The decision to move the midweek session to Thursday proved to be correct (how could it not have been?). But a sky full of cumulus at 9 a.m., although tempting 30% of those present to rig their gliders, seldom augurs well and it was soon tamed by a gathering gloomy overcast. While kings-of -the-K8 Paul Prentice and Rob Jarvis managed to cling onto patches of buoyancy for the statutory hour, others just floundered round the circuit. The faithful ground away through the afternoon honing their skills for better days ahead and then, as often happens, the end of the day produced the goods in a most unusual way.
There being light rain from high overcast and only a few ragged Cu, Paul Bryant launched at 15:45 with a view to hangar flying the K8. By the time Charles McC and I launched at 16:00 with the same intention PB had established himself in a breath of lift over the Farm. Alan Saunders followed shortly after in The Vega.
All day there had been a breath of west wind and to the east there was now a wall of light showers. The prospect of squall line conditions occurred and Charles and I edged toward it, but with little improvement in lift. At one point a visitor (Ventus?) joined us but soon disappeared eastward into the gloom. If he didn’t have motor it must have been a soggy retrieve. The three of us hung onto little breaths of lift for a while at various stations around the strip, rarely above 1500 feet, and it became interesting to note that smoke from half a dozen scattered sources was all drifting towards us. There were now showers appearing to the south, and exploring what appeared to be a widespread mass of gently rising air we encountered little change in conditions. We eventually ‘parked’ over the warmth of Shalbourne village until the hardware was packed away and we felt it would be the decent thing to let folk get on with hangar packing.
As is so often the case – “it ain’t over ’til it’s over”.