Jay, Joe, Anthony and I got up early Saturday morning and made the 4 hour drive down to Dunlap. We meet up with Phil and Jason at the Dunlap gas station/mini store and after picking up some last minute snacks, we all head up to launch.
With pretty strong thermals already cycling the conditions look promising. And within a couple hours the comp had started and we were all circling above launch.
I was in the air for less than 20 minutes when one of the power bars on my gps vanished indicating that my batteries were dying! Usually when the first bar disappears I have half an hour or so before the thing shuts off. Now maybe Bruce or Jay flying the Viper, with a PPG, loaded down with an extra 100 pounds or so of ballast could make task in that time, but for me on my Rush it wasn’t going to happen. I briefly consider forgetting about the competition, but then decided to stick with it and see how far I could go on 3 bars.
Two and a half hours later, amazingly my gps is still going and I find myself circling above the second to last waypoint which happens to be Bald Mountain. I have made it here three times in the past couple of years but never made it any further. In order to get past Bald Mountain you have to jump a pretty large canyon and a LOT of sinking air. This combined with the fact that I never find much lift over Bald have taught me to dread this place. This time however I am at least 1000ft over the top, so have a little leeway and decide to line up with the last waypoint and just go for it. Much to my elation (and surprise) I clear the canyon only loosing 800 or so feet in the process. WAHOO out of the fish bowl!!! Jay is not far behind and clears the canyon with similar results, followed shortly by Jason and Joe who also make it across.
The final leg was uncharted territory for all of us but we made a pretty good go at it. Jay made it a couple more miles before sinking out. I nearly sink out a half mile or so further along but manages to pull off a really low save and pushed further south until my battery finally died at which point I made a u-turn and headed for the nearest road. Jason and Joe landed not far behind.
You can see our combined track logs here.
The second day was every bit as fun as the first. It started out with Joe and I taking Tim and Anthony’s Acro gliders up for a demo flight. Here is video of us launching:
I was on the smaller one at 16 meters and Joe flew the “big” one a whopping 18 meters. Pretty amazing wing, it felt like it wanted to do wing over every time I applied any pressure to either break toggle.
Great time had by all as usual. Nice work on the video Joe.
Here are a few pictures.
And track logs for everyone who posted them.