I am faced with that dilemma- knowing better but competing. I just chunk it out in pieces. First: tow. Second (if I survive the tow): make it out of the start. Third: just grab as many Ks as possible and land safely. So my tow was OK, and the climb out sucked ass. But I just dealt with it in small pieces. Jamie decided not to fly so I’d be on my own. I was climbing near the paddock with Tyler from Canada, and getting good climbs after a scratchy start. And then I just kept slightly upwind of courseline and stayed within sight of other gliders. Eventually I started seeing pilots SUPER high and I tried to stay with climbs long enough to get to them. A little mountain range was on courseline that we’d have to go over but I was ridiculously high- like 9000’ so no problem. I saw so many others way higher and as I cruised to the first WP I started getting 10, 11 then 12,000’. Very freaking cold compared to the hellish heat on the ground. I stayed in it as long I could but I was FREEZING!!! I tagged the first WP and headed straight into the wind for the second. I left some 600fpm climbs at 12000’ because of the cold. My camelback was leaking and I was soaked and shivering!On the way to WP2 I got a bit low- like 6K off the ground and started to panic with 6K to go to the 2nd. I went WAAAAAAY downwind to get a climb with other pilots that I had thought was a mistake at the time but I was determined not to go alone. I got the climb and then tagged the WP but the wind was ramping up and I wound up landing shortly thereafter. Turns out I did ok for the day and my landing was great in the howling wind. I think I could have landed on a fresh egg and not broken it. Jamie and Mike were there in 2 minutes and helped me fly the glider to the shade and wind shadow to break down. There were sheep body parts everywhere. I swear they just implode randomly in the heat and their parts are scattered everywhere. We retrieved Rob and were on our way to Thai food in Parkes where the Elvis Festival was in full swing. The American boys and drivers joined us and basically just ate all our leftovers. And that was the end of Day 5 of the World Championships…. Day 6. What can I say? hot and sweaty on the paddock. Not normal because usually it’s not humid and the wind is blowing. But I was feeling so good from yesterday because my score was decent. I knew the forecast was for strong wind later and figured I’d just take the day in small pieces again. My tow behind Bruce was interesting to say the least- very active. He left me off in what I thought was decent but all the climbs in the 30K start circle basically sucked ass. I nearly had a midair with a combat and there were so many times when I got my ass handed to me by a ratty piece of air. We waffled low- maybe 4K off the ground for so long. The drift was enough to make me take whatever start I could- I didn’t care think it was the second- and I waffled along courseline fore a while. Slow low climbs, totally shaded over, tons of pilots around, crazy gaggles. 40+ K out I went on a glide with (slightly behind) the gaggle, and they got so far ahead. When I saw them turning I knew I’d be really low beneath them but there were 2 guys near me. At 700’ agll they grabbed the climb. I got spit out like a read headed stepchild and when I pointed back at it into the wind I was going backwards and unable to punch into it. I drilled straight to the ground in 40kph winds and had a fuck of a time trying to pack up. I swear it ramped to 50mph and I was struggling just to get it wrapped up screaming at the wind to let up for just a sec while I secured Sandee. My driver was 20 min out and it was a long time laying on my keel and having visions of her tumbling away without me. My battens, once I finally got then out, went blowing across the field unbelievably. It was so out of control. Mike McFaddin has a video I will try to link. Crazy windy day. Still howling!!! I don’t know how I did but that huge gaggle left without me. So probably not a great day. I’m just glad I lived through the landing. Jamie wisely towed up and just landed at the field… Ugh.. what is with these task/safety committees??? Task was stopped probably right when the wind was the worst on the ground…..


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