Well the RASP forecast was pretty much exactly right. Early on at Rybury the birds were thermalling but the climbs were capped by the inversion. Later we could see the cu advancing from the East. I deliberately waited as long as I could before launching to give the clouds a chance to develop but they never made it all the way to us.
Jim Mallinson climbed out alone in the blue and worked it all the way till he was out of sight. I was fortunate enough to climb out with Cosmin and Antonio Burian and we stayed within sight of each other all the way to Rivar Hill.
The blue was hard work all the way to Rivar and I could see the clouds with sailplanes thermalling taunting me for ages. Once past Rivar things got a little easier, with climbs of 2-2.5 m/s at times. Passing Highclere things got epic for a short while and I was pushing full bar both under and between the clouds and cruised along the energy lines all the way to Basingstoke. But pride definitely comes before a fall and just as I thought I'd cruise onto final glide at cloudbase, one cloud then another failed to produce a climb. From hero to zero in less than 10 minutes!
Skirting round a cloud shadow I found myself lurking around the tops of some pylons which look very scary from down there! Luckily, some kites were circling and after a bit of drifting along at low level one of the climbs built to a solid 1 m/s then higher up became the smoothest and best lift of the day. That really was final glide so I eased down to 3500 ft to get under the airspace and spiralled down into Winchfield.
Time enough for a quick beer then a train back to Pewsey. Thanks to Pawel Bedynski who went out of his way on the way back from Westbury to drop me right back to my car. The perfect end to an excellent day.