Saturday 31st May

Today was not a day for pundits.

By the time members arrived at North Hill, the bright early morning sun had completely disappeared behind a layer of cloud that covered the sky.  Circuits were the order of the day, but the trainees made the most of it: the duty instructors walked the length of the field many times, signing off various launch failure and field landing exercises.  Meanwhile, in the clubhouse, Paul S and Pete Sm were having their brains fried by the new instructor training regimen.

After lunch, a clearance crept in from the west.  Pete B, who had been studiously watching for his chance, launched in Ka6 HEB and logged the longest flight of the day at 18 minutes.  The clearance lasted just long enough for us to put on our sun cream before the cloud rolled back in.  Paul and Pete, having been released from the clubhouse, gave Mark C. 'Bloggs' some aerotow lessons.  They agreed that Bloggs was a particularly difficult student.
Martin & Tim convert to the Junior
The highlight of the day came from Tim P and Martin B, who both flew their first flights in the Junior.  Congratulations both!  
We welcomed our first returnee from Open Weekend  - don't get confused another Ruth from the Met Office - Ruth

Friday 30th May - Youth experience day

The day's forecast at 7:00am was not too inspiring, but just showed a glimmer of hope for the afternoon. Family Bennett had organised a Youth experience day for all their young friends. They had all arrived at 9:00am prompt and following the normal welcome briefing, we started on the hangar tour and videos.
A full Clubhouse waiting for the weather to improve
 By lunchtime, the glimmer had become even more hopeful after the Visitors had resorted to a walk to the far end of the airfield and a game of rounders.
Rounders in the mist
 During the afternoon, the cloudbase rose and the sun came out, with extended thermal soaring flights for most. Some very black clouds passed just to the south of us.
Some of the group

We packed up at 18:00 in glorious sunshine having completed 26 launches for the young people and their families.

Thursday 29th May

Another wet forecast, but undeterred, George, John and Ray talked through Bronze questions  with Pete and John to build up some confidence for attacking a Bronze paper - maybe next week?

Wednesday 28th May

The forecast for Wednesday was reasonable up until today, when we were greeted by damp conditions, but being optimists the kit was taken out and readied for flying, However, the damp persisted, so Mike Fitz gave a talk on thermal technique whilst we waited for a clearance.
The clearance was slow in coming, so the front wheel on KEK was changed as it had been suffering from a slow puncture and long needed changing. We then set about the markings on the hangar floor for packing the gliders, there were a lot of obsolete markings to erase.
The rain persisted and after lunch members started to drift away and by the time we had a clearance we didn't have enough members to fly. - JSt

Bank Holiday Monday 26th May

After the enthusiasm and hard work for the Open Weekend, there was a smaller turnout today. But by mid-morning, the K21s were at the launch point and ready to go. There was very little wind on the surface and a lot more cloud than was forecast restricting the thermals a little. 
After a trial run, Heather completed her first solo aerotow, and Mike F consolidated his recent resolo with 4 more solo flights.
John P modelled a new flying suit for mandatory for Eagle pilots.
Thanks to all the members who helped to make the Open Weekend a successful event despite losing most of Saturday to the weather. We look forward to seeing some new members returning to fly during their 3 months temporary membership.

Sunday 25th May - Open Weekend

Following all the rain yesterday and overnight, the field had drained amazingly well, and we set up the launch point in the north east corner for the increasinging southerly wind. After the first couple of launches with the south ridge working well, an annoying patch of orographic cloud formed at about 700ft, restricting the number of gliders that could safely use the ridge. After a short while, it blew through and our visitors were able to enjoy the improving weather, with the normal challenging crosswind approach in the strengthening southerly wind.
Improving sky but gusty wind
As the skies cleared during the afternoon, a steady stream of visitors kept everyone busy, and there were lots of beaming smiles at the end of the flights.

Many promised to return during their three-month temporary membership period to pursue their glider training.

The youngest visitor was 7 year old Joseph who picked up the basic skills very quickly and can't wait to come back to learn to fly when he is a little taller.
7 year old Joseph enjoyed his flight

Throughout the day our team of members worked tirelessly to entertain our visitors and ensured the day ran smoothly. 
A new view of the Club thanks to new member Neil

Particular thanks to our new band of Junior members who showed endless energy and enthusiasm for the 60 soaring flights today.

