We woke up to quite a lot of high cloudiness yesterday and before heading out to the paddock, it only seemed to worsen. I don't think many were hopeful for a stellar day. But little by little the high cloudiness that cooled the morning lead to the sky opening up and heating up the ground. By launch time at 12:45 the sky looked great! There were cu's on most all of the surrounding mountains and the high clouds had moved through.
We have five (yes, FIVE) classes of gliders this year - open, sport, Swift, Class 5 and Superfloaters. We haven't actually figured out if the Superfloaters have an official class or not, so we're calling them Class 4, but I don't really think that's accurate. In terms of staging/launching and scoring, it's been a challenge. Luckily, launch conditions were perfect yesterday and we had no issues - in fact, just one re-lite and all of those classes were in the air and on course pretty quickly.
Because conditions initially looked less than promising, the task committee (Jonny, Zac, Larry) decided to start small with an out and return of about 80km. Coming down to the morning briefing and looking at all the high clouds, they even cut that down at the last minute to 64km. Turns out they probably should have left it at 80 because 24 out of 31 in the open class made goal. Pedro raced in first about five minutes ahead of the lead gaggle, although Dustin had the most daring final glide, coming in under the (quite low) power lines crossing the road on the south side of the Francisco Grande. I wish we had pictures of that!!
Around 5ish, the weather closed in on us and a gorgeous desert gust front hit dumping rain for most of the rest of the night. It made for an amazing sunset and pleasant cool conditions. This morning is clear and sunny. The ground is very wet and I can't help but wonder what that is going to bring for Day 2.
Special thanks to the Wolfman for all the cool in-air shots!