This event is spread over two weekends, and we just finished the first weekend. Members from Tidewater Soaring Society (Windsor, VA), Merlin Soaring in (Ameila, VA), Shenandoah Soaring (currently in Petersburg, WV), and Skyline Soaring club (Front Royal, VA) got together in Emporia, VA.
I left on Thursday evening to drive my two seat glider down to the bottom of the state. The drive was about 4 hours through the winding back roads to I-64, then I-95 to Emporia. The weather en route was terrible; heavy rain, poor visibility, and aggressive drivers zooming by me and my 2800 pound glider trailer.
|If you ever wondered how to get a glider around, you put it in a trailer like this|
(and tow it with a big enough truck)
Friday: We sat inside and looked at the cats-n-dogs of rain outside. We spent the time constructively. Jim Garrison gave many lectures about how to fly a glider away from the airport. The lectures covered many topics such as: "Off Field Landing", thermalling techniques, what speed to fly when flying between the thermals, and there was also a lecture on the etiquette of flying in a thermal with many other gliders.
|Soaring with another Duo Discus, "Tango"|
The first leg of the trip was from Emporia to Merlin Aerodrome. From there, we were to go to an airport called William Tuck airport, right on the North Carolina - Virginia border. Then back to Emporia.
The soaring was excellent on the first third of the trip, but much worse on the second leg. Once we got to Merlin, the 6 and 7 knot thermals turned into 2 and 3 knot thermals. I limped along between the two Military Operations Areas of Farmville and Pickett.
As I got south of the Farmville MOA, I looked at a blue sky ahead, and not many prospects for good soaring. I turned and headed home, 15 miles short of the second turnpoint. The rest of the trip was pretty easy, with a 15 knot tail wind.