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5th Jan _ Rhossili

Headed down to Rhossili between showers to hopefully get my first flight of the year and also test fly my Iota! Wind was perfect on arrival but with showers off to the West, it wasn't going to be a long flight. The Iota launch very easy and off I went! First thing to notice was that it feels much faster (although it isn't much on paper). Turning is very quick and it turns on a dime! Managed briefly some big ears and speed bar tests which were all good and the wing felt very solid. Only managed one run down the caravan park and back and the glide was superb. Landed after 17 mins when Ben Burns arrived so watched him launch my old glider (Epsilon) which he did very well! Ben managed some scratching as the wind switched off and he headed for the beach. Packed up and the rain arrived as I got back in the car. Not as long as I would have liked but was great to get back in the air!

Time: 17 mins
Total: 17 mins
Tenerife 23rd Jan - 30th Jan (6 days flying)

This was the first visit to the island this year. Nice to meet up with the Swedish guys that I flew with last year along with some of the instructors that work for my brother in law in Sweden. This was going to be the first time in Thermals with the new Iota. Turns out there were three iotas of the same colour on the trip! Later to become team Iota as we all managed to complete the tasks set for us along with the M6 boys. Conditions were great for a holiday, but not for flying at the start of the week making climbs difficult and rough as no clouds were forming, but we all managed great first flights. This continued until Thursday. However, we were flying three times a day and racking up the hours in very punchy thermals! Thursday was a great day with nice clouds, and it made it very easy to do the ridge runs. The Iota is an amazing glider. The handling is great, and the glide is unbelievable. I did have quite a big collapse which I put own to a massive area of rotor which other pilots in the group also had experienced. It shouldn't have been there, but it was, so after a beer and discussion on the beach it seemed everyone had suffered from it. I have entered three flights in the overseas xc league, nothing spectacular but nice to get them. I do really love flying in Tenerife as its great for Thermalling, but not really an xc place as some of the potential xc tracks have little or no landing areas. Having said that, when flying in the South by Adeje you always fly the 6.5k to the beach where there is an amazing beach bar with great food and beers! Takeoff's are fine, except not all are carpeted which means your glider gets very dusty! The soaring sites are very spectacular and are normally on the edge of 1000ft cliffs so no messing about on takeoff.
Until the next visit!

Time: 15.5 hrs
Total: 15h 47m
Rhossili 2nd and 18th of Feb.

On the 2nd it turned out to be a day for the cliffs as the wind was from the NW. It was strong upon arrival but gradually dropped enough to launch. There were some menacing clouds around so had to keep an eye out for rain showers. Victor Middleton was also present and we launched around the same time. Shortly after takeoff I spotted Victor landing quickly and soon realised a shower was about to hit. I made it back and landed just as the heavens opened, so had to quickly stuff my glider to stop it getting soaked. After a short while the rain passed and I head back to the cliffs for some nice runs out towards the point. Whilst flying I had a few spots of rain but managed to fly around the small shower. Landed after a total of 45 mins.

The 18th started off with some parawaiting due to the light winds but eventually there was enough to hoist me up. The ridge behind the house was working so stayed there until my limited time budget almost ran out and went back to land. Overshot my landing just as the wind died so ended on the beach! Oops! As I was packing it blew out very quickly so still had an enjoyable flight anyway. Total Airtime 35 mins

Total: 17h 7m
Heol Senni - 24 Feb

Arrived to find the wind bang on and good speed on top. Got set up and launched for what turned out to be a short soar as the wind very quickly switched off! I could see Nick, Viv, Des and Nasher arriving so slope landed and walked back to take off. Lots of parawaiting due to the winds almost completely switching off! Waited until it had swung round North and launched right behind Nick and we flew along the hill to the North edge where Nick hooked straight into a weak thermal where some kites had been flying shortly before us. I followed Nick and we had a nice thermal sharing session staying with it over the back. I was getting less and less lift until eventually it was too weak to keep me up, but Nick stayed with it and headed over the back. I flew back to the hill and continued soaring for a while until I was so cold I actually started to shiver! All in all not a bad day and nice to feel a thermal again in the uk! Spring must be on its way!

Airtime: 42 mins
Total: 17h 49mins
Rhossili - 5th April

Arrived to find perfect conditions with Gerry, Evan and a few other in the air. Launched into super smooth Rhossili air! Nice to have a boat up and down the ridge and enjoy the awesome glide on the Iota. Landed for a toilet stop then lunch. Nice to see Viv's new wing! You can't beat the chilled flying at Rhossili!

Airtime: 2hr 25m
Total: 20h 14m