We opened launch 15 minutes earlier yesterday to try to make more time for everyone (even those at the end of the launch line) to get up into the nice cooler air. This worked brilliantly and we had everyone airborne in just over an hour. Unfortunately, just as the launch crew was packing up and the tugs were preparing to tie down back at the resort, we looked up to find the entire field of gliders not much more that 1000 feet off the deck, directly over the tow paddock :-(. We were quite sure we were going to have to launch the entire field ALL OVER AGAIN! Well luckily, we have a lot of very tenacious pilots. They fought for a solid half a hour and eventually most everyone got back up a reasonable altitude and out on course.
According to reports though, it was one of those very difficult, frustratingly low days we sometimes have here. Only 8 flex made it in to goal - two of which had to come in downwind to make the edge of the cylinder - and we're not talking about 1 or 2 mph downwind - it was a solid 10mph down wind at goal for Ricker and Pigpen (as we're now calling him). Ricker managed to catch a wingtip trying to bank it around 3 feet off the ground. He was lucky enough to slide around and catch his belly in the powdery dirt slowing him down a bit. Pigpen was so low he had zero hope of anything but straight downwind. He piled in so hard with a full speed turtle, stopping belly up in a giant dust cloud. He's lucky to have no broken arms or legs....he actually walked away from it laughing - dork!