Type of glider: Ventus cM 17,6m,

Takeoff location:Menomonie Municipal- (US / 7)

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Flight details

Points for the flight 36.89
scoring distance 102.61 km
Speed 41.05 km/h
Duration 01:50:53
Scoring class 18m
Scoring start 18:24:25
Scoring end 20:15:18
Index: 115.0
Club None
Date of claim 21.06.2018 13:47:40
state IGC-File: Flight:

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Comment

As the frontal boundary between continental polar and gulf air masses retreats northward in May and June, there comes a time when Minnesota and Wisconsin have persistently cloudy weather and low conditions, and we are removed from the wonderful occasional springtime soaring and gradually transition to more challenging but more frequent humid summertime conditions.
As a result, today was characterized by intermittent widespread high overcast and cloud bases of 2500 feet AGL to 3000 AGL. Lower toward the South, higher toward the north. If I had been ambitious, I would've trailered the glider to northern Wisconsin.
Conditions were pretty weak when I took off, even in the house thermal over the airport. After shutting off the engine, I wandered toward a thermal-source field in half-knot lift, and noticed close off to my left a bald eagle making in the same search on a parallel track. He saw me, and came close to see what I had, and then made a big turn to the right. Figuring that he had better thermal sensing equipment that I, I then followed him, and discovered that we had the best there was at the moment, and went our separate ways.
The wind was easterly and weak little cu were lined up in rows. The wind was only about 10 kt, and the question is always, "these clouds just happened to be lined up, or is this a street?" I carefully meandered a couple of miles northwest of the airport while getting down to about 1100 feet AGL under a row of clouds. I carefully tiptoed east on these clouds for about ten minutes, losing only about 200 ft – but then I was 900 feet AGL and 2.5 Miles from the airport, so it was time to fish or cut bait. A weak thermal carried me up 2000 feet, 2 miles downwind, in twelve minutes.
Now at cloudbase, it was time to go somewhere. I followed the clouds east to the edge of the Eau Claire airport traffic area and then had to decide whether to jump across the Lake Wissota blue hole to higher bases 10 miles north, or whether do go crosswind south to obviously lower bases nearby. I went south. Bases were indeed low, about 2500 feet AGL, and the nice thing about weak conditions is that there isn't any strong sink.
Tomorrow is forecast to be even harder, but there's no rain expected, so I left the glider on the ramp overnight.
A nice practice day.

Pilot

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