Eye in the Sky - July 2007

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Tue 31 Jul 2007

Report by Alastair Florence



Started the day at Monks but after a bit of waiting me Pete C and Gary P decided we where probably flogging a dead horse. They went elsewhere and I headed Purbeck way. Had a look on the beach as Corfe church wind vane was a bit SE but the bay was calm and quiet, tried Knitson, too far off east. So bit the bullet and walked up Ballard. It felt reasonable on top and I gave it a go. Very smooth and reasonable lift up to 120-150ft, had a waft for a bit. Wind seemed to be going more SSE - S so tried the ridge. Certainly flyable at the risk of a thermic spanking on a reqular basis.

After an hour or so left another sitephone message as I was getting lonely then launched again. Soon got bored and decided to try and win my whiskey again by running to the ranges and back. Got over the Ulwell gap fairly easily (first time i've done this) with 1040ft asl and cruised onto Knitson ridge which was nice and thermic. Had to hold back until I built height again as there where 3 children on ponies which I did not want to spook on the hill path, then onward to Corfe. It had become obvious that this was a one way trip now as the wind was fairly well up my back side and going back just wasn't working. Arrived at Corfe at ridge top height and proceeded to try and build height to jump the Castle. Dave F is right as rough as a badgers proverbial here, I spent about 10 mins or so being Yo Yo'ed in fierce lifty and sinky bits trying to gain enough height to cross over, couldn't get more than 100 ft over the hill (300 would have done it) I would have tried with less but i'm not sure how pleased the National trust would have been if I bombed out in the Castle.

Settled for a top land as all the bottom options looked dodgy. Walked to the pub and waited for the wife to pick me up on her way back from work, which did not impress her much as I should have been cooking her tea.

Back to work tommorrow uhh.

Mon 30 Jul 2007

Report by Martin Foley


Peter Robinson and myself had an excellent day at Combe on Monday. Peter got away twice and flew to Chichester. I managed to fly to Lancing along the sea breeze convergence and attach two photos taken over Bognor. After much travelling by bus, train, car and taxis we arrived to fly in Talibont on Tuesday and the photo is taken of the Brecon Beacons looking towards Pen-y-fan.

Report by Keith Burrdige



Had a good hours flying at Bell today but decided to leave the changeable conditions for a change of scenery at Winklebury. Tried Monks first but the wind was still too far off to the west. Grant S stopped by and decided to give Winkelbury a go. I followed shortly and we were also joined by Andy F (from Wilton way) The conditions started light but a brutish grey cloud loomed and things became shall we say active for a couple of hours. Good practice for active piloting was the order of the afternoon. Two sites one day not bad.

Report by Alastair Florence



Another very pleasant day on Bell, most of the club there today, we can't all be retired or on holiday can we. Many of us struggling to go XC with varying conditions although sky was mostly very good but some proving it was eminently possible.

I can't think why that blue glider is above me in the photograph.

Report by David Franklin


Today seems to have been a bit similar to yesterday on Bell. The wind being a bit strong at times. The climb away from Bell today was a very patchy affair,which at times felt like it would fail to ever gain any momentum. After a lot of fiddling I eventually made base joined shortly after by Peter Studzinski. We stayed high and flew from one cloud to the next with plenty of lift to top up on. Just before Wareham we climbed to around a very cold 5,000ft but the route ahead didn't look very straightforward. Over Corfe right in our path there was a block of low cloud ,where the sea breeze was pushing in. Not sure what might be the best plan of action I decided I see if I could get around it and fly along the ridge. I did manage this but took a short pasting near corfe. I even managed to thermal in the sea breeze whilst going along the ridge. At this point it would have been possible to have pushed on to the very end of Ballard but I opted for a very civilized landing in a large field by the Village Inn at Ulwell and celebrated with an ice-cream. Peter had decided to try for Durlston head and nearly made it but then had the horrible task of getting through the grockel ridden streets of Swanage and had to miss his ice-cream as Neill had kindly arrived to retrieve us. Swanage two days on the trot must be summer at last.

Sun 29 Jul 2007

Report by Alastair Florence


Must have been the best XC day in Wessex region so far this year, suprising not more on the hill given the forecast. Fingers and other things crossed for tommorrow.

