Saturday, 21 February 2015

Saturday 21st February 2015

We waited on the ground but unfortunately the conditions prevented setting a task. However, most pilots had a flight in the local area. There was a westerly with large areas of overdevelopment and a limited soarable area. This was a pity because thermals in the area were 6-800ft/min to 6,000ft for two hours or so. Some pilots found limited wave west of the field with convergence in the east for 20km or so. Later in the afternoon rain showers pushed through with the front with a late clearance and a temperature still around 25°C.

After what turned out to be a great week of flying with at least local flying possible every day, the Keith Cammock and Craig Hunter combination won the PW5 contest, Ross Taylor was the top club class pilot and Graham White retained the Open/Standard class titles. Daily open class tasks and scores are on Soaring Spot at

With thermals every day and well set tasks resulting in only three landouts all competition over all classes, this shows the great flying conditions available in Hawkes Bay. In the unlikely event of a landout being required, there are many large fields available as safe landing areas.

Thanks to contest director Neil Faulknor, weatherman, task setter and scorer Graham White, tow pilots and all the helpers. Thanks also to our sponsors Centralines and New World Waipukurau. A great thank you is also due to Margaret Keir, the master chef, who spoiled all present with two fantastic steak meals which were much appreciated by all who attended . We hope to see more pilots and hanger ons for next years event. At prize giving, Tony van Dyk challenged all those present to bring at least one extra person next year whether they be a pilot or volunteer to help on the ground. Other Central Districts gliding clubs are also asked to help support the running of their local event.

Friday, 20 February 2015

Friday 20th February 2015

Yes! four competition days in a row which wasn't the long term forecast for the week. An earlier start was had as sea breezes were forecast for later in the day. Thermals to 5,000ft to start then up to 6,000ft in the higher country to the west had everyone out on track early and around the top turn before the sea breeze effect had arrived there. The sky looked good as far as one could see in any direction so maybe a longer task may have been possible but would have made it hard at the end as the sea breeze convergence moved well inland. Some pilots ran down the ranges again towards the southern turn where the choice was back up the middle of the plains or deviate to the convergence in the east. As it turned out, the convergence was the better choice although not by a huge margin. Most pilots were on final glide from the second to last turn but the easterly and sinking air on the other side of the convergence was there to catch out the unwary. A group dinner out together in the evening, held today as most pilots depart after flying tomorrow, was a great way to round off a very pleasant day.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Thursday 19th February 2015

Another reasonable day despite a southwest wind arriving to try and spoil the fun. The PW5's found the wind too much to fly the task but the open had a challenging day with thermals broken but workable up to 4,500ft. A convergence west of Te Aute made the day by making the southern turn possible which saw six pilots getting round.  Due to some misunderstandings about airspace there were some infringements that had to be sorted. David Hirst won the day at 98kph, a good effort, with Hugh de Latour second - honours to the two Ventus CT pilots. Obviously wingspan helped today!

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Wednesday 18th February 2015

Lots of happy faces again today after another successful racing day. Launch was delayed somewhat with a wait for the temperature to rise on the ground and then the wind changed so the grid had to change ends.

All gliders were launched by 2:30pm into a largely blue sky but climbs of 3-500ft/min were there with lift topping out between 5 and 6,000ft. The PW5's had mostly blue thermals in the east with a little cloud later on  while the open could take advantage of the cloud which formed with a convergence running to the ranges in the west. At Te Aute looking to Gwavas, the next turn, the lift was marked with wispy cloud which developed more as the day progressed. Along the top of the ranges another convergence had formed which gave  a climb to 8,000ft and it was possible to run along this to south until it ran out west of Ormondville. Some pilots elected not to push in to the ranges and had slower runs as a result. Two more climbs in the convergence over the flats had pilots on final glide from Tikokino back to Waipukurau via Rakautatahi.

Monday, 16 February 2015

Tuesday 17th February 2015

The weather reverted to normal and a task was set with launch at 12:15pm. After some hiccups, everyone was on task by 1:50pm and enjoyed reasonable thermals to 5,000ft AGL and a challenging task in parts. The sky was best in the east which is not the norm here and contrary to the RASP forecast. A pair of pilots completed a competition task for the first time which is great as these regionals are for training. A couple of GPS files couldn't be read in the open class. But, most pilots had a smile on their face and looked forward to another flying day tomorrow.