Nympsfield task week - a quick and very late debrief

Ok, so we only had 2 good cross country days - a bit like the 4 classes of Nationals that were on at the same time at nearby Aston Down and about par for the course this Summer, but was it a dull week? Oh no......................

Day 1 - NYM-LCL-WES-NYM 204km. Difficult in the fresh Northerly breeze and with pretty solid cloud cover North of Cheltenham, the task became a mix of ridge squatting and using the weak embedded Cu for the first half of the task. Going back South the conditions improved and Pete 230 made it round the task albeit at a painfully slow 49kph to win the day as the only finisher although one other non comp local went round as well. Phil 611 managed 113km and Wyn W7 a bit less.

Day 2  - NYM-BRI-HEC-SOA-NYM 286km. First hurdle was getting out of the Severn valley which was awash with sea air coming up the Bristol channel and delivering only very scrappy thermals to about 2000' QFE. We tiptoed across to the Malverns where things picked up and the next 3 legs were ok although the thermals didn't appear to be connected to the Cu's above most of the time. On the glide from SOA back to NYM there was a massive rain shower developing over Gloucester which seemed to be doubling in size every minute. Pete managed to squeeze past it just getting a bit wet on the way home to win the day. Phil only a short distance behind had to go round it. To be fair he played a blinder by following the good sky to get home but this small 'diversion' added about 60km and over an hour to his task  - character building stuff and a great demo of x-c flying Rule #1 - don't hit the ground or it's over! The shower made the local news as it became a 'microburst' and there was film of manhole covers being blown off in Gloucester streets due to the high volume of water falling in a very short spell. Wyn was unfortunate to suffer a cable break and needed a relight which as he was on the back of the grid anyway didn't help. The late start on task meant that by the time he had gone round BRI and was running in to Hereford the showers that had developed had left large dead areas and he landed in a great field near Bromyard.

230 red, 611 green, W7 blue

Then the fun began. As I left NYM hotfoot to the postcode that Wyn had given me there was an ominous squeaking from the binding trailers brakes  - not too bad though and he'd got to NYM hadn't he? On arrival at said postcode there was no sign of Wyn or the glider. A quick call and Wyn suggested that I checked the postcode in my satnav - yep, it was the one you gave me. A short silence followed(probably swallowing all the tea and cake he was enjoying in the farmhouse), by 'Oops sorry Pete.................'. At least it was the end part that was wrong and not the beginning. So off I go again except that I don't go anywhere as the red hot brakes had now seized solid and the trailer was going nowhere. Plan B - leave the trailer where it is, go and get Wyn and after ensuring that the glider was securely parked for it's overnight stay in the field with strong winds and rain forecast, back to NYM via Maccy D's. Next day was a scrub after the aforementioned wind and rain so Pete, Phil and Wyn set off armed with a selection of hammers, crowbars etc. The trailer was where we left it(well it would be wouldn't it), and after an hour of determined mallet work the drums were off, the brake parts removed and stored in a box in the boot and off to get the glider.
Except that when we got there the uphill track to the field had turned into a mudbath overnight which Wyns car was just not going to negotiate. Thanks to the old farmer(had to be at least 80), and his 'boy' (had to be at least 70) with a 4x4 to save the day - they were brilliant and thought it was a bit of an adventure. And back to NYM for a full English in the new cafe(thanks Wyn) - what a laugh and (almost) as much fun as the flying!
Phil(after his epic flight) went to retrieve Ralph Johnson from Parham who landed his Ventus out in the middle of the rain shower from Hell. Although not as far away the field was extremely wet and sticky clay. After 3 steps from getting out of his glider Ralph was 3 feet taller. You can imagine the rest.........................Phil got back just in time to enjoy peanuts from the bar.

A day over at Aston Down at the Nats talking to people and watching a fully ballasted Duo roll backwards down the runway as a squall went through(luckily it was at the back of the grid), and a couple of evening invites out, pub meals and beer made for a fun few days out.