SAFA Skysailor Magazine

5 September | October 2020 SKY SAILOR in the zero lift over the Dalby township for a few more minutes, barely maintaining my height, before gliding off. I found another patch of lift, also barely going up. I thought we had launched too early, but I had already travelled six kilometres and was now committed. One of the early pilots had already landed back at the airfield and two others were struggling to stay airborne like myself. I could see a small cumulus cloud downwind of me and glided towards it with the little height I had. At nine kilometres out I was down to 1,000ft off the deck and could not reach the cloud, I thought I’d be landing soon. Suddenly, I felt a surge and the vario confirmed it and soon I was climbing in 200ft/min lift, concentrating hard on staying with this thermal and getting away from the ground. After gaining 800ft, the thermal strengthened to 400ft/min and a small cloud started to form above. More clouds began forming downwind and the day looked like it was improv- ing – distance became possible. At 4,000ft, I flew slightly downwind to a better looking cloud and was soon at 4,800ft, heading straight to the next cloud while still going up. I got to 5,000ft before heading south to get back on the course line and some promising clouds. On the radio I heard Peter Schwenderling (Swendo) was down after travelling around 10km, and shortly after Viv was down too after a very scratchy 25km flight. Peter Burkitt and Ollie Chitty had managed to survive the scratchy conditions and were now in the better air but still behind me. We had decided on Mt Tyson township as a turnpoint to keep us on course and I headed in that direction. After one mediocre climb, and getting down to 2,000ft above the ground, I had three great climbs in a row to 5,500ft under Near Mt Tyson the clouds are working – Photo: Scott Tucker