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I call out the soarcast on Monday evening:
1 PM - I think that there will be cu's
Updraft velocity - 620 fpm
B/S ratio - 10.0
TOL - 4,920'
Surface winds - ENE 3 mph
4000' winds - SE 3 mph
Cloud cover - 30% (cumulus clouds most likely)
Mostly sunny, with a high near 88. Calm wind becoming southeast around 5 mph.
GSD shows no winds all day all the way up.
The HRRR 3 shows no cu's, but the GSD shows cloud base just a few hundred feet above the top of the lift (TOL). When it's that close cu's are likely. Also the air mass just above the TOL is only slightly drier than the air mass below. In addition the NSW is calling for 30% cloud cover, which likely means cu's. Given all these factors I call for cu's even though the models don't show that.
The GSD SkewT shows no winds all the way up to the TOL. This is a big flashing number that says - go around the Green Swamp. The winds will depend on local conditions.
Finally the western sea breeze is shown to be west of Dade City at 5 PM. It looks like we are not going to be squeezed by on shore flows. So far this year the sea breeze has not shown up despite the forecasts, but it is still nice to see a forecast that has it to our west.
This gives us an opportunity to come back to Wilotree Park without having to be retrieved, if we make it all the way around. It's one driver per pilot so that we maintain social distancing. Significant other is the driver.
I'm off first at 1 PM. I don't really find anything on tow and run for a cu 3 km south of Wilotree Park, down to 1,500' AGL thinking that I had better get up as I might not make it back for a relaunch.
That cu and the one next to it do work and I climb to over 4,500'.
There are plenty of cu's, but they are thin and quite separated. I work a little lift and then have to go back toward Wilotree Park to get up again to 4,500'. I head south, but don't find anything and have to again go back to the north and again have to climb up from 1,500' AGL. I climb to 4,400'.
I head south again to get under a cu south of the Seminole Glider Port. The lift is weak and I'm low again so finally I have to go back north once again. as there are no good looking cu's that I can reach going south.
Finally I get a strong climb (over 200 fpm on average) to 5,100'. It's taken almost two hours to go 12.5 kilometers, but now things have changed.
It's almost 3 PM, 2 PM sun time, and the cloud base is higher and the lift is stronger. I have repeatedly thought about going back to Wilotree Park as I was making so little headway, but every time I get high enough to do that I push south on course to go around the Green Swamp.
Now at 5,000' things look a lot different. I could easily make it to the next cu's. And, surprise, surprise, every cu was actually displaying lift. No fake cu's. No dead cu's. Only real cu's with real thermals.
The best looking cu's (large, black bottoms, all the cu's are thin) are on the south side of the Green Swamp so I head in that direction instead of straight across the swamp. I climb to 5,700' before the turnpoint at 98 and 471.
I've call a 3 kilometer radius around the turnpoint as it always seems to be a big sink hole. Sure enough there is a three kilometer blue hole around the turnpoint.
Down to 3,100' just to the northwest of the cylinder I get under a nice looking cu and climb at over 500 fpm averaged throughout the thermal back to 5,700'. Maria is just below me. I've caught her and Mick and am working to catch John. Pedro is way ahead.
Again the best looking cu's are along the edge of the swamp now on the west side. I'm also benefiting from a south southwest flow. I climb to cloud base at every cloud.
I take a little detour to the west to nick the turnpoint at 75 and 98. I see that there are clouds due east from this point and I don't want to fly past them to the north to get the optimum point on the cylinder. I immediately head east and get under the cu that I had spotted. It works, of course.
I climb to 5,800' and head east northeast toward the next cu over the Green Swamp. The goal is almost due east but the cu's in that direction are a bit too far away considering that they are directly over the swamp (limited landing options).
Climbing to 5,900' I take off for the next cu which is the start of a conveniently placed cloud street going east. I'm near the north end of the swamp but high enough that I don't have to consider landing options.
Climbing again to 5,900' I get under the cloud street for a few kilometers and glide into goal from 20 kilometers out. When I get there Pedro is already on the ground and John Simon is circling down. I find a nice column of sink (there is lift every where else) and slowly spiral down to land. Later Mick and Maria will make it in also so only the pilot flying a kingposted glider and flying around the Green Swamp for the first time doesn't make it around.
This was by far the easiest trip around the Green Swamp this year if you discount the first two hours. We've tried five time and been successful three times. One time was an attempt at a hundred miler.
On the 10th of October 2019 Glauco Pinto (Brazil) flew his epic flight in Tacima - Paraíba (Brazil) on his Laminar 14 Icaro 2000, breaking several records for HG with a rigid primary structure. On considering the applications FAI has ratified the following records:
World record of Free distance using up to 3 turn points - 630.9 km (392 mi)
Worlds record of Straight distance to a declared goal - 615.4 km (382.4 mi)
South-American Straight distance record: 620.3 km (385.4 mi)
We have contacted Glauco to get more information about his career and to hear the story of the record itself.
FAI - Record officer <<record>> wrtes:
Type of record : Straight distance to a declared goal
Course/location : Caicó (Brazil)
Performance : 505,6 km
Pilot : Michael Küffer (Switzerland)
Aircraft : Boomerang 11 / Gin Gliders
Date : 09.10.2019
Previous record : 478,6 km (11.10.2018 - Jouni Makkonen, Finland)