31/08/04 - Jim Mallinson, 48.8km from Combe Gibbet
TO Combe Gibbet SU 358 622 1150hrs
A tricky flight, with the wind off the hill and base starting at only 3000', rising to 3400' and the clouds spreading out a lot. Under the right bit of the clouds there were good 3m/s climbs, but all the shade on the ground made it hard to make the transitions. Cloud climbing helped. I went up about 1000' in two of them. The first was deliberate and was followed by a lovely glide out of the side to another small cu that was just forming, which I flew into from above.
A long scrabble over shaded ground finally had me up at base again and on my way to the west edge of Basingstoke. I met up with 4 or 5 sailplanes west of Lasham, and one in particular was using me as a marker for aerobatics. I spotted a red kite under a dark bit of cloud and glided to it. It was then that I got sucked into the cloud by a pretty rowdy climb and I was a little scared as I couldn't hold the compass straight and I knew there were sailplanes about. When I finally came out of the side I glided due south to avoid Oakhanger HIRTA but had to go into an area that was completely shaded and landed next to a nature reserve.
Within an hour the sky became properly epic and I wasn't surprised to hear later that there had been umpteen 100k flights. There must have been 2 different airmasses as apparently in the good bit base was 4500' rising to 5000. Oh well, mustn't grumble!