Saturday 23rd September

Early morning murk and drizzle was the welcome at the club. However the sky began to brighten after about 9:30 and gliders were soon brought out. The wind was teasing us with the forecast south easterly component but by the time we were ready to go it was predominantly south with a tinge of west so the winch was despatched to the south west corner and there it stayed all day.
The aerobatics course contingent were briefed and eager to go when flying started at about 11am. Thereafter John Sillett and Martin Woolner vied all day for who could spend the most time in other than the normal gliding attitude.
Phil Morrison kindly volunteered to do the first trial lesson, Stuart Procter did the midday one and Simon Leeson briefly left the tug, a noble gesture, to do the third which was a great help with working through the flying list, many thanks.
The South Ridge (Peter Smith)
 Instruction flights mostly used the by now moderate and gusting southerly wind to get practise at modified circuits for crosswinds and dealing with same in launches and approaches. Chris and David Woodward, also Ross Pratt  and Oscar Leeson went through the mill successfully on that.  James Flory helped with instructing in the afternoon and Sam did sterling service in the winch, thanks both.
There were little scraps of lift about all day but nothing solid enough to work with and some serious sink to contend with as well.
Meanwhile Matt Williamson in 611 went on bended knee and pleaded for an aerotow which by huge sacrifice we were able to provide and he went off to the seaside, as did Nick Jones and Phil Morrison in DD3 but under their own steam. Both had good flights until the wind dropped at the coast.  
611 at the seaside (Matt Williamson)
Flying continued until the easterly influence finally settled in giving Oscar a very interesting simulated launch failure in JZK. It fulfilled the awkward height criteria admirably and the longest walk possible back from the western end of the field perfectly met the BGA mantra of always land ahead if you can.
Thanks to all who pitched in and helped, especially Wyn Davies who stood in at the last minute as launch marshal and ended up winching to enable us to finish the list. Overall a good day - Peter Smith

At the seaside
You’ll often hear instructors say “never believe the forecast”. Checks complete and waiting to launch, the excitement and anticipation was coupled with crossed fingers that this time the forecast was right; the wind suitable for a trip to the seaside.

After the low down turbulence the tow smoothed out and James Hood, who had prised Simon out for the tug for an opportunity for a tow to the cliffs, got to practise his best RT voice with Exeter ATC for the first time as a “PA25 and glider combination." After release I flew cautiously towards the cliffs to ensure I had plenty of height should they not be working, I arrived above the clouds and gently drifted down around them to check the lift, they were working to 1700' QNH, game on!
About to start as a strafing run to the west (Matt Williamson)
The 20 had a good airing above and beneath the Jurassic coast between Sidmouth and Beer Head, when I first arrived ridge running could maintain 110+kts along the top. Distracted waving to the walkers I only managed a task speed of 150kph with a fastest lap of 186kph, more practice needed please weather gods.... Walking the cliffs and watching would have been almost as fun as flying today, John Street commented that a peaceful walk at Branscombe Mouth was interrupted by a glider that was going too fast to read the registration. I was joined by Nick Jones and Phil Morrison in DD3, no excuse needed for a day out in their new toy but a great use of the turbo getting down.
DD3 motoring to get back (Matt Williamson)
As the day progressed it got soft as forecast, flaps needed to go from full up to full down and I managed another hour floating around, DD3 fired their engine and motored home. I selected a field and initiated the retrieve crew whilst still in the air. I slowly came down until I got to a safe high key point for my field, options would have been limited after this! I finally settled down in a field  on top of the cliff under the watchful eye of Ian Mitchell who had come to join in the fun with the Motor-Falke. James and Stuart were with me in about 10 minutes for a silky smooth retrieve, thanks guys.

A rare weather window allowed for a fab day out at one of the best attractions gliding and Devon and Somerset have to offer! - Matt Williamson