Scott O'Brien

Flight Number:250
Launch:TO (SW-SSW) Dunlap, CA
Max Distance:3417m
Max Altitude:1787m
Track Length:77020m
Wing:BGD Epic
IGC File:Download


The first interesting thing to note about the day started before we launched, and it was the weather. All week, even on google weather, it said afternoon storms at Dunlap, and the closer we got, the more we tended to "pick our favorite" model to show a good day. I personally was worried about big clouds showing up from 11-30,000 (which we did end up getting, forcing the last two to land).

Let's get into the good things of this flight first. Take off was wonderful, I find I'm managing to correct the wing as I bring it up, and am more comfortable setting up into the sides of a launch.

I'm more than comfortable being in bumpy, textures air for hours at a time now. Both flights this weekend were 2-3 hours long, and apart from the need to pee, it felt very comfortable. No longer is my mental head game around the 2 hour mark, which is a very good thing.

There are a couple of things I'd love to analyse a little more on these tracks. I'm still getting closer, but am finding it today hard to climb back up towards the south-east, I can't easily climb back up the mountain again. Both days I found that I did a lot of "scratching" back up the ridge as if it was a ridge soaring site. Sunday, I was just slow and by the time I got to need to make my way back up to launch, it was already late in the day.

Throughout this flight, I wanted to play more conservative towards the end. It's frustrating that I'm always so slow and so far behind everyone, and it was nearing the 3:00 mark when I was going to tag last chance. Heading down the ridge, I noticed the wind had changed and was blowing katabatic down the hill, so wanted to make sure I was out well away (making my usual ridge soar back up not an option).

Talking to some others, it sounds like perhaps the better lift was always out more from the ridge. Saturday when I attempted that, I didn't end up finding lift and had to land, so I guess it's a hard balance between now trying to want to stay closer to the ridge/launch where I know there's consistent lift (and I can ridge soar because that's what I'm good at when it's working that direction) and pushing out more to try and find the thermals away from the ridge.

Other interesting things to note, is that a lot of people found the air very rough and rowdy. I found this not to be the case. When I was following Crissy around, she's so boaty! Everywhere seems up for her where as I tend to need to fight for my lift.

  • Is some people like Crissy finding a lot more lift than me everywhere over the valley down to luck? A pod? Choosing better paths than me? Or am I just that heavily loaded now on my wing? (that latter would support it not feeling as rough for me as others)
  • Let's compare my route to others, and see where other people tended to be getting the lift compared to me.