15/4/02 - Garry Mitchell, 22.7km from Westbury

As many people have commented Tuesday was looking too good to miss. I arrived at Westbury at approx 2 o'clock to find most people sat on the ground eating dinner. I sorted out my glider and sat waiting for any sign of a thermal in little to nil wind. Jim, myself and others made several attempts to get away but either went down or side landed on the horse.

At about 3 o'clock I felt a bit of wind coming up the front and when I lifted my glider up I was lifted of the hill and went searching for the thermal. The lift was strong and broken low down and needed some effort to centre and climb. Soon I was climbing out above the hill with Jim directly below. My plan was to follow Jim (skygod you now) because with more than one option I was confused. Jim never seemed to catch up with me and I felt that he must have missed the climb, but later I realised that in fact I had climbed to approx 6000' and that's why it took so long and why Jim seemed to be so low.

At about base I decided to cross to the next cloud street as the one I was under went back directly across the no-fly zone. With speed to fly theory I straightened out and flew through the strongest lift and out under the side of the cloud without going into the white room. Accelerating hard through the sink into better air I crossed to the next street and climbed out above the back of Warminster.

Back at base I applied the speed bar under a cloud street running down wind as far as I could see. At this point it went pear-shaped with the clouds all around me disappearing. I pushed on but never encountered any further lift until Tony arrived to retrieve me. As I sat waiting, the clouds were building and soon reformed the street that looked so good until I got there. I was unlucky from there on, I only managed approx 20k when the coast was as close as it is likely to get...

Garry Mitchell