Saturday 31st October

What a glorious late autumn day, it was warm and the sky was blue, with a light south easterly wind.There was an early start with the kit out by 08:45
Blue sky and blue wave (Will)
Mark C had volunteered for duty instructor all day  but was grateful for the expert help from John Si (all day) and Steve W until early afternoon and Peter Sm - it was a great team effort. Steve W reported some weak wave starting to set up to the south.  Mark C and Josh (welcome back after a three month lay off) had an aerotow to 3000ft, but didn't contact the wave until 800ft!, but they had an hour before returning home. This set the trend with most people finding either zero or 1or 2 knots up in a wide area to the south. 
All the available club fleet were out (Will)

The whole club fleet was in the air at times as members basked in what felt like the summer sun on the ground.Matt W finished his bascic Instructor Training with Mark C.
Jess flew the K6 more than once.  Martin W had a long flight in the LS3 getting to circa 2500 ft in the south easterly wave. Phil G also found the wave. James F was practising BI stuff with Paul S.
Pete Sm congratulates Mark for converting to K13 (Peter Sm)
Peter Sm flew with Mark W in CCY for a red card check and cleared him to fly K13 solo. Martin flew with Karen K.  Rick A did  the Duty Launch Marshall all day and did an excellent job ensuring everyone including several family and friends visitors flew.  Family Bennett were there in force and as always all working hard. There was a lot going on -  Mark C was busy all day in the back seat.
Staggering day! (Mark C)

Thanks to Tug pilot Stu for providing the tows, the Tug was washed and fuelled after its long day only to be summoned by Martin for a high tow for an aerobatic flight with Karen landing just before darkness fell with an impressive sunset in the background.
The wonderful North Hill sunset (Will)
Ian M arrived with the new Junior LRD all the way from Poland, it will spend just a little time in the workshop while the instrument fit is fine-tuned. - Peter Sm

Thursday 29th October

It was a wet start as forecast, and we made use of the time by reviewing the new Met Office GA briefing service. By mid-morning, the rain had stopped, the ground had started drying out nicely the wind was a light westerly and the low cloud was lifting, and all the available Club gliders were prepared and moved to the launch point.
Paul, converts to K13 (Jill)
Congratulations to Paul K for converting to the K13, and to George for being cleared solo aerotow, longest flight went to Ray D for 18 mins in the Junior, although Matt also managed to find some thermals with one of the trial lessons.

The low cloud and drizzle brought a slightly early close to proceedings, but another pleasant Thursday. 
Our new Junior in the factory in Poland
There was news from Ian M that the new Junior is only 500 miles away  in Holland. - J&P

Wednesday 28th October

A nice mild and sunny day for the last Wednesday in October and quite a long flying list, we had a K21 and two K13s on the go today and the Junior.
After a slow start because of low cloud the first flight was about 11.00am, the sky looked full of thermals and cloud streets but after a gallant effort by Mike Fitz & JSt to stay up, most of the early flights were short, with a heavy shower at 12:30 an early lunch was called for.
Waiting for a cable (Mark L)
In the afternoon, the sky looked very good but the conditions became quite a handful and gave some interesting flying, Mike F completed his Blue card checks with Peter F and had some interesting cable failures.
Last flight of the day (Mark L)
Wyn and his LS7 was the only private glider flying and he also had the longest flight of the day of about 30mins.
At the end of a pleasant day (Mark L)
All four club gliders that were out, were in use all day and everyone flew.- JSt

Monday 26th October - Air Cadets day

For a special introduction to sport gliding, DSGC are hosting 3 non-Club flying days at half-term for Air Cadets to experience civilian gliding. Today Cadets from Newton Abbott and Okehampton Squadrons with their escorting staff visited North \Hill.

