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First steps to thermal flying
Bouncy as 'eck. Classic middle-of-the-day thermals, with a strong sea breeze. Wind was 6 gusting 7.5 on takeoff, and during flight increased to 9 gusting 11 over the top of the hill: right on the limits!
This was a wonderful 1h12mins flight, and yet another learning experience.
I've been training myself to turn tightly enough to stay inside the tiny thermal cores that come through our ridge. This means full weightshift, a huge wedge of brake and bank the wingtip to the horizon. This gives a turn radius of about 30m.
During this flight I managed to do tight figure-8s in the cores until I was high enough above the ridge to 360s; the first time I've managed this standard technique for departing the ridge. Once above the ridge I had the joy of doing a few 360s with lift all the way round. It's an amazing feeling to be 500 feet above the ridge, banked hard over and still be going up.
I realised quickly that following this lift would take me over the back, which I didn't want to do after only a quarter of an hour in the air, so I pushed out forward and continued playing.
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