Launched at 10.45am and spent about an hour with strong bullet thermals in the Milk bowl which weren't that pleasant. I missed out on the first gaggle as I was out front when they got the climb out from over launch. Ten minutes later I picked off another climb and took that low over the car park with Guy Anderson but I could see the top cover from a warm front professing fast so no time to waste. I never saw Guy after that he was sooooooo fastt…
The climb was fairly weak but stable but after some realignment over the back to a pretty sold climb to base at 3800ft over the town of Lockeridge. The next challenge was staying of the cloud. So keeping to one side I kept dipping back under to top up with a nice glide over Marlborough. I got low again heading towards Aldbourne where I could see some pilots themralling but found a nice little cloud just developing en route. I worked that and it developed nicely and was met by Alistair Jones for some wingtip to wingtip action. We headed off on a glide over the M4 over to Lambourn trying to stay out of cloud which was a good idea when a GA aircraft flew straight through it.
Heading past Lambourn to Letcombe Basset I could see Chris Williams? XT and some others working a very light thermal. I headed in low to top up and it was really tricky but kept going. I could see some others go down and land but determined to keep in the game. It eventually pinged off stronger and taking us over the escarpment and I could see the cloud forming better near the hill fort. I pushed over to there and got a really strong core and the others joined in. I met up with Andrew Craig now and we took that climb to about 3000ft before pushing on, however big mistake should have just stuck with that one. It was one of those moments where the clouds look better down wind but weren't. So flew to the first big cloud west of Wantage but nothing, then the next cloud providing a scratchy climb not not much which died out. So we ended up landing at Drayton.
The top cover from the warm front was now on us.
I later heard that XT did her PB of 85km so we should definitely have stuck a little better together when it was harder. I'll put that one down to more learning.
A lovely trip back with Andrew Craig. A short walk into Drayton, caught a bus 5 mins later to Didcot then train to Swindon and Taxi back to the hill for 4pm. The rain was really bad when we got back to Milk so all in all not a bad day.