Archive for July, 2011

2011 WRC comes to an end

Sunday, July 17th, 2011

I made my final world record attempt on Friday July 15th the forecast was showing the best winds so far this season and we had good early clouds but as we got into place our tow road near Edinburgh was not going to work so we headed for our tow road near mccook and the clouds were not nearly as good infact they were shredded up and not streeting but i gave it a go anyway and it was exactly what it looked to be. weak broken lift. I got a tow to 1,300 ft without even a burble and when i pinned off i flew downwind toward a bird i had seen and i found a 50fpm burble and slowly climbed up but after 5 minutes i was just maintaining and then slowly losing so i headed upwind to another bird that had a better core but by the time i got there it was gone and i went downwind again and was on the deck 10km downwind, by the time i got retrieved it was 11:00 and my shot at the record was over. Turns out the day was not a record day as the clouds just dried up with a high thick deck of cirrus covering the sky slid in from the gulf.

So the severe drought was not good for record chasing and i have seen this pattern before the year before we set the world record in Zapata we had a dry year and it was not so great. We really need some moisture in the area to help the good clouds to form over the entire record courseline and mainly over the hill country where this year the clouds that formed quickily disapated.

I’m back in NM now and making final preps for the 2011 US national championships in Hearne Texas

The first ever national level tow event right now we have 28 pilot registered and i expect 40 pilots by race day.

Stay tuned!.

WRC July 11th. 200 kms/5hrs

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

Finally things lined up for us down here and we were in posistion at 7:30 a.m. and as the clouds were forming to our west we headed to a location by Mccook and Tom R towed me up at 9:35 but i did’nt connect with the lift and i was back on the ground in 5 minutes. The next tow got me to 1,100 ft where i was below a cloud in 200 fpm lift and i was at base in no time 2,100 ft was low but i just stayed under that cloud and drifted along.

I saw some birds downwind and went to them but they had nothing worthy and i was quickily in need of lift and two other buzzards show it to me and for the first 30 minutes the birds made the difference and by then cloud base had lifted to 3,000 ft and i was staying above 1,500 ft. i was at 100 km by 12:30 and then things sped up and i was at 150 kms out in the middle of nowhere the clouds were not streeting up like a record day and the winds aloft were weaker not stronger so i knew that i might not have a shot at the record so i decided to land on hwy 35 north of Laredo to avoid a long hike out.

I did 200 kms (125 miles) in 5 hrs but with only 5.5 hrs left i would have to fly 175 miles and i just did’nt see it in the clouds.

I will be ready to go tomorrow and Thurs,Fri looks good as well.

Today the cloud streets are set up but way to the east and no good clouds are forming along my record path.

More soon,

David.

WRC, July 9th,July 10th

Sunday, July 10th, 2011

We went back to our spot by La Gloria and gave it a go and i had a great start at 10:35 with a high into a strong thermal and i was at base in no time at all, then i made the first glide but i should have just hung with my cloud and stayed right at base but i went gliding and my next thermal was a bit shredded and i did’nt climb much so i headed downwind and found a better core and that got me back to base at 3,100 ft my cloud wisped out quickily and so i went on glide again and the sky was blue i headed for a shred of a cloud and then it wisped out so i headed downwind and dirted 20 kms out. The sky downwind of me was barren of clouds.

I was looking at about a 7 mile hike as the crow flies to the road but with a zig zig to stay on well traveled roads i t would have been about 8-10 miles. But it was my lucky day as Tom and Scott my drivers who were at a locked gate when the land owner Whit Jones was leaving and hhey told him what was going on and so he took them in his truck and drove out to my location and i had only hiked about a mile when they found me. I thanked Whit profusely as he saved me a huge hike out.

We drove back to Harlingen looking at a amazing set of cloud streets that were forming near Harlingen and stretched out to the N.W. for  100 miles or more. As we got back near Edinburgh we started to look around to see what kind of tow roads we could find and we eventually found 5 different roads along the way where we coudl tow from, some paved and some dirt in both direction N/S and E/W.

After a great home cooked meal by Tom’s wife Debbie and daughter,

I headed to bed early to be well rested for Sundays record attempt.

