A Great Day on the Ridge

Those of you who follow Southdown’s Facebook Page will have already seen the fun had by many glider pilots last Friday (1st Dec) on a classic Ridge day. The wind was northerly around 15-20kts and the ridge offered great lift conditions between Butser Hill (near Petersfield in Hampshire) to Lewes (in East Sussex) ….. some even reached Eastbourne! Many pilots (Known as the ‘Ridge Rats’) did between 300-400k batting up and down at incredible speeds whizzing just above the trees along the whole length. We had many visitors from other clubs including Lasham, Devon & Somerset, North Hill and Booker. A special mention goes to Angus Buchanan who volunteered to be the Tuggie that day and launched 34 gliders that day! On behalf of everyone who flew that day, massive thanks Angus!
It was that classic, even the local newspapers are interested so look out for us in the Argus and the West Sussex County Times!

Here’s a few comments from a few of our visitors and members:

“Nice day out on the South Downs, the extension to Eastbourne slowed things down a bit but the views more than compensated.”

“Great day on the South Downs. Thanks to PS for the first lead / follow – showing me the way – , and Phil for the briefing. Definitely worth the drive and thanks to the team at Parham for the welcome and smooth launch . If this is winter – looks like so far its been better than the summer.”

“A great day on the South Downs. All a bit too easy today 🙂 P2 was TD.”

“Best ridge day for months. Oudie played up and did not log our start at HAR so no trace to enter. With GS who enjoyed the Duo for a change from his DG 300.”

“An excellent day on the South Downs The reality matched the forecast.The actual flight was PAR BUT LEW BUT LEW BUT LEW PAR So 420 km in good time Thanks are due,as ever,to the friendly and very efficient team at Parham I*ll sleep well tonight.”

“Awesome day on the Southdowns! Should’ve put water on but still faster than I ever did the task in the DG300. Thanks to Parham for getting us launched so quickly”

“A classic ridge day !!”

“Superb conditions between Lewes and Butser… but VERY tricky to Eastbourne. Could only get 1200′ for the push back from Firle, and made it low onto Caburn… whereupon it started to rain heavily… I thought… This is not fair!.. But eventually it stopped and I just made enough to get back across to Lewes. The Oudie said ‘Task Finished’ at 128 kph, but this only calculated 127kph… Not bad for 400km in December…”

“Excellent conditions with wind 13 deg/24 knots”

“What a great way to spend a December day as ridge working really well, and at the end of the flight, I even caught a small thermal over the field climbing to 2000 ft. Thermal soaring in December that’s a first for me. ”

“I had actually declared ENW, so not really a scoring flight.. plus i might have *cough* accidentally pressed the boost button at one point. Good to see the what the ridge rats can do – been a while since i’ve been down.”