Report by Stuart Martin



"The accidental XC" . . . Well not quite, but it started of as a short tandem flight with Dave Winn to get some pictures. A technical hitch, that involved his harness snagging on the quick-out, left me driving from the front whilst he sorted things out and, before we knew it, there I was winding my way up from the hill in a gentle thermal: some things just cannot be resisted. He did the rest whilst I messed around with the camera and spotted the occasional cloud.

Wingmen Steve Philips and Dave Franklin accompanied us for most of the way even though Steve got close enough, on one or two occasions, to not require the zoom (which is only 80mm anyway).

A few excursions to base-and-beyond (see pictures), at about 4600' asl, and a few light showers on the way.

A good day out that ended happily in Swanage. Thanks for the retrieve Mark (that is one in the bank I owe you). Sun 29 Jul 2007

Report by Keith Burridge


Wasn’t sure whether to go to bell or Monks but looking at he wind map thought Bell would be a better bet. Checked the sitephone which confirmed Bell was the way to go. Arrived to see most people on the ground with just a couple of wings scratching. Conditions gradually improved with more and more wings taking to the air. To make things better the site started to become thermic. First flight plenty of soaring followed by a reasonably pleasant xc hop to Stickland. I think at the same time Sean S made Whitchurch. Got back in reasonable time to even better conditions to witness gaggles leaving the hill. Dave W and Stuart M ‘s quick tandem flight turned into I believe a coastal XC. Took off again and decided to try to make an XC home. Problem is home is nearly due east of bell. Made Badbury Rings though. Epic Day two flights, two XCs and many more XCs by others. Double checked Vario and GPS 3,500ft ATO (I know should have got futher!)

Sun 29 Jul 2007

Report by Mark Fisher




A brilliant holiday in Oludeniz with my children and flyable every day. My daughter Josie did her first paraglider flight on a tandem with Pegas Paragliding. There were over half a dozen companies doing trips up Mt. Babadag 5 times a day. I went up with Pegas every day but one, because my son decided to drink tap water and got a strep infection he was in hospital on an antibiotic drip overnight, absolutely first class medical treatment and facilities over there. Stayed at AkedenizBeach Hotel 2 minutes walk from sea, £15 a night with breakfast.

Very hot, temperatures in 40`s and thermic over the sea ! Great views at 7000ft. land on beach, have wing expertly packed for a few TL get a beer and cool off in the sea, perfect ! I was flying in just boots and swimming shorts. I was very surprised that only one other solo pilot was there.

Plenty of other activities for families, this is somewhere I plan to go to again.

http://www.youtube. com/watch?v=e88O1_bBzxQ

Tue 24 Jul 2007

Report by Pete Malon



Arrived at Bell with two friends at 11am after deciding the trek up to Long Mynd might be a bit too watery. It was just starting to get a bit strong with a couple of pgs and hgs in the air and some thinking about it on the ground. Kirsty Cameron launched first and got a climb out fairly quickly, with another pilot on a Nova going at the same time (Sean S?). I was slower getting ready and the wind had increased a bit so it was touch and go to get off but I eventually managed in a slight lull (many thanks to the kind souls who took the strain before that by holding my Cayenne down during the stronger gusts).

It was strong but manageable, with occasional thermals popping through. I caught the third one far enough in front to be safe staying with it and headed off, climbing steadily almost to base in it as it drifted behind the hill. The sky looked epic and there was lift about but the strong wind was breaking the thermals up (Kirsty saw a ground speed of over 90kph and I saw 70+) and the drift was towards airspace so it needed an effort to track crosswind to avoid that. I managed 12km before hitting huge sink and going from 2,600ft to the deck near Spetisbury in a couple of minutes (not even full bar could get me out of it – sad as there must have been big lift somewhere around). Kirsty did about 22km to East Morden. I would have been much easier if we could have continued straight downwind but those nice people at Bournemouth might have objected. Returning to the hill we flew again but conditions were much lighter, not very thermic and going Westerly so just a boat around before darkening skies and intermittent bursts of light rain put an end to proceedings.

Report by Keith Burridge

Heard the early message on the site phone so headed up to Bell to check out the “strong conditions”. Yup it sure was top endy with just a few choosing to give it a go. Had a couple of lumpy speedbar flights until the conditions strengthened and all landed. Sean S and a lady pilot decided to go over the back with the flow and one made Whitechurch (I think). Conditions eased after an hour or so of watching the hangies take to the skies and Bell was almost in bloom with floppies from one end to the other. Ali F caught a good one to leave the hill as all were bombing out in the big sink preceeded by the thermal he caught. I think he made Durweston Bridge. Many pilots on the hill during the course of the day including a couple of guests from the Gloucester (Long Mynd) area.

