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Full Version: Steve Watkins 2011 Log
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2/1/2011 - Pontlottyn

Arrived at 9:30am to find Cookie rigged up to give a tandem and Norris assisting. good to see lots out later including Wattsy, Stu Kelly, Guy, Dee, John & many more!

Conditions were ok on arrival and I enjoyed a short flight before landing. Little off to the East conditions didn't get better during the day and I bombed out twice! Managed to fall in a hole on walking back up which was about 4 feet deep and this evening my knee is hurting a bit ouch!

Couple of sky gods managed excellent heights thermalling way out in front whilst everyone else struggled to maintain any flight at all.

Fair play for Wattsy, give him all the credit today, he kept that wing flying on a breath of air scratching the ridge and Stu & Guy managed to find some lift later in the day.

Lot's of ground handling done today, probably 80% of the day!

Looking forward to a decent fly but it was good to be out for my first flight of the year.
Airtime - 1 hr
2011 Total - 1 hr
21/1/2011 - Fan G - Choice between Hundred House, Builth or Fan G I opted for Fan G on the same principle of it being light and it working in the bowl. What a day! I got to to the bowl first and setup and more cautiously waited for others to arrive. Gerry, Wattsy, Barry, Stu, Idris and later Francois shared the skies with what turned out to be an awesome day.

Flew for ages, some top landings, lots of spirals, wing overs, had a close miss when my lines clipped that bloody tree sticking out in the bowl but got away with it! Video to follow!Very cold aloft, gloves and clothing sprinkled with ice crystals especially when the cloud lowered  >Big Grin



20/1/2011 - Fan G
- Bowl working 15mp-21mph at the top - decided not to go to Blaenavon as an alternative as it looked too light but later learnt that Cookie & co had a great day there! I launched and was tossed about like in a washing machine, wing surging quite dramatically and some asymmetric tucking, deciding it was not the best days to be flying I landed out with a bit of a bump and packed in for the day.

Airtime - 4hrs
2011 total - 5hrs
29/1/11 - Heol Senni

Met Wattsy, Barry & Stu at the base of the hill. I'd already walked a third of the way up before they arrived and descended again as the wind was howling through! We dashed off to Pontlottyn and half way there received a call to say it was blown out. So we headed back to Heol Senni in the hope it would calm down.

It did eventually calm enough for us to launch at the bottom launch but it was off to the East a lot! By this time many other pilots & paraventure school had arrived and some pilots were launching at the bottom track as the air was very lifty!!!

I launched and failed to spot a cravat quick enough and headed out to land but at the same time trying to release the cravat. I was very slow in realising the stabillo line would of been the best option and if you see the video later, you will see I'm stupidly pulling the brake line in short quick motions to release it. Anyway after releasing I enjoyed a long flight of over 2 1/4 hrs before deciding my legs were shaking like mad with the cold and landing. My legs were so cold they couldn't take my weight when I landed LOL!

Brilliant day flying amongst fellow pilots!

Airtime - 2hrs 15mins
2011 Total - 7hrs 15mins
31/1/11 - Nant Y Moel

I arrived early, about 9:30am to find glorious conditions, very sunny and clear but not a wisp of air movement! Stu, Wattsy & Idris arrived along with Stevie G, Gerry, Paul Williams & many other pilots - Conditions were scratchy and the wind didn't pick up to anything like forecasted. However the last 20 minutes saw some stronger conditions arrive and whether it was pre-frontal or wave, it provided a lot of lift with Stu Kelly reaching good height, and me not far behind. It was very sinky though and made up for a long day!

We all managed to get a lot of ground handling in that day, hours & hours of it

Airtime - 30 mins
2011 Total - 7hrs 45mins
Nice day out Steve!! Though it was Idris with me & Wattsy not the other young sky God Barry!! Lol!!!!
Indeed it was thanks Stu Smile
12/2/2011 - Rhossili Bay

Arrived early to find at least 3 gliders already flying, conditions very good but midday wind veered off to the south too much and end of play! - Flying with Stu Kelly, Gareth Silverthorne, Gareth Pawan, Guy Greenaway, Francois, Gerry, Jon Munro, Rhun Llwyd & a few others Smile

Airtime - 105 mins
2011 Total - 9hrs 30mins
Steve Watkins @ Rhossili Bay 12/2/2011
2/3/11 - Preseli East & North

Very grateful to Stu Kelly for the lift from Carmarthen to Preseli and back!! Smile Cheers Stu! The thought of an 160 mile round trip to fly today was not that an exciting thought!!

Anyway I'm glad I did as Preseli is absolutely stunning and after a long walk in which I have named "Talybont number 2" (To be fair it is not as hard as Talybont!!) we met with Nick Bambers and Giselle who were  training students. Good to meet Ben and Damien and the "Vicar!" Very good news for Damien as he passed his CP today and we helped celebrate in a lovely pub which the name escapes (pinched from Nick Roberts diary " Y Tafarn Sinc"

Stu and I had a fly around the East bowl, conditions being thermic but due to the inversion nothing too spectacular to be joined later by our Nick Roberts.

Eventually as predicted by Nick Bambers the conditions switched off and we then walked around to the North face for another fly! How good is that!!

Anyway, I'm not impressed by my flying today, I was tired going there and tired flying so I wasn't really trying too hard today and my thermalling efforts were put to shame by our new sky god Stu Kelly Smile I've seen Stu flying quite often of recent and I am more than impressed on his ability to stay high.

An excellent day and well worth the trip to the West coast.

Airtime - 45 mins
2011 Total - 10 hrs 15mins
3/3/11 - Heol Senni

Very cold conditions, had a good afternoon flight although in the end it was too cold and had to come down. Scratchy at times but then some good lift, particularly off the spine before the quarry.

Airtime - 45 mins
2011 Total - 11hrs
4/3/11 - Pontlottyn

Arrived early with Barry Abbott - Conditions typical spring thermic day, cold but powerful thermals but broken in places.
Ridge became very busy later with Norris counting 26.
I flew to the mast and beyond to explore the ridge gaining good height over the quarry.
Cookie managed to get over 2600ft ATO!! at one point when the lift was at it's best.

One bottom landing after hitting a load of sink - many thanks to Ga Silverstone for coming down the ridge and lending me his stuff sack Smile Smile

Had to go home at 5pm as others were enjoying what seemed like some restitution?
Cracking day!

Airtime - 2 hrs
2011 Total - 13hrs
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