CFI Martin kept the Cadets interested with talks and videos and a Bronze exam based quiz until the morning group ran out of time. It was still looking grim until well past midday when the sky quickly brightened. The gliders and kit were ready to go, so a quick march to the west end and into action.
Air Cadets from Newton Abbott and Okehampton

The remaining afternoon group all had one flight and some lucky ones two flights before the SE wind strengthened and visibility deteriorated so hangar flights were the call, the last of which was a cable break. Nevertheless there were some very happy youngsters who enjoyed the turbulent conditions!
Many thanks to the helpers for their patience and braving the less than pleasant conditions, especially the rope splicers and menders who were still at it when darkness fell. - Peter Sm

Sunday 25th October

The appearance of the sun this morning seemed to bring out a lot of members today.  It also seemed to help with organisation - gliders were ready to launch not long past 9am.  With a missing K21, and two K13's earmarked for instructor training, we were a smidgen short of gliders.  One thing we weren't short of was instructors - some were even spotted 'mucking in' to help launch gliders. - Shocking!
Busy launch point (Will)
Lots of newer junior members were in attendance including Charlie, James, Ellie and Laurence.  Three trial lessons were flown, with Roly having another return customer.  Matt Wi and James F continued with their BI training with Mark C and Stuart P.  Congratulations to Peter Sm for completing the final final final part of his instructor training with Simon M.  Congrats also to Heather on red card currency. It was good to see Gordon back in the air.
Welcome back R37 (Will)
Conditions started off very calm with little wind and not a hint of lift as suggested by a hot air balloon in the sky to the west.  Things started to improve towards the middle of the day.  Roly managed 30 minutes on a trial lesson from a 2000ft aerotow.  A few winch launched gliders were then noted at cloud base.  Private gliders started to appear in the queue.  Andrew L in K6 GDE, Heather and Mike R in K6 DQS, Eric in  G29 and Pete St 230.  Pete opted for a winch launch but 6 minutes later he was back on the ground realising that an aerotow looked like a more sensible option.  This proved to be the case resulting in a 3 hour flight!
Captain Hood and Mrs Chair on the south coast (Lisa)
Eventually everyone on the list got a flight.  Thanks to Mark C for flying Ben S in the Rotax Falke when it became apparent a normal training flight looked unlikely and also to the 'non-rota' instructors that helped out - John Si and John St among them.  
Last flight of the day (Will)
A pleasant autumn day in the skies with the last few launches into a rather splendid looking setting sun finishing things off nicely. - Tim P

Thursday 22nd October

A mixed forecast and prophecies didn't give a clear picture of what the day might hold.  Low cloud damped initial enthusiasm amongst a goodly gathering of members (and especially a large number of Instructors). Various jobs were tackled before gliders were taken out of the hangar, which predictably and swiftly brought down the first shower. After a short adjournment, the field was set up for a south easterly launch point and flying commenced with all available club gliders. 

Wind was initially brisk WNW, but on the ground more northerly influence became apparent as it lessened. Great hopes of a good ridge day began to ebb with the wind. Nevertheless there was lift to be had particularly around the middle of the day and justified a number of members rigging private gliders.
Clouds were cycling (Mark C)
Pete St (Discus 230), Ron J (611), Martin (KMV) and Rowan (Libelle) had long flights and shock horror Woolly was also seen alone in 611.  There was a lengthy flying list but everyone flew by close of play as Instructors were out in force enabling PH to have a well deserved day out of the back seat.  Ian M and Malcolm fetched R37 from its Annual Inspection and rigged and flew it. 
Ian making the connections and Martin checking the back end (Mark L)

The solo flying list took turns with FZF all day. Longest flight went to Pete St in 230  - just short of 3 hours.
Last flight of the day (Mark C)
It was great to see R37 back in the air after its extended inspection and given a clean bill of health, a big thanks to Ian for the work on R37 and the various Instructors  for help on the day.
Ian with that familiar pose  (Mark L)
Back in the Clubhouse, Rob and Jill were busy completing the fine-checking and tuning of the website after the successful overnight upgrade  by Lukasz. 
Meanwhile Western Power were on site doing the preparatory work for the electricity supply and transformer upgrade. The crew took advantage of club catering at lunch time and we think we may have some recruits to the fold as a result.   The arrangements with all the factions plotted meticulously by Tom the Money, came together on schedule on Friday and the new supply, meter and cabling are all complete. A remarkable achievement! - Pete Sm

Saturday 17th October

Cold north easterly wind continues with low cloud to start but it cleared to 8/8 at 3500ft. Not one of our better days for launch rates as 'mainly' cable-related issues conspired against us, so unfortunately not everybody on the flying list got to fly. 