Saturday 24th May - Open Weekend

The forecast was doom and gloom especially after the news of the cancellation of the Devon County Show. However, unperturbed,  the members turned up en-masse and the airfield was set up to welcome our visitors. They started arriving just before 09:00 and the first launch was at 09:20. Seven visitors flew and four of them had second flights.

First flight of the day
Unfortunately, we then succumbed to the low cloud and drizzle developing into steady rain - as forecast.
After a bite to eat and drink with our visitors, we dried all the kit and put it to bed. Thanks to all the members who helped today  and got rather wet - hopefully a better forecast for tomorrow.
In the evening, 20 members enjoyed North Hill Cafe dine-in - thanks Cheryl & Graham.
Dining in

Thursday 22nd May

Following yesterday's euphoria of cross-country achievement, the forecast today looked like a late clearance so the day was scrubbed. But there were several 'How I dunnits' to be told and the customary maggot racing to view. After lunch, the thursday regulars decided that the sun was coming out and it was flyable. So a small limited operation aerotow only was set up, and the sky improved in the late afternoon rewarding the hangers on with strong lift and spectacular visibility. 
Nice sky but not until 16:00

We welcomed new member Terry to an introductory glider flight before booking him on the June course - there's still 1 place left. 
George V and Wooly trip the light fantastic

Wednesday 21st May - Task Week

Another brilliant Wednesday  with four two-seaters out and both Juniors, they were quickly walked up to the northwest corner.
Ron and his cross-country week pilots were quick off the mark as well and assembled at the West aerotow point in anticipation of a good day.
The thermals were soon forming but it was difficult to get away from a winch launch, but all the aerotows got away without difficulty.
As the day progressed it became easier to get away from a winch launch, those who did soar were rewarded with a cloud base of over 4,000ft with very strong thermals and cloud streets.
Well done to Vince who converted to the Junior and had a flight of over an hour and sniffed the air at over 4,000ft on his first flight in it. - JSt
Having set three tasks, NHL- SAS - WHD -NHL 300km, NHL- SAL - NHL 200km, NHL SHB - NHL 100km, Ron the Tasksetter beat a hasty retreat (well he had to go to work anyway). There were 15 gliders lining up to go on task. So with a forecast for rapidly encroaching thick top cover from the south east, the early launchers got going heading east to Salisbury first. The later launchers decided to reverse the task as the sea air had started coming in from the south coast and there was a concern that it might wipe out Whiddon Down later. 
Thick cirrus over Salisbury, sea air at Whiddon Down
 Those heading east ran into the weaker conditions under the top cover at Sherborne. Pete St Discus 230, and Wyn in LS7 W7 persevered with some low saves and rounded Salisbury South and made it round Whiddon Down as well. Rowan and Nick R in DG505 JZK and Jack T (Mendip) Kestrel 19 turned just short of Salisbury to run back home.  
Congratulations to Wyn for completing his first 300km Gold distance and Diamond Goal.

Those going west first, had an easy run to Whiddon Down and back to Yeovil where they met the poorer conditions. Matt in ASW24 M5 and JB in Ventus both struggled just short of Salisbury, Matt struggled back, but JB had to use the engine near Henstridge to get back to the good air. 

Martin W in LS3 KMV decided to do a double O/R to Whiddon Down  for 176km. Pete and Jill in DuoDiscus OL, followed the energy from Whiddon Down to Yeovil and then back to Molton and Eggesford under some brilliant streets / convergences with 10 knots up to 5000ft at times for 270 km.

Mark L in Cirrus 477 after setting himself his Silver distance task, he ended up with 185km triangle Whiddon Down - Yeovil achieving his 100km diploma (Part 1)in the process. Congratulations to Mark for completing his Silver badge.

Phil M in ASW20 611 had a late start after trailer fettling, made up a task to see the jolly giant at Cerne Abbas and Sturminster Newton and Tiverton for 173km. Chris H in Libelle CLM completed Shaftesbury and Tiverton East for 170 km. Nick H in ASW20 LH  nearly completed O/R to Sherborne, by turning abeam the TP for 106km.

