31/07/02 - Mike Andrews, 36.3 & 7.1km from Combe Gibbett

1. From Inkpen Hill SU358622 to Church Farm Ashmansworth SU403567

The wind was gusting quite strongly (enough for full speed-bar to stay over the hill) and the thermals were weak so it was a question of committing early. The best thermals were coming off the triangle of scrub below the woods. Once away I was distracted by someone on a faster glider, who, having been with me back to Faccombe, then decided to head back to the ridge where he got a much better thermal. I tried to follow but could not penetrate against the wind and lost a lot of height before turning away downwind in the hope of finding another thermal - I didn't!

2. Coombe Inkpen Hill to East of Winchester
1hr 33 mins 36.3km

Thanks to a retreive by Janet I was able to take off again SU358622 at about 15.10 when the sky looked better. I was too late to join a gaggle, one of whom made Worthing (I gather from Jim)! Lift was still weak and I had to work hard to find a thermal. This time I flew down the ridge to over the hillfort to the east and again had to commit early. I was still circling in the first thermal 3-up over Faccombe and didn't reach cloudbase at about 4500 until level with Whitchurch. About 0.5km east of the A34/A303 junction (SU467421) I had to turn more easterly to avoid the Winchester airspace, and limit my height to 3000. I got one more thermal in a new cloud street, but then despite sun on the ground there was no more than scrappy lift and landed in the middle of a huge farm at Gospel Oak, Ovington, east of Winchester. SU545312.

Best regards