The wind was off to the S at "Kettle Sings" today and quite gusty, but quite a lot of pilots seemed to be getting away. Conditions looked a bit more settled by 1pm - so quiet, I thought a short glide to the landing field was all I was going to get, as, having chosen a low takeoff, I got nothing for the first couple of minutes of flight and was too low to slope land.
Luckily, I caught a steady climb just the far side of the main road, which continued at increasing speed to cloudbase over Colwall. A red glider joined me for the second half of the climb which went to 3500ft above takeoff. Then we split, with the red glider going more west, while I went more northwest towards Bromyard.
Unfortunately, the cumulus evaporated in front of me as I went, and although I got one top-up, I ended up in a blue sky on a glide to land about 2km short of the downs. There was a nice motocross track in a field which I decided to make my landing, but, having turned into wind just beyond the row of trees around the field, then found I couldn't get back over them. Not wanting another tree landing, I settled for a late turn and a too-fast downwind landing in the meadow beyond, spreading the cow-pats out beautifully as I skidded in.
Saying a quick "thank you" to the farmer and his wife turned into a mug of tea and a piece of cake on the lawn, while we discussed our vegetable plots. My luck held, and a holidaying gent from Thrapston gave me a lift all the way back to the carpark.
Top marks to Stuart and Tony who had much better flights today, the like of which I was hoping to achieve!