19/06/02 - Mike Andrews, 23.1km from Merthyr

Hi Tim.

A good day today.

It was a bit off to the South at Merthyr Common but OK on the southerly t.o. Quite windy at times, so care needed. I launched a bit after noon got lifted off backwards straight into a good climb and within a few minutes was climbing to cloudbase at 4,500 ft plus. It was very cold - luckily I had put on my balaclava!! The lift was small and very punchy. My max on 45 sec average was 5.9 m/s. Some interesting small deflations but as usual the Astral was very well behaved. It was an exciting flight. One other Urraco flying, much faster than me but went down early with a big deflation at one point.

I had a choice after the first thermal of going left or right of a blue hole. I chose left as the clouds looked more solid. I got a second thermal north of Fochrew, and another near Tredegar. More lift over the high ground to the north of the heads of the valleys road east of Bryn Mawr and a last flutter of the vario over Gilwern. I aborted a chance of a low save at Cadfor because half of the circle was over two 42k volt grid lines and I was down to 150 ft. I could have landed in the Abergavenny cemetery, but I thought it might show a lack of respect (and tempt fate). so I ended up in Mike Reed's field where they hold the Blorenge bash! 23k on the GPS.

SO 078 036 to 286 137. The whole flight only took 52 minutes. Rich and Alex and Merlin flew from Robin's site XX but it was too near the sea breeze. Alex told me he did 16k.

Tomorrow morning I have to meet the Lord Lieutenant to fix up a visit by Prince Andrew to the SS Great Britain, so I may miss another good day - but I'll try.

Best regards