Thanks to William for splicing on new sections of rope, and to all those involved in disentangling the knots in the rope. Thanks also to Paul for servicing the hot water tank etc. - J&P

Thursday 15 October - Rule # 3 - Always take a launch!

Upon awaking the sky looked rather grim and the wind sock was as limp as a poor handshake so the gang decided to decamp back to NHL. Nick who had been eager for another adventure despite the back seat of BBB succumbed to this initial pessimism and set off for a now "back on" meeting at work. However, in the gents weary from the night before JP and H5 Matt decided to overturn the decision, besides 2 of the gliders were already rigged and moist from the night before. Rule number 3 came into play, if only to dry the Eagle out before de-rigging, it would be foolish not to launch.
All it needed was one person to voice some optimism and the go home option was instantly spurned by the rest, for, "Hell Yeah! Lets fly!" BBB and JB were sponged off, M5 was rigged and the 3 gliders queued up to be eventually joined by a lone local while a single tug was pulled out to launch us all.
Guy in his camera ship
The Eagle launched first. Rashly letting the lad have the captain’s seat, the P1 found himself fighting to stay on the ridge from the rear of the Eagle which, as most know, is not noted for its view of the outside world! A very steady but sedate loss of height did mean that the Eagle had to forgo Guy Westgates attention from his camera equipped Grob since the required 55kts was 15kts faster than the speed necessary to maintain height on the ridge. 
JP trying to look out
The constant stream of “is it clear” demands from the back as the Eagle turned eventually were met with “well it’s clear because no one else is this low” and with less than 500’ showing a decision was made to head for the much admired fallow field out in the valley.
To celebrate the safe landing Guy Westgate was quick to perform an overhead display for the pair utilising the smoke system on his firework equipped Grob, if only the Eagle had the same rocket propulsion it may have provided the extra energy to get back to the club?
Smoke on over the downed Eagle
Formation ridge running (Guy Westgate)
 After about an hours flying JB and M5 who had been the willing subjects of Guy's camera work watched BBB come to rest safely in its field and soon followed suit albeit back at the club. A swift de-rig of the single seaters and then it was off to the field in order to retrieve the mighty Eagle before the long drive home!

Despite the likelihood of being labeled as crazy by the locals, it is definitely worth chasing the weather!
4/5ths of Team NHL

Thursday 15th October

It was a bright start with a good crowd ready to go by 08:30,.......
Tea break first (Mark C)
.......but by 09:00 the airfield was covered in high speed cloud at 200ft that looked a bit permanent, but was forecast to clear later in the morning. Chris M provided a weather brief for the day -  being his final challenge to acquiring his Bronze badge - well done Chris.

Just after 11:00 the sky cleared quite readily and we started launching into a good north easterly blow, with some occasional clouds around 1000ft and quite soarable underneath. Thankfully cloud base rose to above launch height fairly quickly, and the rest of the day continued getting through the flying list, thanks to help from guest Instructors John Si and Stu. The sky was cycling reliably until late afternoon when some thicker cloud moved in as forecast.
Chris M (last week) and Ray D now both converted to K13
Ray converted to K13, and Mark was busy with some Instructor coaching for a candidate from Culdrose.  - J&P

Wednesday 14 October - Southdown Spectacular

H5 Matt:
"Still confident from the day before I decided to press on towards the Butser turn point, as the hills got smaller I hit a patch of sink and got stuck at 500’ on a small ridge 3km from the turn point, towards the turn point power lines obscured the path and the route back didn’t look any better, the outlook was grim. Going through my mind was some advice I had been told previously when flying with Trevor Stuart; “sometimes you just need to park up and wait, perseverance will pay off, something will change, either the conditions or how you’re flying, then you’ll get away.” I had a nice field picked so decided to hang around and maintained height for 15 minutes.
I then saw M5 Matt smoking round the corner and down towards the turnpoint, he was 150’ above me and had the clearance to get around, I decided to wait and see how high he was on the return leg and if he’d show me the way out, as he came back around the corner from the turnpoint he was still 150’ higher. Now going through my head was some advice I’d had from Mark Courtney; “Whatever you do don’t follow Matt Wright, he’ll end up getting you into trouble!” There I was a lot lower and sat in a much lower performance glider, I had a few seconds to decide what to do. I picked another field on route and off I went, chasing down the Shark!
H5 negotiating the iffy bit before Butser
Thankfully being lower was of benefit and I had great lift back round the corner to the more substantial ridge, gratefully if anything I gained height on Matt. After being so low for such a long time thrashing up and down at 600’ faster than some of the plastic ships was a great relief! It was a fabulous day out with good company! The feeling of seeing your friends all racing along the ridge and being in amongst it all was fantastic."

