Sunday, 9 June 2013

Declared out and return, devils dyke to ditchling and back

One of my best flights in the downs. Very annoyed that my gps packed up. I've sold my usual one and am waiting for my 6030 to arrive and so used a back up. However it lost reception and recorded a 10th of the flight! Really annoying as it means I can't upload my best scoring flight this year to UKNXCL... Oh well. I'd declared the flight earlier that day. Had a quick flight in the morning and found the air VERY rough.
Took off at around 2pm and very quickly climbed out to around 3300ft with John young and Miles(flying like a skygod today!)
Decided to use this height to cross straight to ditchling, realised half way across that I wouldn't make it in the strong headwind and had to top up on a climb over the main road that runs between newtimber and ditchling. Once onto the ditchling ridge I had a mission to get to the end of the ridge and half complete my out and return goal, this was my first mistake as I was not stopping for the little climbs to top up height. I pegged the end of the ridge and started turning around to come back at about 300ft above the ridge. However, even though there was plenty of sunshine I couldn't find a climb anywhere and spent the next HOUR scratching two small bowls that seemed to work between 60-150ft ato!!! Very depressing, I tried to head for the brown fields out the front but didn't have enough height to get to them. After 30 minutes of being stuck halfway down the ridge, miles screamed above me on his Atos VR at about 1000ft, got another climb IMMEDIATELY and shot off towards ringmer, leaving me pinned at ridge height. I was receiving encouragement form Paul cryer over the radio who was working near plumpton. After miles had shot off, the sky went overcast and everything went into shade, I spent some time at ridge height, sometimes a little lower and occasionally if I worked really hard got up to 220ft!!!! I found myself getting mentally exhausted and tired when all of a sudden after an hour of scratching, the sun slowly appeared and swifts&swallows started dancing around in front of the hill, I carefully pushed out and worked some weak lift to 700ft before it turned into a nice 5up and took me to 2700ft! I was so happy to be off the ridge I got a little carried away and turned straight for the dyke and sped back at full speed only slowing up for any lift but not really turning in it. I scraped over the top of newtimber and arrive just below the trees in front of the modellers bowl. It was very easy to get back up from there and I went straight across to truleigh to complete the declared goal and managed to get a nice line of lift a little out the front of the arials over the industrial estate or scrapyard (note really sure). I landed back on top of the dyke after just under 3hours but i felt like I was trapped at ditchling for half the day. 

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