Report by Alastair Florence


Nice sunny day, nice sky, at least until mid PM, Many on the hill, most getting to fly at some stage. Hangies and PG's mixed, 2 x HG went XC !, + 4 x PG (maybe more later but less likely) Bit stronger than anticipated in the morning then dropped off and went West followed by rain.

Sun 22 Jul 2007

Report by Gary Mullins

Arrived just as Russell Whyte landed, proclaiming that it was "b****y cold" out on the cliffs. So an extra layer was needed. Nice gentle flying was had by all for an hour or so until the wind backed to the south and increased. This was when Grant Oseland arrived. He surveyed the conditions and decided that Ballards was his goal for the day. The wind eventually eased enough for him to make a "bottom take-off" ! and off he went out to the cliffs and into the distance, never to be seen again. While he was gone the wind kept slowly veering to the south-east. So the exodus began. Steve Bamlett and others decided on White Horse and Russell and Stookie went to another nearby site. I went home for tea.

That's why, Grant, there was no-one there when you got back from excellent flight. Nice effort.

Report by Paul Ebert


A great day sunday at ringstead and later at white horse

Report by Dave Winn


St Aldhelms head Arrived today at 7. 15 to get an hour and a half of gentle flying with the peregrines after which the wind speed increased and went off to the south west. Decided to go to Kimmeridge.

Kimmeridge Took off in fairly strong conditions and found good height all the way to the cliffs and over to Houns tout. The wind was now back from the west and made it difficult to return to the ridge. After a short walk back up I watched as Ali F did the same but continued on to St a's and stayed over there for a while. I took off again and decided to investigate the tower that has now been dismantled and rebuilt (almost) overlooking Kimmeridge bay. With not much lift on the Kimmeridge ledges I watched as Ali flew back to the ridge from St a's. Scratching every bit of lift off the cliffs, I just managed to get back on the ridge, where we enjoyed seat of the pants thermic flying out in front with over 500ft ato. Not a bad day.

Report by Grant Oseland



Awesome flying today at the coast, arrived at Ringstead to find a strong south south west wind and no one out at the cliffs, or in the air for that matter and a lot of wind measuring then took place for the next hour or so with various wind instruments and a lone hang glider took off (sorry don't know who).

Decided that despite it being strong I would give it a go so walked down to the very bottom off the hill and took off into strong but still easy to push forward wind strength , I wasted no time and decided that a ridge run was the order of the day as the wind was turning more and more to the south. It took nearly 15 minutes to get to the White Nothe with little hight gain to be had but as soon as I turned the corner onto the South facing cliff I went into orbit at about 600 feet above take off and from there hight was not a problem all the way down to Worbarrow bay. At this point it was decision time to go along the back ridge or push forward onto Gad cliff, I went for the back ridge and at first it seemed to be the right choice as there was still a bit of lift to be had but then it all went very wrong by the car park at Povington hill where I started to take a very large spanking presumably from the rotor off Gad cliff to the front, I went from about 500 feet to kicking the top of the gorse bushes in next to no time so I aborted this idea and about turned back to Worbarrow Bay and took another spanking all the way back to the cliffs, had a quick top up of height then went forward to Gad Cliff which again pushed me up into orbit.

It was now that I realised Kimmeridge would be quite possible from here and went on a long glide down the back ridge topping up a bit with the odd bit of lift on the way but started to get pinned when I hit the left hand edge of Smedmore hill (Kimmeridge) which was quite a way out of the wind and touched down just below the normal take off. I thought about packing up at this time but had a better idea and ground handled the wing around the corner just enough to take off again and scratched all the way along Kimmeridge towards Swyre Head which was working nicely and gave me enough lift to push forward onto Kimmeridge Ledges which provided just enough lift to get back to Kimmeridge Bay along the front cliffs, a first for me, but then it all went wrong again and the wind was to far round to the south and I could not build up enough height to get over Broad Bench and back onto Tyneham Cap and after a lot of scratching I nearly ditched in the sea but just managed to land on one of the Ledges and scared the crap out of my self and also two archaeologists who had not noticed me.

Still not ready to give up, a quick up pack followed by a quick walk up to Tyneham Cap and I took off again and headed for home, well Ringstead and the car, but was surprised to find that the car park was nearly empty and no one was flying, landed in the top field with loads of height at 17:45 and packed up quite content after having the whole of the coast to my self! Just one question, where was every one else?!

