Tuesday 31st July - Course week

There was fog, drizzle and low cloud  for the morning, so after the weather and notam briefing, there were lectures on launching and launch failures, interspersed with the usual 'epic' videos.  After lunch cloudbase lifted to enable full launch heights, cloudbases were only to about 1500ft but there was some soaring to extend circuit times.

Monday 30th July - Course week

A bright start with a little bit of cirrus and a westerly wind, but rain forecast for later meant a fairly swift briefing so that we could get flying.
The first flights were extended circuits, but it soon became highly soarable with 4 knots thermals to 3700ft.
All course members enjoyed long soaring flights.
Matt ASW20 M5  and Pete St Discus 230 took spare cables and whizzed off to Eaglescott returning with a synchro finish.

Sunday 29th July

The first rain for a week meant some interruptions to play and cloudbase was a little low but it was soarable in between the showers. By lunchtime, conditions started to improve  and by late afternoon it got really good locally. No one ventured very far, Dylan LS7 W7 had the longest flight - just under two hours.

Saturday 28th July

It was soarable all day in the fresh  north westerly wind, with some patches of spread out which made getting away difficult at times. The lift was strong in places with good cloudbase.
Mark Lo got his first soaring flight and bronze leg in K21. Ron and Dan in ASH25 711 found some wave over Exmoor climbing to 5500ft. Visitor Paul from Lasham in Nimbus 3 completed Okehampton - Taunton - Wimbleball.
A family from Holland, staying at Forest Glade experienced gliding trial lessons.

Results from InterClub League at The Park are awaited.

Thursday 26th July

Another sizzling hot scorcher, but not so good for thermals. There was a hot southerly breeze all morning, with rather short circuits and then at lunchtime some sea air arrived just giving  a slightly fresher southerly breeze and still short circuits. Due to the absence of a dedicated tug pilot, CFI Pete had to shuffle between the Pawnee and K21 back seat to enable the Trial lessons to fly, and along with John Si, the club members to continue training.

Both Dylan  and Andrew L had flights in Motor Falke VG on nav exercises  for cross-country endorsement.

In the evening, another group from Colyton and Axminster Scouts enjoyed the warm summer evening.

Wednesday 25th July

Phew! by the time all the gliders had been walked to the west end of the field it was very hot, all the two-seaters were out and we started flying just after 10am.
The morning saw very little soaring  but it looked as if it might get better after lunch, thermals started about mid-day but were very difficult to centre on and some pilots opted for an aerotow, with the Pawnee back from it's annual - complete with checked and repainted struts -  as the day wore on it became easier to get away from the winch.
There were several private gliders out Pete & Jill in OL, Andrew L in his K6, Pete St Discus, Peter Chairman DG100, Tim, Joe & Jonathan ASW19 all had long flights,
It stayed quite difficult to get away all afternoon but those that did had strong climbs to over 4,000ft, well done to Heather who had 30 min on her first solo in the K13.
Nick H paid us a visit in his RF5,and we had a Nimbus 3 soar down from Lasham - Paul and syndicate partner are staying for two weeks. 

In the evening the Devon & Somerset Condors enjoyed a warm and balmy trial lesson evening. JSt.

Sunday 22nd July

Same airmass, and another glorious soaring day - NOT! - The blue skies never quite made trigger temperature, and there were just extended circuits from bitty thermals off the South ridge.

There were also several trial lessons and friends and family flights.
 It was good to see Paul back in his Cirrus again.

Saturday 21st July

The long term forecast had promised a good day at last, and there was feverish rigging from the private owners. There was quite a lot of Cirrus around and at times it was difficult to get away from the winch in the light north easterly breeze.
It was a bit of a ladies day with most of the female members on site having good soaring flights, with Cheryl in Pilatus B4 CVV for over 3 hours gaining her 2 hour flight for cross-country endorsement. Graham H in DG500 and Ruth in K21 both had their longest training soaring flights and many other club members had good soaring flights including a visitor from Yeovilton.
And not to mention James who converted to ASW20 ENW and soared to 4000ft, under Mark's watchful eye.
Matt ASW20 M5 clocked up 213kms completing Yeovil - Molton  - Chard.  Whilst Pete & Jill in Duo Discus OL, completed the club 100kms triangle twice  Yeovil - Tiverton East with a  60kms excursion to Witheridge in between. For a while, both M5 and OL made use of some good sea-breeze convergences between Chard and Yeovil.

