SAC to Victory Brewing
Rough and Ready, United States
a month ago
First off, a big thanks to Bacil for calling and texting early in the week about Friday’s weather. Jim Messina and I connected and started planning for either a drag race-type flight to the river and back or a dog leg OTB to Victory Brewing (102km). For the OTB flight, we needed a local driver as it wasn’t practical to go back for cars. Turns out Jim Carrol lives 3min away in Wayne and agreed to drive after his flight so we loaded up in my Jeep and headed off to SAC around 9:45am. Huge thanks to Jim Carrol as well, couldn’t have done it without him. I was first to launch and had an extended sleder after which no one launched until conditions improved. I had a race breakdown leaving the harness packed and tossing the battens and base tube into the car and partially stuffing the glider in its bag. For my 2nd flight I was 4th off launch and easily climbed out. I connected with Bacil and Aron and thermaled with Aron at the same altitude for a bit until he left around 4,000ft and I continued to climb up to 5,000ft. Instead of going on course, I came back to launch to see how Jim was doing only to see him back in the setup area. I decided to linger around and wait as I didn’t want to fly the course alone. I hooked another thermal and was back to 5k ft over launch, however, I was starting to get impatient as it was already 4pm which is a late start for a long task and there was a beautiful cloud street running to goal from the 1st turn point (where RT125 crosses SAC ridge). After topping out I flew back to the ridge 2km to the east to get a slow start as I continued to wait for Jim. I hooked a great thermal on the ridge taking me to 8,300ft climbing 4k feet at an average climb of 450 fpm. Jim still hadn’t launched so I decided to go on course without him. I stuffed the bar and easily tagged the first turnpoint at 6,500ft and started the downwind journey to Victory brewpub. I lost about 500ft flying from the turnpoint to the next thermal and covered 4km. The next thermal took me from 6,00ft to 8,000 with peak climbs of 800fpm and 500-600fpm on the averager. This put me in a great position to cross the ridges and forested area downwind. I went on a 16km glide to a great looking cloud and arrived at 5,000ft and center punched the thermal into a 1,200fpm climb and maintained 800fpm on the averager taking it to 8,200ft, this was the best thermal of the day. A 10km glide straight down course line ensued to a good-looking cloud arriving at 6,500ft and climbing to just under 8,000ft. It was now 5pm and the day was getting noticeably softer i.e. climbs were 350-450fpm so decided to slow down. After topping out I was 61km from goal and had to make a big decision either go straight down course line over better terrain but into the blue, or go east towards clouds in the distance. I opted to go off to the east on a 21km glide to the clouds which put me to the north of a large, forested section and up against Reading airspace. After the long glide I was down to 3,200ft and hooked a weak 200fpm thermal under one of the remaining clouds. While the thermal was weak it was in a great lift line, so I drifted 14km constantly watching my glide ratio to goal as I circled (about 20:1 at 7,00f0t). At about 32km from goal I went on final glide from 7,000ft but did stop for one last climb on the way as the cloud was too good to pass up and there was no rush. I was also concerned about the LZs near the brewery so wanted to arrive with plenty of altitude. The last climb took me back over 8,000ft and I had a nice 26km glide to goal arriving at 3,000ft. I spend a solid 5min planning my landing and trying to figure out how to land in walking distance of the brewery and opted for very technical base leg between a barn and tree line turning a very low final into the LZ. About half way through my 1st beer I heard Jim on the radio and he was 24km out and one thermal away from goal. He managed to dig out and arrive at goal with 700ft and I radiod him some info on the landing fields.
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SAC to Victory Brewing

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