BBB JP and Nick
Last minute dot com was the order of the week with H5 Matt’s puppy like enthusiasm by WhatsApp taking its toll on JP’s resolve to deal with work rather than “mitch off” resulting in an early evening (Tue) departure with no plan other than to go ridgin’. A call to Nick Jones enroute to NHL meant it was Eagle BBB rather than the Lak on the back of the car an hour later!

Nick arrived the morning after, just as the Eagle was ready to grid – in the nick of time really as the 3 tug Parham set up and short 1000’ tows meant launches were fast and furious. The plastic boys with their barrels of ballast were soon darting off in all directions but the Eagle decided to be more serene and tested the local “home ridge” thoroughly whilst the master mariner and his pilot sized up the gaps to the nearby ridges. Caution and the desire not to have an early field meant we headed west and jumped on to the next ridge with the aid of thermal. The following few hours were tremendous fun as the less than stellar Eagle performance combined with tantric ridge lift  allowed a steady rewarding progression towards Butser. Model glider flyers were duly waved down to as the archetypal vintage glider floated by. The final run into Butser was a an amazing act of faith in the hills with a failure to actually go round the TP only caused by the fact that it was a hundred feet higher than us! Traveling back east over the A3 and noticing that the power cables were now a hurdle caused some excitement and a necessary shift out from the hill. Interestingly only half way up a less than high hill is a challenge for the lower performance glider as successive trees required little hops… Perseverance paid off and the aero modellers were now able to wave down to the yellow bomber as it flew under their models! 

The afternoon’s succession of white cruise missiles dashing past highlighted the advances in glider technology but with beer in hand in the pub that evening the smiles were just as broad from the vintage team as the ASW/Schemp jockies. Parham truly is a unique place in the UK and for NH pilots almost a day trip.
Majestic BBB (Guy Westgate)
M5 Matt

On monday evening, North of the Haggis curtain, the Portmoak contingent had been pouring over the plethora of available forecasts desperate to find even the faintest excuse to stay in Scotland, but however desperate the search, none could be found. On Tuesday morning Tom, Pete, Ruth and Matt decided to head home, well sort of. We were all in the loop, having seen the forecasts for wind in the south east and had been bombarded with texts from H5 Matt and even an email from Nympsfield ridge maestro Trevor Stuart both of whom were Parham bound. Pete's usual happy-go-lucky optimism had been worn thin by our run of rubbish weather and he was going home to Devon or bust. This was fortunate for Ruth because Pete came to her rescue at a Birmingham services where she had been abandoned by Matt  as he wanted to veer off towards Sussex.

After spending the night in the SGC club room, at least it was warm, we were up early to get ready as a steady stream of  locals and visitors were already pouring through the gates eager for an epic ridge day. I decided that I would try adding 2 barrels of water to M5 in the quest for extra speed out on task a token gesture to the other speed fiends who were going ballistic with full tanks.  The task of five beats between Butser Hill and Lewes would amount to 341km if completed and this was by no means a certainty as rain was forecast in the east later. Champing at the bit to get going we were then treated to an almost hour long visitors briefing after the club general briefing during which we could see the local pundits were getting airborne!
Around the Corner at Seaford College
Fortunately launch rate was something to behold! 3 tugs quickly reduced the grid by whipping us up to 1000' and lobbed us onto the home ridge. It wasn't long before I was trying to climb up to cloud base at Butser to take advantage of the 1000m height loss rule of the BGA Ladder. This delay would prove costly later.
Passing BBB near Butser (is that rain in the distance?)
The ridge was working well although the timing of thermal interference gave rise or sometimes sink to interesting heights on the hill and I didn't have to stop until a particularly sinky crossing of the Amberly gap on the 4th leg required a couple of beats of Bignor bowl to restore a sensible height. On the run into Butser I got the chance to wave at H5 and BBB before setting off on the final leg to Lewes. About 8km from Lewes I could see rain approaching the turn-point and was contemplating chucking in the task but Trevor who had started about half an hour behind me, came whizzing past heading for the finish. I had to follow! What could possibly go wrong!
Trevor over-taking me on Devil's Dyke
5 minutes later we were in fields at the bottom of the ridge but we had completed the task! Trevor at an astonishing 146 kph and I managed a personal best of 118kph, next time I'll go for the full 120kgs of water ballast. Thanks to H5 Matt for the speedy retrieve before we were all down the pub for refreshment, tall tales and mega cheesy grins.