Pete St Discus 230 has been at Nympsfield all week with Sid's task week and completed 321kms Buckingham - Birdlip - Bicester.
At last we have had  a decent soaring day - let's hope there are more to come.

Friday 21st - Davies Diary La Motte

The plan was to launch after 2 pm when the SW wind had established itself. Christian briefed me that this was my flight and responsibility to get away. Lovely launch to the south followed by some rather scratchy  8's took us high over the Blanchere. Airbrakes out to go and work the Malaup . There is something deeply unnatural about flying fast towards a cliff face at 120 k hr. More mountain training and told to go far closer than I was comfortable with . The stepping stones of Jouere Auribeau to Blayeul(2189m). Cloud base was at 2700m and we returned fast to Malaup for more close cliff work before doing my final loop and Christian went through his programme of Cuban 8s etc before handing back for me to land into a brisk SW wind. The last flight of a great fortnight of holiday and flying. - Wyn

What an end to an awesome 2 weeks, a late flight at 5:30, we climbed quickly to cloud base and smoked along the bottom of a long street of cumulonimbus lift at times of 10kts and sink of -12kts! can't wait to come back, the holiday was made with all the friendly gang, "équipe de shoque" and the 3 great instructors Momo, Christian and Jean Claude. - Dylan

Thursday 20th -Davies Diary La Motte

Rhodri had the first flight in the morning, there was lots of high Cirrus clouds making the thermals scarce. 
After that I had a launch with Momo and it took us half an hour to get away only to get thrown down back at circuit height, then we left and had a good flight along the ridges,

It felt like my thermalling and general flying was improving... or maybe the conditions were easier, great flight with a couple loops to finish off the flight. - Dylan

Thursday 19th July

Was this the first day of the rest of the summer?
A west north westerly fresh breeze and cloudbases increasing to 2700ft QFE and sometimes 4-6kt thermals.
There was plenty of soaring training for the Thursday regulars. Congratulations to Tom in Junior and Liam in K6 for both achieving their 2 hour flights for cross-country endorsement, with Tom's being signed up as completed.
Matt  ASW20 M5 completed O/R to Molton again, Eric LS7 194 flew for several hours, and Jonathan gave ASW19 877 an airing. Soaring continued all day and even after handover to the Nick R evening group.
From mid afternoon, wave clouds could be seen all around but were unreachable.

The Pawnee struts have returned following inspection and repaint and have been refitted. The exhausts are ready for refit, and it is hoped the final inspection will  take place next week.

Wednesday 18th - Davies Diary La Motte

To-days flight was 'epic/awesome/amazing/add your own superlative'
Setting off at 1 pm into a clear blue sky, we had a slow climb away from the Blanchere. The well trodden route of Malaup Jouere Blayeul to the Parcoure. The air was dry and the visibility seemed infinite.  We climbed at the Tete de l'Estrop to cloud base of 4200 m and pushed east to Mt Viso (3841 m) in Italy.
Mt Viso
From a few hundred metres above we had a clear view to Turin and the distant clouds over Venice. Nose down and headed North, pushing through off the clock thermals as we wanted limited time at high altitude. Flew over Briancon and checked out the 'land out ' field. On to the Glacier Blanc to make a final climb to 4400 m enjoy the views to Mount Blanc and the northern Alps. Final glide back to La Motte via another field. Nice and cool at altitude to return to the heat of 26deg at 6 pm.
Massif des Ecrins
If that counts as Awesome - Mark C , enjoy.... - Wyn
Today was an early start for Dad, mum and I, we left at 6am to climb la Blanchere after making it to the top we put up the windsock, and got back in time for the morning briefing!

