Managed to sneak out of work early this afternoon for some Barbon slope soaring. Although the wind had been blowing well all day, once Paul and I got up there the wind started to drop off, the large rainstorms to the South seemed to be dragging the wind all over the place even though it was forecasted Westerly.
Anyway I loaded the Cyril up with 600g of ballast and chucked off with trepidation as there is no landout option at Barbon, just rocks to smash up on. Fortunately there was enough lift to get some EM practise in and even a little bit of reversal.
Paul flew next with a heavily ballasted Race MX, this didn't work well in the fleeting lift and eventually Paul gave up and managed to gain enough height for a landing.
The landing zone at Barbon is about 30 ft above the slope edge and about 100 ft behind us, so you need a bit of height to make the landing zone, no rotor though and only the occasional rock.
I went for another go, in two minds whether to drop any ballast, fortunately Paul advised that the lift wasn't as good as before so I dropped down to 300g.
As Paul picked up the Cyril to launch he commented how solid it was, I chided him for cursing my model and reminded him that I always feel like I am flying on borrowed time with the Cyril as it used up its 9 lives long ago.
He was right about the lift though, it was definitely departing and I only managed a couple of dozen laps before it went very quiet. I managed to get 40 ft above us, as Paul started to forecast that the wind was going South. Sure enough a big gust 45 deg off stopped the Cyril in its tracks above us and I said out loud, 'Now would be a good time to land!' Unfortunately the Cyril started dragging its tail as the lift failed and I started pushing out to the left to see if we had any lift left, a few poor turns later and I was level with the slope edge and we were onto plan 'B'.
I quickly decided to attempt a down wind landing onto the slope edge rather than struggle and risk landing out on the rocks below. She came in quick with full crow dragging in the wind, coming up the slope edge, quick look to my left to check for rocks, bit late now but what the heck, crow up as she slid through the rough grass, pirouetting as she went by. Another life used up then, as I noticed a couple of rocks in the grass that she had flown over!