Ruth had her second flight in K6 and enjoyed 1:30 local soaring.

Well done Ron, and thanks to Robert and Pete W for tugging.

12 SeeYou traces posted on the BGA ladder (out of 50 for the day)

Sunday 18th May

A tricky day, with hot sunshine and an increasing southerly wind, after a few flights changed ends to set up north eastern launch point.
With the morning Duty Instructor doublebooked as Tug Pilot, lack of Duty Launch Marshall in the afternoon, and the absence of many experienced members it was fortunate that some of our newer members were doing a sterling job keeping things moving at the launch point. With 4 trial lessons booked to fly, we had to turn away several visitors and ask them to return next weekend at our Open Weekend. 
Simon M in SM had the longest flight of 1:30hrs - being the only one to punch through the inversion from 1200ft to 2000ft.

Saturday 17th May

John B who had spent the week flying on the Course decided to stay another day and take the opportunity for more gliding to consolidate his learnings from the week.
There were trial lessons flown by Pete Sm and Mike S in the DG505
Pete Sm and Nick took the DG505 'off somewhere'...
Pete St Discus (230) and James ASW20 (ENW) went off and did the Club 100 Crewkerne - Tiverton and Rowan Libelle (CLM) went the other way round. This new Club 100 is proving to be more popular, especially on days when Yeovil is just one thermal too far!
"Chasing each other round short tasks is just the best fun! Jimbob in ENW led for the first half and we done good - then I took over and managed to slow us right down. Task squeezed in before either the spreadout and/or sea air got us." - Pete St
"A good day out considering I was very sceptical about there being any xc weather. It pays to be an optimist. And if that doesn't work listen to those that know more than you." - Rowan
Matthew W completed a 2 hour flight in H5, and Andrew L in K6 managed a 2.5 hour flight and went past Dunkeswell with a consideration of going to The Park, but put off by all the gloom to the east.
The K21s were kept busy with training flights, the Juniors were in continuous use. 
Private gliders out included Jonathan (877), Adrian (FDX), Martin (and Stuart?) (KMV)
Cloudbase was circa 3500' but visibility poor, good lift in places but also strong sink.
Nice sky
 Wellington School - The students joined us for the latest of their Saturday morning extra-curricular activities. After a ground school lecture from Pete S on winch launching, six of the students were able to experience a glider flight with either Mike S in a K13 or a K21 and / or Pete S in the DG505.
Nine of the Wellington School group of students have now had the opportunity to fly a glider and will return on 7th June, after their half term break, for the next Saturday morning ground school and flying session. - Mike Sl

Friday 16th May - Course week

'The Three Musketeers have fun...'
The final day of the course saw blue skies and sunshine, and with a light South Westerly it was the perfect weather for more flying by the course members.
After suitable check flights both Ed and Nat completed more solos in the K21 whilst John, Ray and Chris consolidated their learnings to date.
And during the afternoon Mike F became the third course member to be sent solo during the week by Pete F, completing three further solos some 8 months after his last solo. 
On his second solo of the day Mike took the K21 to 3000' before deciding that he ought to let someone else fly the glider.
Ed, Michael and Nat all flying solo this week
The course week has seen 5 flying days with all course members making good progress with their aims and objectives set at the start of the week.
May Course
As ever the course could not have been run without the help of the official Course Helpers who winched and retrieved on one or more days of the week - William was the mainstay, with Heather, Chris C, Aston, Jonathan and Ray contributing days and a few other Club members who added to the smooth running. (ed: Not forgetting the Instructors Peter F and Mike Sl who walked miles during the week.) - Mike Sl

Cross-country view - 
RASP was not showing the best of thermic days, but there were clearly going to be small convergence runs. Wyn  and James both managed to get a day off work after early morning meetings, and Pete & Jill were hanging around to see what developed. Fortunately Robert turned up to offer aerotows and make it easier to get away.
James in ASW20 ENW launched first and rushed off to Tiverton and Crewkerne for a Club 100 in 1hr 20. Wyn in LS7 W7 set off but got low on the way to Crewkerne and ran back home. Pete & Jill in Duo Discus OL had a leisurely lunch and took off into a rather confused sky, with convergences going the wrong way, sea breeze danglies that didn't perform and huge patches of blue - but managed to complete some sort of Tiverton Crewkerne task in a very slow time.