Sun 22 Jul 2007

Report by Alastair Florence



Had an early (0815) call from Dave W to say he was airborne at St. A's, by the time I got out D had relocated to Kimmeridge and was airborne again. Measuring 17-22 mph on t/o but Dave seemed ok so I just went down the slope a bit to launch.

Plenty of lift and just a little bumpy at times. Dave made a break for the sea cliffs and made Houns Tout and very nearly back onto Kimmeridge just falling short of the ridge lift. I went over to Houns Tout, spotted Paul H and A Nother launching on St. A's so decided to go for St. A's and back knowing I could scrounge if a lift if I couldn't fly back.

St. A's was ok very southerly for the site, got out to the coastguards then built up height and back over Chapmans Pool to the tout easy enough. Then on up the coast in front of Kimmeridge struck lucky for height and cruised back onto Kimmeridge, well chuffed that was one my goals for this years flying.

Meanwhile Dave had got stacks of height in front of the ridge and flew out to the cliff at Clavells Tower then after a bimble, back to Eldons Seat and from there back onto Kimmeridge ridge. A cracking morning all round although it was a bit strong on t/o really.

So I claim the bottle of whiskey I offered for this run, I dont really drink whiskey so a new challenge is, Knitson - Corfe - over the castle - to the edge of the ranges and back, do this and the whiskey's yours.

Sat 21 Jul 2007

Report by Paul Hawkins



Received a phone call from Steve Auld at around 5. 30pm saying it might be flyable at St Albans. (I have been pestering him to give me a site brief and see me off from this site for at least 6 months!) Unfortunately I had an errand to run so didn't think I could make it. . . . chucked the wing in the car just in case, finished said errand and drove to St Albans. Had a good 35 min in the air with Ali(thanks for the brief).

A stunning site to fly! Just a shame not to bump into Steve Auld as it was his idea to go there in the first place!

Report by Alastair Florence



Nice start to the day but soon turned to torential rain and I really didn't have any inspiration to even think about going flying today.

That is until Steve A apparently suggested (thanks Steve) to Paul H that St. Aldhelms might be flyable late PM, then Paul text me to see what I thought, I had no idea and little wish to find out really but as Paul had not flown here before I said I might take a look about 2000hrs ish.

Rain spots on the windscreen driving up did not bode well, I secretly hoped Paul wouldn't show and I could just go home.

He did show and we took a walk out to t/o where I didn't look to bad.

Soon both launched and found and abundance of smooth lift in an almost due Westerly. Both had a really enjoyable evening, Paul doing all sorts of stuff and me trying for Houns Tout a couple of times and still not quite making it. (much nearer this time) 400 - 500ft ato easy and got almost to the far side of the pool but started sinking fast. Too much west in it really. Both landed back at the car park in gathering dusk (yes that is the moon behind Paul in one of the pictures)


Wed 18 Jul 2007

Report by Alastair Florence


I came home via St. Aldhelms tonight, 14-17mph on take off, nice clear sky and good visibilty made a change from recent low cloud. Nice and smooth in the air and comfortable wind speed allowing a cruising altitude of 250 - 400ft dependant on location. I made several atempts at crossing to Houns Tout but was level with t/o before the 1/2 way so bailed out each time. Generally I reckon 550ft ato is the minimum needed for a safe ish passage at the start. The whole site length was nicely flyable.

I have taken enough pictures of the cliff here for a while so took some of Cows enjoying their grass supper in the valley below, also a cow (the lone white one at the top of the picture) proving that cows think the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, also young fresians next to the landing field hoping for a taste of XIX paraglider but being disapointed, and final approach to the car park and landing field. Oh for an XC day !

Mon 16 Jul 2007

Report by Grant Oseland


Turned out to be a good day at the Sea today, sky was not the best looking in the world but there was plenty of lift available (If you didn't mind using the force in the clouds!) The wind had a lot of south in it which caught a few out getting to the cliffs but once there Lullworth Cove and back was the only option really (4 times in one day must be some kind of a record).

It would probably have been a good day to have gone a lot further down the coast but the ranges were in use so no go this time but Ringstead to Ballards will be mine one day.

Report by Alastair Florence



I had a proper days leave today and spent the first 3 hours (0700 onward) at Bell chainsawing blackthorn bushes off the spur. Still there arn't to many left standing now, all they need is shoving in a heap and burning.