Wednesday 14th October

The long run of Easterlies continues, but with a much reduced wind speed and very good visbility.  It was cool enough for members to shelter behind the launch point vehicle, there was a good long list of members wanting to fly, we took a K21, K13 and a Junior out and they were kept busy all day. 
Cloud streets in abundance (John St)
There was about a three hour slot when it was quite soarable in the cloud streets and there were quite a few soaring flights, Richard H and Ray B had the longest flights with the cloudbase at nearly 3,000ft.
More cloud streets (John St)
We managed six aerotows with Pete W as tuggie, we finished flying at 5.00pm and everyone flew - JSt
And there are rumours that Scotland has moved to West Sussex in a camper van - more info to come hopefully.

Tuesday 13 October - Classic ridge conditions at Parham

With such a good forecast members arrived early to setup the field. H5 Matt was still a little anxious about the gaps and the unknown quantity of the hills beyond, he tried to secure a P2 seat with someone more experienced to show the way. When Les Blows heard of this he was quick to proclaim: “You don’t need a P2 flight, all you need is a damn good talking too!” After another discussion on the gaps and the reassuring words that the thermals would help bridge them he was soon airborne in the trusty SF.

From the outset the hills were working brilliantly, super strong ridge boosted thermals gave off the clock lift whilst also providing areas of strong sink to watch out for. After a few runs on the local ridge he began to eye up the Amberley gap, 2 turns in a thermal took him to 1500’ which gave the confidence to set off westwards across the gap towards Bury Hill and Bignor bowl. From here it was less complicated to jump forward a mile or so into wind and then onto a very reliable 20km long run to Harting. After this the ridge is less defined and smaller before rising up again on the approach to  Butser Hill, the western extent of most ridge tasks. Happy with getting as far as Harting Matthew decided to leave the Butser turn point for another day!
Heading North towards Harting
Now confident with the Amberley gap Matthew jumped across another 3 times gradually leaving lower as confidence and experience grew, the final crossing was from just over 1000’ and he completed 4 beats from the end of the home ridge and the extended ridge to the West. By this time the thermals had subdued so he couldn’t get the recommended 1500’ to jump the 7km Steynning gap in a wooden ship!
The Quarry on the ridge near Seaford  College, Ducton
After a fantastic flight H5 Matt landed grinning from ear to ear and proclaimed it was one of his best flights ever! Evening analysis of the trace showed several occasions where the engine noise sensor was activated on his logger, certain that the SF does not have an engine it can only be assumed that the cries of joy (fear?) set off the sensor.

JB turned up at about 14:00 and threw his Ventus together for a quick blast, he was quick to show his wealth of experience and completed a lap of the whole extended ridge from Lewes to Butser without breaking a sweat.
Envious of the forecast, and the fear of missing out on something equally as good the following day, the gang grew in numbers when joined at the local Pub by JP who brought up Eagle BBB and M5 Matt who traveled all the way down from Scotland having forsaken the very benign weather at Portmoak for the prospect of actually getting to fly. - H5 Matt