Thursday 15th May - Course week

Club view -  
Despite clouds and bright sunshine, soaring proved difficult from low winch launches until lunchtime, when a batch of private owners took aerotows and disappeared. We welcomed John back after his skiing incident with the grandson. Keith had the longest local soaring flight of 2 hrs 12 in the Junior. 71 launches in all with 9 private gliders out. 

Course view -
 "And the good weather continues..."
 After 3 consecutive days of launching from the southeast corner, today saw the launch point being set up in the northwest corner, based on both the prevailing wind and the forecast for the morning - with the long walk to the other end in the pleasant warm sunshine, making a change on the previous rather chilly mornings.
After a few launches it became clear that the wind was moving round to the northwest so it was all change with gliders being either flown or towed to the other end. After that 'hiccup' in the day's flying it was then non-stop flying all day apart from a stop for lunch, when the Thursday flyers were pleased to be able to 'take over' the K21s for an hour or so.

By the end of the day all the course members had flown and continued to make progress with various aspects of their flying .

The second achievement of this course week was a first solo ' for Nat, Well Done Nat.
Nat, congratulated by Peter F
 Ed decided to take advantage of his new 'solo' status and took a K21 off for a soaring flight of just under an hour climbing to cloudbase at just over 3000' - not bad for only his third solo!

With another good forecast for the last day of the course the prayers to the weather gods have clearly been answered... - Mike Sl

Cross-country view -
Matt in ASW24 M5 had the longest flight Tiverton E, Sturminster Newton, Mudford Gate, Taunton of 240kms in just over 4 hours. Ron & Daniel in ASH25 711 completed Beaminster, Sturminster Newton, Mudford Gate  for 188kms. Pete St in Discus 230 had a slight technical problem so a later start but still breezed round the Club 100.

In the evening the Course members, Instructors, Helpers and some 'hangers-on' enjoyed a course dinner at the Keepers Cottage.

Wednesday 14th May - Course week

 Club view-
With a brilliant forecast a huge number of members turned up today many of them not usually seen on a Wednesday,  plus Course number two in full swing - it made for a very large number of gliders waiting to be launched.
At one point there were 20 in the queue, most of the cross-country pilots opted for an aerotow and were duly launched by Pete W and Robert who between them managed 19 launches.
In the morning it was difficult to get away from a winch launch and the sky overdeveloped a couple of times but by the afternoon most gliders managed good soaring flights. - JSt
Course view-
'And the gliders joined the launch lines one by one (actually twenty)
Having completed the first two days of the week with just the K21s in use the course members had a rude awakening on Wednesday morning as the Club saw an influx of Club members looking to fly Club and private gliders.
By the time the course members had completed their respective reviews of the previous day's flying and related ground school lectures with Pete F and Mike S there were more than 20 private and Club gliders in and around the launch point.
With the course members having their own designated launch line however course flying was soon underway with John having a new gliding experience flying a K13 for the first time.
It was non stop flying throughout the day, apart from a stop for lunch, and by the end of the day, the Course members had 26 K21 and K13 launches for a total of just over 3 hours - with the highlight being a 'first solo' for Ed Dark, Well Done Ed. - Mike Sl

Ed solos after 2 years on and off training
Cross-country view-
The pundits arrived in force expecting a 300km day, but as is quite usual for the south west it was another late start. And there was an element of slight frustration as the launch queues were so long, but thanks to the tuggies for getting things moving.
Simon M in ASW20 SM, Pete St in Discus 230 and Phil M ASW20 611completed O/R to Salisbury 212km having fallen back from the planned 300kms. John P and Matt W headed off for Lasham in the Eagle BBB, got there but landed near Popham on the way home for 180km. (Reportedly enjoying a champagne hamper on the lawn of the Clockbarn.) Thanks to JB & Matt for the late night, long retrieve.
Landowner hospitality
Eric in ASG29, and Tom in DG1 breezed round the Club 100 TIV - CRK  with good speeds. Wyn in W7 did Dorchester and back and Pete & Jill in Duo discus OL wombled round Devon and Dorset. - JH
Portland Bill on the way back from Dorchester

A field a long way from home.