Then off to Ringstead where several pilots had been flying or thinking about it. Very light and a lot of South so me and few others went to White Horse, Henry ? and John W plus Gail O determined to not let me see the top of her wing (and mostly succeeding). Very eratic wind and strong so after finding cloudbase at 300 ft ato gave up and went back to Ringstead where wings were all over the ridge.

Too much South for a while (although Grant had just flown back from a trip to Durdle Door). Later got much better and turned out perfect for a coast run (ok I cheated a bit) RW and Grant making Lulworth and back with me (Grant several times) couldn't go past the cove as the range was active.

All my recent pictures seem to feature cloud, shame cloudbase always seems to be a few hundred feet instead of a few thousand.

I noticed there were no sitephone messages I just assumed some else before me would have done it, oh well.

Sat 14 Jul 2007

Thijs Visser

What a great experience! Yesterday (Saturday 14 July) was my first flight to the cliffs at Ringstead. What a stunning views! Just after 5 o'clock the wind came down, and the first paraglider took of for some great afternoon flying! After a short site briefing from RW (thanks by the way), I also tried my luck. Carefully manoeuvring through 17 fellow paragliders and 3 hang gliders I made my way to the cliffs. Really amazing and really nice to experience the dynamic lift along the cliffs. 35 minutes later I landed satisfied at the top landing spot. Unfortunately the wind dropped down more later on, so my second flight was just a very short one and I made a slope landing just 5 minutes after take off. Hopefully we will soon get a real summer, as I cannot wait to fly again!

Report by Alastair Florence



I went up to St. Aldhelms late tonight, nice medium wind speed but off to the South quite a bit so out by the coastguards was working best. A bit cloudy at times but the clouds where producing plenty of lift so quite pleasant. You could see the clouds coming in low over the sea and check there was a clear spot past each one. I made a run for the car park direct from the coastguards with about 300ft ato as it started raining, couldn't really see the ground but guessed direction, lost alot of height and landed with no probs about half way back (the corn has been harvested so nice stubble fields to land in now). Got home just before sunset.


Tues 10 Jul 2007

Report by Gail Otton


Bell Hill

Report by Keith Burridge


Driving to bell surprised at about 3. 00pm to see eight plus wings aloft from Stickland. Unpacked took off and had a pleasurable 40 mins. Landed took off again, caught a friendly cloud and flew towards Blandford. Kept popping into and in front of fluffy, but at Stickland all the clouds dissipated along with the lift resulting in a straight sinking glide to Blandford. Got the disgruntled wife to retrieve me and shortly returned for a final top endy half an hour watching Dave W and passenger Richard W “playing” on tandem (not sure who was scaring who?) along with others flying out in front due to the now stronger conditions. Many pilots present during the course of the afternoon.

Report by Alastair Florence



Picture taken on Bell this evening of one of those weird clouds that crop up now and again.

This one looked normal to the left of the picture and just like someone had turned the right side upside down, totally flat on top and very ragged bottom.

Thanks for the late PM sitephone messages several of us benefited from them.


Sun 08 Jul 2007

Report by Stuart Martin


A rare day at the coast on Sunday (8th July). . . with a seabreeze that reminded me of how it used to be. Plenty of smiling participants boating about in the sunshine. And for those not present. . . a few pictures.

Report by Stephen Arnold


Ringstead An excellent start to the day. Flying from 0930hrs until it started to blow strong at 1500hrs. Lots of Pilots and new wings. RW on his Hook, Gary P on Tandem & lots of Gradients. Visiting Pilots from Southern Club and Nicky H home from New Zealand. Dave M ( on his nearly new Oasis) & Nicole M returned from France.

Report by Marcus Webster



Report by Alastair Florence



After deep consultation with Dave W we still couldnt decide where to go today so went to Kimmeridge. Met up about 0900hrs ish, still very light but promising. It soon improved and Dave and me and a little later Keith W had a good session in reasonably good conditions with some quite workable thermals, 350ft ato ish, the whole ridge began working after a bit tho you did have to work the thermals in places. Plenty of clouds developing in land and the sky looked great. After a bit Dave went off to Ringstead to pursue his tandem training, me and Keith felt a change was as good as a rest and followed suit.

