The Easter weekend Andrew ran the Easter Bunnies WE comp at Killarney, 160k west from here. And I got to second place!

Drove out friday morning, and decided that a 4wd is going to be the next acquisition (screw getting a new kitchen, going places is more important). Friday wasn't too successful with me bombing out twice.

Us setting up on the hill, and Richard and Paul ridgesoaring.

 2004_04_09-killarney-launch-setu.jpg  2004_04_09-killarney-launch-setup2.jpg  2004_04_09-killarney-launch-setup3.jpg  2004_04_09-killarney-parawaiting.jpg 2004_04_12-ridgesoaring-killarney.jpg

Quite a few of us camped on Andrew's property, 50m from launch at 1020m ASL. It was great, no lights at night and a dome full of stars over us. Beautiful, if a bit chilly because of the strong wind. Paul, Rob and I quickly dumped stargazing in the windchill in favour of the warm fire.

Saturday was My Day: goal was south of Allora, 41km to the north. I had a nice launch, a bit of scratching around until I found a thermal, then a reasonable climb out to about 1400m. Went over the back without major expectations, together with Paul. We caught some reasonable thermals near Tanymorel/Mt. Coliery, and had wedge-tailed eagles fly with us: one came really close to me, about one meter behind the wing. I waggled the wing but that didn't deter this eagle's cusiosity: he and his two companions turned with us for at least a few minutes. We went back up to about 1500m ASL.

A bit later I lost Paul who headed out to another group of flyers. I went onto course to goal, and expected to deck it just past Emuvale, where Andrew had landed a few minutes earlier. I was low, already picking the landing paddock and planning my approach, but luck and a nice thermal off the darker ground there got me back up and I stuck with it as well as I could, eventually levelling out at 2070m ASL. A nice strait of clouds developed and eventually I was only a couple of k's out of goal :-) So I went there and beyond, another 5 km: a grand total of 46km in about 1h50m. Landed in a very grassy paddock and got picked up by Lara just after walking out to the main road. A great improvement of my personal best (which had been 12km) and even better as only Ivan made it to goal that day so we two won the day.

The remaining days were not overly good for me, as I didn't get away anymore but then the others didn't get away far either, so eventually I got to 2nd place (out of 13), behind Ivan who made it to goal on two days. Pretty nice, and the price was fitting, too: a 1.2kg chocolate easter egg of monumental size. (Thanks, Andrew and Wendy!)

Unfortunately I was clumsy enough to delete my GPS track (ARRRRRRRRGH) so there's only the barograph trace:


A couple of pictures from in the air,between Warwick and Allora.

 2004_04_10-airborne-goal.jpg  2004_04_10-airborne-near-warwick.jpg  2004_04_10-airborne-view-warwick.jpg 2004_04_10-me-flying3.jpg

The landing field.

 2004_04_10-landing-allora.jpg landing paddock after 46k
[ published on Sat 17.04.2004 00:37 | filed in interests/flying | ]
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