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The Ekka Day was slated to be a flying day just a few days before via the members email forum, forecast was for a warm 27C…(winter?!). Bill was going to work on WPS as well as the PW-6 wheel brake together with Mark and a few members elected to come out and help. On arrival after the drive out from Brisbane conditions were blustery with a 43km/hr WNW wind. Sid and Tony had launched by noon but quickly returned reporting challenging conditions with the strong wind. I launched at 12.20 and it was an interesting launch and tow in the crosswind out to the good air in the direction of Leslie Dam.

After release I struggled with trying to thermal with the strong drift, 27kt wind and seemed to get stuck at the quarry near Leslie Dam. The airfield looked a long way away into wind. After about 15minutes of struggling I hooked into a steady 6kts which got me to 6,000ft and from this height things got a lot easier. Small wisps were appearing now but quickly disappearing and the blue thermals were starting to street in a noticeable line WNW. The next climb was a beauty between 6-8kts to 9,500ft and the top of the inversion. 9,500ft in winter in thermal lift..who would have believed it !

From there I pushed into wind and flew 30km to the NW of the airfield maintaining between 6-7,500ft in the blue. The winds had eased to around 23kts which made groundspeed into wind painfully slow.

Both Sid, Dave Harris and Tony were also reporting similar climbs. Ekka Day is known for its cold westerlies usually but not conditions like this!

With just 2 weeks left to the end of the WWC things might get interesting, will Mal's 220km flight get beaten? If we have similar days to Ekka Day with less wind and a similar 9,500ft day then you can glide a long way...