The bus fetched us from our doorstep and took us to the top launch today which is around 1,500m+ ASL. The valley was heavily inverted far below. We eventually got off the gravel launch to climb to 3,000m+ which was where the second inversion ended. One or two guys reportedly got through that inversion to about 3,400mASL. With mellow thermals of around 2-3m/s everyone boated around until eventually going on an extended glide into the valley which was dead still. I have seldom flown in such laminar air so I took the opportunity to pull straps on the harness and figure out different trim/speed combinations. For those interested there is about 6-8km/h difference between trim extremes and the glider accelerates by 20-24 km/h at the ring stoppers with trims fully out. I never really believed it but now I see these ships really do get close to 70km/h flat out. More interesting was finding the best accelerated glide combinations which are not where I had assumed they were. The sink rate increases sharply beyond a certain point moving from -1.5m/s to -2.0m/s in an inch or two of travel on the speed bar or trimmer. All in all a great day of picturesque flying made all the better by landing behind the hotel and packing up on the marble tiles of a cavernous airconditioned anteroom.
Ozone vs the Protos
The mountain was abuzz with glider talk. Mac, Gin, Niviuk and Advance all have two-liners here in numbers and Torsten arrived with a Swing hot off the production line. Chirp of the day (heard on the bus ride up the hill): "Gin is making a better R10 than Niviuk". This raised a chuckle or two, but the truth is everyone is excited at the prospect of new and improved gliders being showcased at this event. No-one I spoke to really knows what wings Russel and Luc have brought to defend their title with. Consensus opinion seems to be that it will be pretty good whatever it is (doh!). Luc was walking around the launch handing out new UV protected AR1 & 2 lines to all Ozone pilots which I thought was pretty cool given that my main lines would probably have been up for renewal after this comp.