Evening group view -
In the evening,  we welcomed a group from the Crash Box and Classic car group, who had been suitably enthused by a talk by Rowan in the winter.
Unfortunately, we missed the opportunity of a photo shoot of the wonderful 1960 British sports cars as everyone was busy having lovely evening flights on the ridge.

Tuesday 13th May - Course week

'Well it turned out really nice in the end...'

Tuesday morning and all the course members turned up again after their first day so that was a good start......
Ground school lectures to reinforce key learning points and refreshers from Day One were completed by Pete F and Mike S for their respective groups. And then it was off to the launch point, set up again in the South East corner of the field, to start the day's flying - and with great expectations based on a weather forecast suggesting a better day of gliding than yesterday. However as we all know a forecast is simply that and the morning's flying was interrupted on a number of occasions by sharp rain showers, rather more frequently than had been forecast.

Has it stopped raining yet?
Nevertheless with a keen group of 'wipers' standing by to remove rain from the wings and other key surfaces once the showers had stopped, on each occasion of rain, gliders were soon back in the air - at one stage it seemed to the waiting pilots in gliders that it was just like being at traffic lights, with people 'swarming to clean the windows', in this case gliders rather than cars!

During lunch time it was noticed that the sky had started to change for the better with more and more blue sky in the distance and nice fluffy clouds being seen - so with renewed optimism the post lunch flying was soon under way and the afternoon then got better and better with good lift if one could find it and as ever lots of sink to contend with if one could not.

New member Ray
Another good day for the course members and by the end of which 33 K21 flights, for a total of just over 5 hours, had been completed - with the last launch of the day achieving 34 minutes and needing to 'air brake down through strong lift all over the place' that tells you how good the afternoon got...

Chris returns after his course last September
All course members are making good progress with their personal objectives and aims for the course and, all being well............
Improving sky late in the afternoon
............ with a good weather forecast for the rest of the week progress will continue to be made with same. - Mike Sl

Monday 12th May - Course week

'Proof that a weather forecast is just that...'

With all of the course members, Instructors and ground helpers ready to go at 8:30 the first day of the May course got underway with safety lectures, introductions and, importantly, finding out course member personal aims and objectives for the week.

Flying was soon started for the day and apart from a couple of stops for short, sharp showers, it was then flight after flight for the rest of the day apart from a lunch break.
Stop for lunch
The thermals were good in places with Pete F and his student managing 8.2 knots on the lift averager on one particular flight.
New member John enjoys his first taste of gliding
 By the end of the day, all of the course members had had at least 3 flights with most having 4 or 5, and with everyone having had the fun of finding thermals and then learning how to soar for the first time or simply improve existing flying skills. The North West ridge helped by both providing a 'fall back' source of ridge lift and as ever being a good location to find thermals.

In and amongst the course flying some of the ground crew helpers had their own fun in a Junior and Adrian had a flight of just under an hour and a half in his Jantar (FDX).

With an improving weather forecast for the rest of the week things can only get even better...
...more tomorrow
Stats for the day:
26 K21 flights and 5 Junior/Jantar flights with around 7.5 hours total flying time. - Mike Sl

Sunday 11th May

"You should have been here today..."

The weather forecast no doubt deterred a number of members from coming to the Club today. - To be fair the wind was fresh and gusting but there was plenty of blue sky in between the showers and a likelihood of lift from both the ridge and thermals.
Whilst Mark C completed some ground school lectures with two of our newest junior members, Lizzie  and Josh,the launch point was set up in the south east corner with just the K21s to be used until the weather and flying conditions could be evaluated further
Josh (just turned 13yrs) now has a year to prepare for his first solo at 14
 Soon Lizzie and Josh were putting the theory into practice with some 'air time' whilst Mark C continued to work away in the lecture room with Pete S and Paul S on their EASA Flight Instructor training.
Lizzie's grandfather, John after his first ever glider flight
As the morning progressed the flying continued with suitable 'fun' both using the ridge and thermal lift and also on the approach in to the field. With a very positive ratio of Instructors to members wanting pre-solo and post-solo training or card checks it really was a case of 'where is everybody?'