There was as expected a very light SW wind turning NW at 3000 m. Blue thermal day with a cloud base at 4000 m I went to Barcalonette. Amazing day fortunately no pressure effect on my cold! - Dylan 

Tuesday 17th July

A gliding experience day for students form Teign School started bright and sunny, but soon clouded over with a 500ft base for most of the morning. The morning entertainment consisted of briefings, lectures, videos and derigging and rigging Junior KHA.

The cloudbase started to improve and prompted an early lunch.
In the afternoon, conditions significantly improved, with the ridge working and thermals to 1500ft cloudbase. The students enjoyed soaring  with all four two-seaters in the air at once and we just completed  the last flights before some drizzle set in.

Several students are considering joining the club as Junior members. Thanks to all the helpers and Instructors for making the most of the day.

Monday 16th - Davies Diary La Motte

 Start of week 2.  
Christian and I had the first launch of the day with blue thermals and a light NW wind, we struggled to get away from la Blachere but eventually made it away, the layer of inversion was low at 2600m and the ridges that normally worked weren’t doing anything. We made our way round the Parcours from Dormilouse to Cheval Blanc, and then back home, with our highest point of 3000m.  Still witha  bad cold my sinuses were blocked this caused me a problem a couple days ago, and at the start of the circuit I got a massive headache and pains, but it wasn’t enough for me to lose concentration. It was a struggle but a good flight still learning so much. - Dylan 

The wind is still from the NW sector and weaker than yesterday. Another evening flight but with very little wind and poor thermals. It took half an hour to gain 200 m to allow a try for the Jouere. The great thing about this flight was to see how low we could safely join a 'ridge' and have enough margin to escape if it failed. Quite stunning joining low and slowly clawing up the face of Jouere. So different from yesterday where it worked like a lift. Still, Christian insisted I fly low to Sisteron and use the 'stepping' stones he is getting me to trust to find my way home. Again with enough height for a loop and roll before landing into a stunning bright sun. - Wyn

Sunday 15th - Davies Diary La Motte

An early morning walk to the top of the Jouere (1,886 m).
La Motte is the light strip just right of centre

Mistral is blowing and at 6.15 I take my launch in the K21-MC. Allowed to do the full launch and the climb on the Blanchere- a first for me. Great lift and a flight to the Gache, Lure (west of Sisteron) and then in some wave pushing N with 1 up until we reached 2600m . After being up for an hour or so and the sky was looking blank to me, Christian said it was time for some 'work'. Always a bad sign and a feeling of dread. Airbrakes out, until at 200m off the ground explored the land out fields near Sisteron. Then I was handed control and told to fly the 'ridge'. Heart in mouth I approached the L'Ubac. Kept the speed on and turned into 3 up which took us shooting over the mountain to Sisteron. Christian again took control, dropped down to view the castle and then gave control to me to head for the escape route of the Baume. Worked a treat and with three passes was flying back at 2000m with great height to get home. Lots more low cliff practice all the way back, with height for some aerobatics before landing at 8.30. Great training flight, but I still fly with my right wing down, and much to Christians amusement, I also do it when I am flying upside down! A habit he is trying to beat out of me from the back seat...a few more days and we will see.. - Wyn

Sunday 15th July -Updated

The RASP forecast showed a dreary start but brightening quite quickly to good conditions, it seemed to take a little longer in reality and by early afternoon, the sky started at last to look good. A few of the North Hill soaring section joined the winch queue, but it still proved tricky to get away. Eventually the west north westerly streets started looking good upwind, Matt ASW20 M5 set off for  Molton, whilst Pete & Jill Duo OL headed for Wimbleball. With 18kt headwind it was quite hard going into wind.
Wimbleball Reservoir
 Rowan Libelle CLM and Eric LS7 194 also had flights over 2 hours. Lisa sported her new pink tips and there was a good contingent of club gliders local soaring with all the club fleet out for most of the day.  JB and Ruth in K13 CCY continued soaring til gone 7pm.

Sunday 15th July - ICL Mendip

Following Saturday's scrubbed day, it was hoped that Sunday would be better. Tasks were set to Frome and Aston Down / Malmesbury but the weather didn't cooperate. Simon M (ASW20 SM Pundit) made Frome but turned back half way to Aston Down. Henry (Pilatus B4 CVV Intermediate) had a malfunction with the logger and relighted but missed the weather slot. Jonathan (ASW19 877 Novice first ICL task) also had to relight.

