Back in Hobbs, nowhere and everywhere America. It's good to be back, Kurt and Brian run a really good operation at Crossroads, and I have a stack of good memories from flying here last year. Not much has changed, and that's good.
This year Michael "Hollywood" and women's world hang-gliding distance record-holder Tiki (she set it here last year, 220 miles!) Mashi are here, as well as Phil from England and his girlfriend Dawn, and Eric Endicott who drove the 30 hours from Washington non-stop with Scott, so the scene is good. I hope I get to fly with more people, it's a real asset to find the thermals for sure.
I drove in from Dallas this morning, and arrived at 4:00 to see no clouds to mark thermals and very light winds. Not exactly ideal for XC, as Scott and Eric had flown in the morning but decided to conserve energy and not go XC due to the low probability of going far. Conserving energy is definitely part of the game.. Scott climbed to 11,500 in the usual 200fpm morning "boomer", but the drift aloft was about zero, which meant no long XC. Scott took a tour of town, and I towed up at 5:30 to enjoy a nice climb in shorts to 11,500. I wanted to check out my relatively new Rocket, I've been flying an older prototype and don't have any real thermal time on the stock version. Today I flew for an hour and a half in fairly good conditions, I could not be happier with this wing; it climbs really well, much better than my prototype and is very coordinated when thermalling. I pulled some lines and it did indeed recover nicely, unlike many of the comp wings I've been flying the last five years. It feels like a well-mannered sports car, total fun to play with. I've quit flying proto comp gliders, I just don't think it's worth it anymore, given that wings like the Rocket fly better than the comp wings I was on two years ago yet are much more stable. I'll write up more on this wing once I get more time on it.
The forecast for tomorrow is much better, stronger winds from the south aloft...
Will on tow, then climbing out for an evening flap.
Next: May 22