After lunch both Juniors and the DG505 were brought to the launch point to make full use of the strong thermals and good ridge lift - Mark C and Paul S also put the theory into practice, various solo pilots and Instructors had fun in the Juniors or one of the two seaters and most importantly by the end of the day everyone who wanted to fly had done so.
Everyone went rainbow spotting - Rowan with Nick flying came back with the best photo.
Looking for pots of gold
A total of 18 flights, 12 dual and 6 solo - just under 12 hours of local flying with 3 over an hour and 6 over half an hour.

All there is left to say is "You should have been here today!" - Mike Sl

Saturday 10th May

What else to expect in February....but hang on just a minute it is May!

As ever the rather pessimistic weather forecast meant that the flying list was not very long. 
However with an evident determination from the members present to fly, the launch point was set up for a southwest / west wind direction and both K21s and a Junior were taken across to start the flying for the day.
First flag colour of the day was yellow but soon turned to blue as the morning progressed.
So far so good
As the wind became more and more 'interesting' in both mean speed and gust strength the flying continued in 'fits and starts' between the heavy showers until a decision was made to stop for lunch - with four consecutive broken weak links perhaps indicating the rough conditions on the launches.
Not so good
After lunch a K21 managed the longest flight of the day at 37 minutes during which time a decision was made to return the other K21 to the safety of the hangar (the Junior having been put away earlier).
Extra wing stand
As the K21 landed, a ground crew were waiting to help get the glider back under cover and the fact that the instructor and student were encouraged to stay in the glider as it was being towed across to the hangar indicates how strong the wind had become.
Wind sock trying to go above the horizontal
A total of 9 launches and just under 2 hours of flying before weather stopped play but with some good experience gained in the February (sorry May) weather conditions.
DSGC weather station output showing mean wind and gust
The second week of the joint initiative with Wellington School saw the student group arrive full of anticipation of more gliding 'air time' to add to the flights completed the previous week. Some more ground school lectures were completed but unfortunately the weather was not good enough to fly, so the students left hoping for better weather next weekend. - Mike Sl

Thursday 8th May

A rubbish forecast, with rain / low cloud for most of the day, but the Clubhouse was full for Classroom lectures. Pete gave talks on cross-country planning, navigation and interpreting RASP. After lunch we viewed Matt's latest videos and used them as a basis for soaring tutorials.

Wednesday 7th May

A pleasant start to the day with a strong westerly wind, meant an early start, first two launches at 9:45am -both flights had to land in a hurry due to a rainstorm even though the lift was strong.We were soon back back in the air again but the length of flights was not determined by lift but frequent rainstorms in the strengthening wind.
As the day wore on the wind steadily increased to make some very interesting takeoffs and landings the rain showers petered out by lunchtime.
The good soaring conditions lasted all day with wind gradually veering to northwest, most members had soaring flights. Pete St Discus 230 was the only private glider flying, having two flights, one over an hour and one of over 2 hours only coming down to have his lunch(actually it was one of the aformentioned showers that put me on the ground, just happened to be convenient timing! PSt).
We managed 30 flights today with nearly 15hrs soaring. - JSt

Bank Holiday Monday 5th May

A few stalwarts appeared early this morning, despite the threat of a raging crosswind from the South, with the usual accompanying rotor effect, severe turbulence on finals and knot-grabbing wind shear. 
We were not to be disappointed, and the yellow flag hoisted by Steve W and J St started to look a little optimistic. Chris C was sent off as the sacrificial lamb in the Junior, and when he survived Steve bravely sat in the back of the K21 with Chris's grandson, Jack, to see if he could make a better job of the landing than his grandfather; which wasn't too difficult.....
Roly soon joined in, with Heather in the front, and we all agreed that there was indeed a bit of a wave developing, but nobody managed any real soaring before lunch, when most agreed the weather was calming down. 
Paul S and James arrived after lunch and had a couple of reasonably long flights on the south ridge.
Altogether a great learning experience for those courageous / foolhardy enough to soar with the buzzards, and another reminder that whatever the weather forecast, if you don't turn up you don't get to fly! - Chris C & JSt