Monday 12 October - Portmoak gets some wind

Friday's short window of flying had been long forgotten after a weekend of windless, murky, anti cyclonic haze with more hope of catching a wild haggis than going soaring. The expedition team were more than a little excited that the weather on Monday appeared to be actually emulating the forecast. The cold front had gone through replacing the weekend grot with gin clear air and there was evidence of wave in the sky as the northerly wind grew in strength and our B.Y.O breakfast was consumed. The catering person did actually pop in for a bit, allowing the non cereal contingent to grab a quick bacon butty before she disappeared again. Chris H, Steff and Nick swelled the numbers after  arriving on Saturday but without CLM as Chris had decided it would be less hassle just to use one of Portmoak's  3 Juniors. Ruth, unfortunately, had succumbed to a bit of a cold and did not feel well enough to attempt flying but did manage to venture out to help around the launch point for a bit.
No wind at Pitlochry on Sunday
Eager to fly, 230 Pete and M5 Matt rigged their gliders while Ron, Woolly and Texas Tom took the pyjamas off 711 and DG1. By the time our gliders were ready at the launch point, the wind by comparison to the weekend was a howling 10-12kts and being funneled between Bishop and Benarty to give the impression that it was a northwesterly. This gave rise to some questioning as to which hill would be the best option off the wire. At the top of the launch, however, a quick look at the loch to check the wind streaks, confirmed that there was only one choice. 

Western end of Benarty
Benarty. The north facing hill was reliable all day allowing some low level cobweb removal and it boosted the thermals that passed by, propelling gliders to cloud-base which in turn led to multiple forays out over Loch Leven, Kinross and to the north faces of Lomand Hill. As much as we searched, the wave remained as elusive as a Scottish Labour MP and with the sun low in the sky we eventually returned for the satisfying landing in the south field which is great for practicing your field landing accuracy. I was gleefully beaten into third place for the shortest landing competition by both Tom and Pete and probably Ron too. Oh well.
The Club at the end of the Rainbow
Maybe not the epicness we had hoped for but still a fun and challenging day's flying. The forecast for the rest of the week looked grim for wave or even ridge flying for that matter with slack winds and an easterly flow so 230, DG1 and M5 derigged to head home on Tuesday. Ron and Wooly decided to tough it out a bit longer, the forecast might be wrong! Who knows!

Monday 12 October - Migration to the East

With the precedent set from the previous expedition the decision to go was rather last minute, after confirmation that the field would be open the next day it was made at 20:30 the night before! Like a solitary bird H5 Matt migrated east from Plymouth before sunrise and followed the good weather forecast to Southdown Gliding Club.

Guess where I am!
He arrived just after lunch and received a very warm welcome from the members, most of whom appeared to be poor judges of character because they decided that he was mad for driving all the way up from Plymouth. Obviously spoilt by their fantastic home ridge they were unaware that our gliding rules dictate chasing the weather to any location for the chance of some good soaring!

After introductions and over several cups of tea Les Blows, a local instructor, tuggy, and good bloke kindly discussed the finer details of the extended ridges away from the local home section which allow cross-country ridge tasks of over 340km. The advice included the best routes to jump across the gaps to the next section of ridges depending on wind direction and strength. There are 2 main gaps to negotiate, the largest, about 7km, is across the town of Steyning to the east of Parham and the other, a 4km gap is across the village of Amberly to the west. In modern gliders these gaps can be easily achieved at a little over 1000’ however they require a little more height and/or bravery in a SF27! 
Rubbish Viz
Matthew rigged and had a couple of leisurely hours to reacquaint himself with the local ridge. It was working very well although visibility was rubbish. At the extents of the local ridge, the hills across the jumps to the next sections were barely visible. Content with a satisfactory flight for a traveling day, he landed back at the club and continued ‘studying’ the various South Downs ridge flying guides ready for an excellent forecast the following day. - H5 Matt

Friday 9th October - Portmoak

After deciding the weather gods weren't favouring Denbigh, Matt, Ruth and Tom drove up to Portmoak on Thursday hoping for better forecasts there. Pete St elected to stay as a mild thermic day was predicted. It started off well, but as it collapsed under a complete spread out, Pete elected to join the others. Having only flown once in the last week, the cliche "In for a penny, in for a pound" comes to mind.