Fallback catchup weekend will be 28/29 July at The Park.

Saturday 14th - Davies Diary La Motte

The sky looked dark with little sun coming through. Had a launch at 3pm. Scratchy climb up the Blanchere followed by a jump to the Malaup. Crossed the Durance to the west to find nothing but sink. Back to the Malaup and some local soaring. I am finding the thermaling really a challenge with tight cores that seem to throw me out with the slightest drop in concentration. Back at 6.30 to eat outside in the sun with the cooling mistral which promises rough conditions for tomorrow. - Wyn

Friday 13th July - Course week

Oh dear – heavy rain as we assembled. More talks, interspersed with anxious looks at the rain radar at regular intervals. And then there was a sudden dramatic improvement at around 13.30, which sparked off frenzied activity. Cloud base never got much above 2,500 feet, but there was strong lift underneath it and along short stretches of convergence here, there and everywhere. The ridge worked well. All course members had at least one long flight and several shorter ones. Morale was now sky high (pun intended) and the course was wound up with a very cheerful final debrief.

The spells of poor weather meant that the targets set at the beginning of the week were not quite met, but all course members made very significant advances in their flying skills.

Final overall stats: 70 launches and more than 15 hours. No mean achievement, bearing in mind that we had poor weather for so much of the time. Credit for this must go in equal measure to all concerned: helpers Alan, Eddie and Dave A, unofficial helpers Wendy and Richard , and to the course members themselves, who were unstinting in their expenditure of effort, both in the air and on the ground. What a wonderful team! Oh yes – instructors Stu and Robin may also have made some small contribution to what by any measure was an outstandingly successful week.- Robin

Friday 13th - Davies Diary La Motte

Again not good enough for 'awesome' but we'll get Courtney in the Tamar soon.

Wave at 5000m which eluded us all. However I had a pleasant 1 1/2 hr flight in a twin astir. 3000m and working on ridges which kicked off some strong thermals. Local flying getting just 20 k from the site. The sun shone most of the day and now we start the BBQ with drinks on Timo to celebrate his 900 k. -Wyn
Ok, as I hear it from back home, people are suffering from 'low cloud base disease' which some instructors are suffering heavily from. So they should stop reading here as the effect maybe fatal.
Today, I had an amazing day - the best so far. First as yesterday was sunbathing weather I didn't fly ( even if it would be a good day for North Hill). I flew in the afternoon for a three and a half hour flight ( if you heart beat as increased please stop here as you are suffering from 'low cloud base disease'). It was scratchy to start with to get out of the bowl that surrounds the airfield, when we got out then we went to the mountains south of the airfield gently, getting higher and higher. Then we went to the Parcour, then  along down south of it to see the places to land if we got low. Then we when back back up the Parcour and the vario didn't go down off maximum for about
10 minutes flying along the ridge. Then we crossed the lake to the other side. We climbed to cloud base after we found the wave but it was weak. - at 3000m. Then a gentle final glide back to La Motte. - Rhodri

Thursday 12th - Davies Diary La Motte

Not good enough to put Mark C in the Tamar, but not a bad day!

To-day the weather forecast was for the Mistral to blow and give us a northerly stream which would be great for any East/West mountain ranges. The first launch I had was followed by a struggle to get away and a relaunch was needed. Worked hard on the Blanchere to gain enough height to dash south towards Sisteron and the Gache. This mountain was hardly working but I had plenty of 'ridge' running with a cliff next to my wing. It was my first flight in the Janus, so flaps for the launch and thermals was a new experience.
We decided to come back to the safety of the Blanchere and again work it's tree covered slopes. One lovely climb in +4 to 2500m to see the view with high cirrus clouds and snow capped peaks. Airbraked down to land after 2 hours. The locals are complaining of awful weather with no solid cumulus and a lack of wind,,,, They do not know how lucky they are, sitting in the shade of the club house in 26deg and the mountains clear as a bell all around. - Wyn

Thursday 12th July - Course week

The radar image showed the rain had reached Exeter by 0900, so a decision was made to concentrate on ground school today. There were briefings on ground ops and cable retrieves, air masses and fronts and analysis of current weather.
In the evening, the course members and helpers enjoyed  a night out at The Keepers Cottage.