Meanwhile a few members, pitched up at the Uffculme Show to talk gliding and promote the Open Weekend. The DG505 as ever was an impressive exhibit and attracted the crowds. We were told that the best demonstration of the day was when we derigged the glider in about 5 mins by the well-oiled team. 
A busy day at Uffculme Show
Thanks to everyone who helped.

Sunday 4th May

For the first weekend in a while two consecutive days of good weather - perhaps the weather gods have been listening to the Treasurer's pleas...
With the members present working well as a team the first winch launch of the day was underway before 10:00 and with thermals already evident some gliders were soon staying up whilst, as ever, some were unfortunate to launch 'just at the wrong time'.
As the day progressed the Club gliders were in regular use and a number of private owners flew their gliders .

The last tall trees have gone
The thermals were not always entirely welcoming but for those pilots patient enough to 'work at it' the rewards of some 'fun flying' was enjoyed - a good reminder of the challenge of using the elements to stay aloft with, in a number of cases, gliders being joined in thermals by buzzards keen  to demonstrate their natural flying skills...
No particularly outstanding flights achieved, although Ruth converted to the K6, but by the end of the day a total of 45 winch launches and 6 aerotow launches, between various club gliders and 9 private gliders, had achieved around 22 hours of gliding.

Late afternoon the DG505 was de-rigged by Andrew, Paul, Nick and Graham so that the glider can be used to promote DSGC at Uffculme Show, both in general and particularly the Open Weekend.
With the Open Weekend not that far away an opportunity to remind all members of the need for help with the Open Weekend please -  have you volunteered yourself for the Saturday and/or Sunday by adding your name to the notice board in the Club House? - Mike Sl

Saturday 3rd May

The expectation of epicness earlier in the week turned into gloom in the south west of England. But it was no surprise that with an optimistic weather forecast, a keen group of members turned up bright and early and the flying list was soon quite long.
Whilst the weather in the morning was not as good as some forecasts,  nevertheless it was flyable so Club gliders were towed up to the northwest corner of the field whilst a number of private owners were seen in and around the Clubhouse discussing whether the brighter weather to the East would make it's way across to the Club and if so how quickly.

X-C optimism dealt an early blow!
As Club flying continued apace during the morning, slowly but surely the skies brightened as did the general demeanour of the private owners and by around lunchtime the sun was shining enough to encourage a number of them to start moving their gliders from the trailer park to the other end of the field.
And a good decision that turned out to be as the flight times got longer and longer with the thermals getting better and better as the afternoon progressed. 
An almost empty launch pointand nice fluffy clouds tell their own story
James (ENW), Pete St (230), JB and Matt (M5) all completed a 100km task (NHL, TIV, CRK, NHL) and JB managed  a good speed of 89kph.
By the end of the day everyone had flown and a total of  57 flights had been completed.  
Best flight on the National ladder today was 812km for the good bit of weather up-country!

During the morning a group of students from Wellington School arrived for the first of a series of Saturday mornings at the Club using their extra-curricular time to find out more about gliding, both actual flying and groundschool operations.
Paul S and Mike S completed an airfield layout, safety awareness and ground handling briefing session following which 3 students had an opportunity to experience their first glider flight whilst the other students were shown various launch point operation tasks. It was much appreciated as to how Club members readily helped with 'explaining, showing and telling' the students about various aspects of Club operations. 
- Mike Sl

Thursday 1st May

It rained most of the day, but the Thursday regulars were treated to some words of wisdom about locating and flying in wave at North Hill. This was kicked off by the interesting wave flights that Pete and Malcolm V in K21 and Pete St in 230 enjoyed on Thursday 17th April. The usefulness of seeing 'mouse droppings' (SeeYou Mobile trackback) in flight  to optimise track and climb rate was demonstrated by replaying Pete's flight on the big screen.
230's  flight on 17th April