Today we were on sight and ready to go by 8:30 but the clouds were just to far north of us and we decided to wait and see if they formed again over us but they did’nt i towed up at 10:30 in mostly blue and i got a 1,000 ft tow but just did’nt have much to work with but i did manage to find a small core i could dribble with and gained about 500 ft but was drifting toward a lake that was big enough to need some altitude before crossing. I saw a bird working something and i left my slow core to head for him but the thermal was too weak for me and soon i was back on the ground and the sky was still blue so i decided to not try again as it was already 11:00. AS we packed up and drove away the sky filled with clouds 11:30 and right now the sat image for Texas is showing world record cloud streets and the winds at several airports along the record path show it to be record conditions. I’m so bummed to be grounded so early these two days but i know better days are coming Mon,Tues,Wed, So i just rest up and prepare for another crack at it tomorrow.

Stay tuned,

David.

2011 world championships cancelled

Friday, July 8th, 2011

If any of you have been following the 2011 world championships in Spain you know that on the second task there were two fatalities and they suspended competition until a safety comm could review things and today we get the news that the 2011 worlds have been cancelled after the CIVL had banned comp gliders from the competition. Steve Ham has decided to cancel the rest of the competition as many pilots simple did not posses a serial class glider.

I must say i had a feeling that there might be some serious incidents at this world championships as the 2 liner revolution was going to draw many pilots flying these new gliders without being truly capable. I did not expect that they would be banned or that the championships would be cancelled.

Two fatalities in one day is just a hard reality to overcome and i do hope that in the future we can find a new balance and determine who is the best pilot not which manufacturer is willing to push the edge further.

I think there is going to be many changes in competition that will arise from this.

There are several threads on the pgforum that you can see to find out more details.

David.

winds on the increase!

Friday, July 8th, 2011

The winds are on the increase here in deep south Texas and it looks like i may get a record shot sometime over the next week. Saturday and Sunday look best for winds but Sunday has a 20% chance of showers. Monday also looks good.

Today we saw the clouds arrive a bit later the the previous two days but the winds are the best we have seen in the last ten days. I am rested and ready to go hopefully one of these next few days will line up with the clouds for a early start and the winds to propel a 500 km flight.
more soon,

David.

Good, but not that good.

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

The sky is filled with beautiful cu’s and some of them are streeted up nicely but overall it’s just not world record and the main reason is the lack of strong S.E. flow. A world record day will start with 10 to 15 mph surface flows and low thick cloud layer that slowly lifts and as it does the winds will increase to 20 gusting to 25 mph, The thinck cloud layer will also crack open forming long streets and at that moment you can launch and just hang out below a cloud street the lift may be weak but the winds are doing the job of pushing you along abotu 100 m per 360 turn, and then as the day turns on and cloudbase lifts up the lift strengthens and you can start to push faster do that for 10.5 hrs and you could be the new owner of the world record over 500kms. But without all those things lining up you don’t really have any chance to set a record.

So while the skies would make most pilots very anxious to get airborne, when it comes to chasing the world record these average days when you could fly 150 to 250 miles just are not good enough to propel a 300 mile flight you have to just sit back and wait till everything lines up.

So that is what i’m doing now waiting and waiting.

We are hoping to see the winds increasing by late in the week with fingers crossed.
David.

Thank you Arlene!

Sunday, July 3rd, 2011

Arlene has now passed and she left us with some very well needed moisture and this has given us better cu´s further north on the course line.

The forecast is showing a slow improvement and i think Tuesday and Wednesday could hold a record shot with good S.E. flow. lows in the mid 70´s and highs at 102,103.

The winds may be a little light but after gary´s 596 mile flight yesterday out of Zapata in his tandem Sailplane it proves the big flights can be made in light conditions.

I´ll be well rested and ready to give both days a shot.

Overall the pattern looks to only improve over the next week.

Stay tuned for more.

David.

Arlene first named Atlantic storm

Friday, July 1st, 2011

Arlene came asohre in north Mexico yesterday and we got a outer band cell thru Harlingen mid morning and by the end of the day we had gotten about 6 inches of rain which was quickly absorbed by the drought stricken ground. So the drought has been relieved here in deep south Texas but the majority of Texas is still sufferring badly and it looks as if the rest or the remnants of Arlene will head west into northern Mexico.

The weather will not get better for world record flights until Tuesday of next week.

The WRE in Zapata will end on the 4th of July without anyone getting even close to a world record although a few pilots did fly over 400 kms.

Stay tuned.

David.