(There are reports that if Wyn has another awesome flight in the Alps then Mark C will jump in the Tamar.)

Wednesday 11th July - Course week

There was low cloud and drizzle to start, so Stu gave a briefing on launch failures and Robin gave a briefing on different types of lift. Then the sun came out and rapidly improving sky  meant the entire club fleet emerged and started soaring. Cloudbase rose to 3000ft in places but a more general base of 2000ft and the westerly wind freshened and the ridge was working to about 1000ft. Pete St 230 Discus went to Mud but got rained on, Pete and Jill Duo discus OL stayed mainly local. The ridge continued working on into the evening giving the Axminster and Colyton Scouts evening group extended flights.

Wednesday 11th - Davies Diary La Motte

Today I flew with Christian, to start with I thought it would be easier speaking in English, but he seems to scrutinise everything I did wrong… can’t even fly straight! After being ill on Monday after I landed I was scared it might happen again, fortunately lunch stayed down, after a slow struggle at the start we soon went around le Parcours, 
Mt Guillaume
 then to Lac Serre Pencon, where we flew with the vultures. 
Lac Serre Pencon

Then before we went home flew to Pic du Bure a total of 180km. - Dylan

Tuesday 10th - Davies Diary La Motte

After a 5 minute circuit , the second attempt to get away was successful. A nice climb to 2500m and then follow the mountain chain- Gautiere, Dormilouse, cross the lake de Serre Poncon, to the Massive des Ecrin.
Here we could see the glacier Blanc , but were too low to enter. Christian then took over and had some sport out climbing some other gliders to 4,300m. We then overflew the glacier and went to the NE side of Roche Faurio and Barre des Ecrin . Control was handed back to me to run the Route des Rois, at 4000 m with the vario on plus 3 most of the way south.
Glacier Blanc. just west of Briancon
Back. via the Parcoure, but as I was slowing up to take a climb Christian took control, full airbrakes to get us low for me to practice  climbing cliff faces at Aurebeun and Authon. A dash back to the field with enough height for a loop and some aerobatics. 3 1/2 hour flight 200k.  Absolutely awesome . - Wyn

Today, I had a late flight at 6pm for two hours. A lovely journey around the mountainous valleys. I improved my thermaling up to the standard needed for this area. I went in the twin astir it's very heavy to handle, I got a blister on my right hand from the stick. As the instructor Mo is French,  I had to improve my French very quickly. He saw a mate who instructs paragliding and he messed around. - Rhodri

Tuesday 10th July - Course week

There were briefings on Notams and stalling, and then there were lots of extended circuits as the ridge was working. Late afternoon the cloud lowered with some drizzle, then it all cleared through for a nice evening but unfortunately too late as Lisa's evening group had been cancelled.

Monday 9th July - Course week

Not a good start, in the morning we gave a talk on RT then the cloud lifted 11 ish, we had about 10 launches before it rained, we then went for lunch, it did not stop raining so we had a talk about Air law, it was still raining at 1600 so we decided to pack up,  unfortunately 2 course members did not fly. - Stu

Monday 9th July - Davies Diary La Motte

I set off with Mo in the twin astir, for a 300km circuit we started at 2pm after a struggle to climb away we managed to get through the first 100km within an hour and half, then at the furthest point away from la Motte, I started to feel sick due to the turbulence of a 15kt wind and a big lunch (mistake). So a quick dash home managed to get back on the ground 40 minutes later. Was awesome sceneries with us climbing to cloud base at 14000ft and buzzing the local hikers.  - Dylan

Today we took off at 2pm, Christian scratched around to get the height so we got away, Then we went towards the Parcours, then went over the lake towards the Glacier Blanc. We went up to 4000m ( oops forgot the oxygen ) then when back on the Chemin Royal, came back and did some aerobatics. Got scared when I was upside down held only by the harness at 2000m. Then landed. It was a good 3 hour flight, seen some amazing views and learnt a lot. - Rhodri

Recognise the T shirt? - Have you got yours yet?

