Seeing the forecast for a strong westerly Carol and I towed the Janus to the Mynd for a spot of wave and ridge soaring. The wind was blowing at a steady 20kts straight onto the ridge so they only give you a lob to about 100-200ft, this is because the idea is to give you plenty of airspeed not height. After being chopped at about 150 ft we had to dive at the ridge, which we cleared by all of 50 ft and contacted amazing lift as we turned left. At Shalbourne a 150ft launch is always followed by a land ahead but in a westerly at the Mynd there is nothing straight ahead to land on!
(Off the wire at about 150ft then dive for the ridge!)
The lift along the ridge was very strong in places with climbs of 6 to 8 kts but highest most of us could get to was just over 1500ft. It seemed that the wave was out of phase with the ridge and was supressing any good climbs. As time went by the airmass changed and weak wave was contacted by quite a few including us. We eventually reached 4000ft before going into cloud but few others were lucky and climbed a bit higher in a few gaps. A call went out from the launchpoint saying that the wind had increased and was now gusting to 45kts! So after watching how a few others flew their circuit we began ours. The brief was to leave the ridge at 1,000ft, fly a high circuit, not to go too far back and to approach at 80 kts.
Despite what seemed a very high circuit and after dodging a few sheep we came to halt just past the launch point.
Even though the round trip took over 6 hrs we both agreed that the 3 hrs soaring made it all worth while.