Ringstead was, well Ringstead pleasantly flyable up until maybe 1400hrs when it picked up a fair bit with Neil W milking the last out of it. Around 1300 there must have been about 20 wings flying. Derek 'The Grandfather' putting in a sterling performance as did many others, Gary P also on the tandem training, ( in my attic I have a pair of those mid 70's wedge shoes somewhere if they would come in handy to see over the passenger).

One of my ground crew reports seeing a Blue glider landing near Durlston about 1600hrs ish

Report by Shamus Pitts


Arrived at Kimmeridge about 11 o'clock to see one wing packing up and another wing landing, but was told it was flyable, if a little patchy.

As I was sorting out my mess of lines another couple of people turned up (hi Martin and Martin) and I was finally ready to takeoff. As I flew along the ridge, gently climbing, enjoying the sunshine and the silence, I realised that things were a little quieter than normal - my vario was still in my pocket, switched off! I landed, put my vario on, and took off again.

In the site guide it says that "when thermic the air can become surprisingly rough" - yep! It wasn't "hold on to the risers and wait for it to end" rough, but it did get quite violent at times! Although the wind was pretty strong, the main lift was provided by the thermal blowing through, and with four of us flying, it did feel a bit crowded at times, so after 40 minutes I decided to call it a day and try somewhere else. Martin and Martin landed just after me, and after checking the site phone and the Condors flyphone, we decided to head to Eype, where apparently it was "bloody gorgeous"! It took me an hour or so to get to Eype, and when I got there the sky was rainy looking, and lacking paragliders - the wind had picked up and everyone was packing up and going home - just my luck! I stopped at Ringstead on the way home to find Martin and Martin, Shaun, Russell and a few others waiting for the wind to die down a bit, which it sort of did. Shaun took off and flew straight out to the cliffs, so Martin had a go and did the same. The rest of us stayed on the ground saying things like "he's having trouble penetrating", "he's on full bar", "it doesn't look too bad", and "he's not moving much", before they both came back and landed.

After a bit more waiting I decided it was too gusty and went home.

Sat 07 Jul 2007

Report by Alastair Florence



If there was a flying window early today I missed it as I didn't look out the bedroom window until after it had closed.

Still it was a good day for working on the latest home extension, nice cooling breeze.

About 2030hrs I took a ride up to St Aldhelms and found it annoyingly light 7 - 9 mph, so got in the air quick and found it pleasantly smooth and suprisingly bouyant up to 250ft ato. Had a mooch up and down for a bit as the sun set into a nice pastel colour.

Report by David Franklin



It was a hanglider day at Bell today with some good flights had. The wind settled down eventually and lots of paragliders were led off the hill by Derek. He was keen to fly his new Golden 2 and spent a good bit of time flying around at the top of the stack. I took off at 6.10 and within a few minutes was lucky enough to get a lift to over 5,000ft and had a very pleasant flight landing near the edge of air space. David Franklin.

Report by Mike Bretherton



I have just returned from 2 weeks in Piedrahita with Adrian Bishop and Simon Herbert and I hear its been raining here a bit. Well it was hot, sunny and flyable there almost every day and a few were of the epic variety. On Big Thursday day the British Open competition set their longest task in history and it was apparently the 5th longest ever valid paragliding task ever set in the world. A race to goal of 154km. Oooh baby not the day to bomb out ! It was a slow start but with eventual good climbs up into Madrid airspace (that’s about 12 grand !) and a reasonable downwind drift, 28 out of 130 pilots made goal. I destroyed my previous personal best of 90km and I flew 138km during an epic 6 hour flight which included several low saves when I was helped by some feathered friends marking a thermal. We made loads of other good flights in completely different conditions every day. I am completely flown out, well until weatherjack forecasts a 5 that is, if ever in this dismal year.

Report by Shamus Pitts

Went to Whitesheet for the first time today. I arrived at 11:30 to a strong and gusty scene, which only seemed to get stronger and more gusty over the couple of hours I waited. There was nothing on the site phone to say that anywhere else was any better so I went home.

About 4:30 and next doors weather-vane was indicating north-westerly so I thought I'd have a look at Telegraph hill "just in case". when I got there the wind was 18-20mph and gusty, but there was a wing in the air so I thought I'd have a go.

I "enjoyed" 25 minutes of being thrown about the sky before the lift died a bit and I had to bottom land. I managed to get about 300' ATO well out in front of the ridge and it was a lot smoother, but scratching in close to the trees was particularly bumpy.

It was good to get in the air - hopefully tomorrow will be smoother!

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