For more epicness at La Motte see Matt's latest video Don't stop exploring

Sunday 8th June

A dry day at last - cloudbase was quite low to start although it was soarable. By lunchtime some drier air came through and it nearly went blue for a time. After that the sky seemed to be on a very rapid cycle of over-development and north westerly streets,
 At one point cloudbase got as high as 2700ft but after that it seemed to be very variable around the 1700ft with some streets being significantly lower. The sky was very difficult to read, to the north there was evidence of wave for most of the afternoon. By 1700hrs the cloudbase lowered to near ridge height bringing the day to an abrupt end.  - But at least we had some local soaring,  both Stu and Simon M had good flights in LS3-17 KMV, Eric in  LS7 194, Pete and Jill in Duo OL, Andrew L in GDE and various pilots in HEB - along with the club fleet. And this was on a day when gliding was competing with Wimbledon final, British Grand Prix and RIAT Fairford.

Thursday 5th July

The forecast for Thursday had changed significantly during the week and for the better!
There was a light south easterly wind and a cover of high cloud which cleared through the day, and it finally got soarable about 1630hrs.
Meanwhile the despondent members of the Talgarth expedition returned to base early, due to the poor forecast for the rest of the week. All except Paul - who stayed on and flew the K13 for the best flight of the week.

In the evening, the visitors from Crediton Presidents Men - a local keep fit group were blessed by a beautiful summer evenings flying .  It's not very often we have said that this year ! The visibility was fantastic you could see Portland Bill in one direction and Wales in the other . The air was as smooth as Cornish cream, no lift was to be had but some how our very own Spice girl Lisa H ( posh spice) managed to get a longer flight time than both Roly (300k) and Mark(canopy!!)  C . There were some doubts on the time keeping however as long time Girl power fan Heather C was at the keyboard . Several of the group were very keen to take up our temporary membership and vowed to return . Thanks to all the helpers who made it possible tonight they all worked very hard. -MC

Wednesday 4th July

For most of the day the fog  / orographic cloud rolled across the field, but we were confident that the forecast clearance would come through, and by 1600hrs the sky was improving and we got all the kit out ready for the evening group.
After such a lousy weather day -the evening was poetic, the first flights were soarable and the visibility was gin-clear. Julia's group evening was to celebrate her birthday yesterday with a lovely family & work group - and after flying we continued the celebrations with a party in the Clubhouse.
Happy Birthday Julia
Meanwhile the sky looks threatening with John Si flying CVV B4 at Camphill.
And the model flyers having fun at Talgarth (love the gloves)

Sunday 1st - Talgarth

The forecast for Sunday  encouraged Simon M and Pete St to drive to Talgarth today, they left North Hill In early morning sunshine but arrived at Talgarth to see low cloud on the hill. (This for anyone who does not know is the sight that normally greets Pete St so we should not of expected anything else!)
The 10am briefing was very optimistic - for a good late morning/afternoon before any more rain would spoil play and this was exactly what happened.

Jonathan S flew with Mark C in the Talgarth K21 for two hours, Pete S flew with  Simon L in the DG 505, Simon L and Paul S then had a wander to Senny Bridge into a 30kt headwind.  Mark C and Dave W then took the DG 505 had fun exploring the south westerly ridges while Simon M and Pete St 230 searched for wave all afternoon contacting some at the foot of Cwmdu Valley. Ian M had a flight of over 7 hrs only coming down because he was reminded that his roast beef was on the table in 10 mins! Simon L started the list again late in the afternoon finding wave to over 4000 feet.
All the members enjoyed a fantastic introduction to this wonderful site, thermals were 8kts at times and the ridge lift was fantastic.  They all learnt a huge amount and can't wait for the next flyable day but with the forecast being pessimistic this might be some time! 

Sunday 1st July

New month but same old weather- the day started bright but it soon clouded up with dark clouds with showers blowing through. The westerly ridge was working and some thermals were kicking off.The main soarable bit of the day was at lunchtime. There were several trial lessons and thanks to the stand-in Instructors we managed to complete the training flying list.