French flying

Just to prove that the Isle of Man is not the only place pilots run around chasing the wind, the club here had a bit of frustrating weekend.

Saturday: light winds, all directions and no cumulus. Most people stayed at home, though a couple of pilots travelled up to Le Markstien (about an hour and half away) in Les Voges. Here there was as quite a lot of convergence, but very strong and punchy. Some stayed on the ground and some wished they had. It overdeveloped rapidly with Cumulonimbus by midday and then rain showers.

Sunday: a more steady southwesterly with good thermal cycles in the morning saw about half the club at one of the little local sites called Chariez. By the time we’d all got ready to fly, the last of the good cycles went through and wind dropped off to not much and then came over the back. We all packed up and trudged off to the Northerly launch where there was a reasonable 8-10 Northwesterly. By now there was high cirrus lessening the suns power and the strength and frequency of thermals. Myself and two of the other club pilots had top to bottoms without a sniff of any lift. Jean-Francois, the club chairman told me that last week one the guys flew 150km from the same site!

Chariez is about 350ft top to bottom and has a 80ft rocky cliff ridge at the top. A bit like Stanage Edge in the Peaks, if you’ve ever been there. There’s two launches SW and NNW.

How did you lot get on this weekend?