Friday found us with light southwesterly winds, but as Ron & Wooly were rigging the ASH, the rest felt so guilty, we also rigged. Launching right after lunch, there was sufficient lift to stay aloft on the Bishop until a rain squall came slowly through just north of the site. Wet wings and very low wind speeds don't combine well for ridge soaring, so everyone scuttled back. The forecast for the upcoming weekend isn't inspiring, so all are hanging on more out of stubbornness than real hope for epic soaring. - Tom

Wednesday 7th Oct - Denbigh

After the previous few days of non-flying misery, the brisk north north westerly wind and complete lack of rain gave the North Hill gang a fresh wodge of enthusiasm. Kevin added more smiles at briefing by predicting a further backing of the wind and a brightening of the sky once the front went through.
The coast at Prestatyn
After all the gliders were rigged and gridded, Martin in KMV was sacrificed to the Tusk where he battled for about 10minutes just maintaining altitude. Pete in 230, tired of waiting, went next, just as Martin climbed off the tusk and headed south down the ridge. By the time we were all launched the wind had backed a bit more to about 290 degrees and the ridge was a bit more reliable, well the northern faces of the spurs that come off the ridge were anyway. Even so it was possible for Pete and Matt in M5 to do 5 beats of the full run from Prestatyn to Denbigh ridge south for 153km at a leisurely 83kph. Tom spent his first flight at this great site exploring the 20km between the Bodfari gap and DRS. Martin explored the whole length of the ridge and even jumped with Arcus EW to a north west facing ridge about 5km south of DRS tempted by the rapidly developing cloud streets to provide a route back into wind.
Streets to Snowdonia
Martin and Moel Famau
Dan in EW used the streets to press into Snowdonia and managed to ridge soar his way around the western edge of the mountains before a shit or bust final glide back to Denbigh via Colwyn Bay.
Ruth who had been waiting patiently for EW's return finally took to the skies in the front seat of the Arcus with Dan and had a quick half an hour of sheep polishing up and down the ridge before returning to the club because Dan was in charge of the evenings epic barbecue.

Cheesy grins all round!

Thursday 8th October

It was forecast to be a cold bright start becoming slightly thermic before a trough line arrived....... and so it was.
All the usable fleet was in action, and several private owners, longest flight went to Pete H and John A in K21 72 minutes.
Thanks to Malcolm V for getting the tailwheel sorted on CCY by using R37 which is currently in the workshop.
Well done to Paul K for resoloing in K21, and to Chris M for converting to the K13, unfortunately Ray D who was also preparing to convert to K13 got stopped in his tracks by the trough bringing rain and misting canopies. So unfortunately the timing of the rain was just too early to get everyone a flight. Ho Hum!

A special thanks to Paul K for his handy work in the gents - (need I say more!) - J&P

Wednesday 7th October

Very few members, but several Instructors standing in for John Si and John St, with some good soaring but brisk winds. - J&P

Tuesday 6th October - Denbigh

The Denbigh Expedition are enjoying themselves despite the weather......
Martin trying out new balance techiques (Tom)

Matt and Ruth on the water (Tom)

Saturday 3rd October

Having swapped duties with Mark C,  I was at the club early for me - 8.30 but unfortunately we had to drink tea for a few hours whilst the fog and mist cleared.
Foggy to start  (Mark C)

A weather check with Dave W confirmed it was flyable but only just so a couple more cups of tea and we started flying the list.

The first trial lesson flew but only to 2000ft and not mile high due to weather. All members flew and Mark C arrived from Beer to take over for the afternoon.

Martin, Pete St and Tom headed for North Wales for a week of excitement (or walking) before carrying on to Portmoak! - Lisa

Thursday 1st October

Continuing High pressure weather, with a strong North easterly wind, and today there was some annoying low cloud in the blue sky. The gliders were immediately covered in condensation as they came out of the hangar, so there was a leisurely set up of the launch point in the south west corner. 
First launch was a weather check with the K13 reaching more than 1500ft, whilst the scenery was quite spectacular, the random cycling of the thin cumulus cloud layer between 800ft and 1000ft, made it too tricky to continue training. A coffee break was called which had to extend to an early lunch. 
Mark waiting patiently to tow the Mile High trial lesson (Mark C)

The air gradually dried out and the afternoon meant a lot of catching up of training, solo flying  and trial lessons which all ran very smoothly. 
The first Trial lesson was a Mile High flight and Chris managed to find a little bit of wave over Broadhembury, but otherwise the flights were just extended by the height of the launches and broken lift, with variable large amounts of sink and potential clutching hands behind the ridge. - J & P