In all my years flying at Rivar Hill I can’t remember a day when we’ve broken so many things. Bigger things maybe but not as many. For starters there were 4 weak links. Even the K8 broke a link. The breaks weren’t just down to sods law but due to the wind. South with some East, not particularly strong on the ground but decidedly stronger as you climbed. The challenge was getting to the top of the launch without either breaking a link or having to abandon due to an excess of speed. Jeremy called it “launch lottery” and described sitting with no hands on the throttle watching a glider waving off. With the cross wind element it was a challenge avoiding dropping cables over the fence on the western side. Too much layoff and risk the cable dropping over the electric fence to the east (which happened once).
Despite delays imposed by the launch problems and the short day (not long until the shortest day of the year) 19 people flew 27 launches. On the second launch Paul Bryant set the time to beat – 9 minutes! Alan B, Alan S and Rowland P managed to match that time but it took Colin B (in the Vega) to smash the time with 13 minutes – he found a little of the fabled east wave.
Almost forgot – the rest of the breakages? Puchacz wheel dolly got run over and one of the arms of the cable tow-out trailer snapped.