I had the chance to explore the Cotswold edge with Trevor Stuart in his Nimbus 4 on Thursday so got a lift with a friend from Lasham, trailed down his LS8 and were at Nymsfield just gone 9am. A quick introduction and wipe down of wings and we were ready to launch by 10am (ish). Trevor gave me the briefing on how the Ninbus worked and what I should and shouldn’t do but this was short, to the point, and allowed me to remember what I’d been told by him.
Off we went on a 1400 winch launch and headed for the ridge. It’s perhaps fair at this point to say it isn’t much of a ridge, patchy at best but taking Trevor’s advice you aim here, aim there, avoid this and that part and move forward towards the M4 and Bath
He took time to explain why we took the path we did and his words seemed sensible and I could understand why we took the course he chose.
Cloud base was against us with drizzly rain and hill fog covering parts of our route. By the time we got to the M4 Trevor decided it would be prudent to turn back and revisit the ridge a little later in the day.
We headed back to NYM and found an easy transition into wave above the site so with enough height we decided to head across the Severn Estuary to Wales
. I’m afraid I goaded Trevor a little and after a small amount of persuasion we were headed to Usk.
We jumped wave bar after wave bar climbing and stopping at each one arriving at Usk after perhaps 4 or 5 wave bars. Trevor then got the bit between his teeth and suggested that because we couldn’t ridge soar at Nymsfield we should head to Talgarth and use the ridges there. How could I refuse?? Again we jumped a sucsession of wave bars and headed deeper into Wales
where we let down onto the ridges. A couple of surprises where sink grabbed hold of the glider took us a little lower and I did some practice hill soaring with great tuition from Trevor.
We had a play, explored around the area and Trevor did a sterling job of getting us off the deck at Hay Bluff. I wouldn’t say it was low but it’s a good job the wheel retracts…
We got a little higher but by this time the wave had collapsed and we were left with just the hill lift. Getting as high as we could we headed back towards Abergavenny really too low for a final glide. Trevor suggested a hillock he knew and we stopped for a top up. I worked in parts but we were still far to low to get back and it was suggested the turbo needed an airing. At that moment Trevor latched into something and with a few beats and patience we got high enough for the glide computer to give us a plus reading on the PDA. Trevor let me handle almost all of the final glide but to get every ounce from the glider you have to concentrate.
I’m told it has a glide angle of 1:57, I’d like to think that I got somewhere near that on the glide back.
We crossed the Severn Estuary VERY low and got back to NYM with about 150 feet to spare.
5 hours 32 minutes. £12 reciprocal membership £10 launch fee. Learnt a loads and big cheesy grins until I fell asleep that night!
Oh and I had to retrieve Nigel in his LS8 from Wales
without the aid of my phone as its knackered.
What a day!