Sunday 17th September

The day dawned with the promise of a reasonable forecast; unfortunately the weather hadn't read the script and the small but keen band of members who arrived bright and breezy at the club were greeted by a chilly blustery North Easterly wind and layers of low cloud. Despite numerous efforts a forecast that actually reflected the conditions at North Hill was hard to find, and we did really look! Despite this the gliders and kit were soon positioned in the South West corner of the field ready to start flying, but the low cloud led to a retreat to the club house for tea and breakfast. Meanwhile James Flory and Martin Woolner positioned the Falke ready for a flight as soon as the cloud lifted and Simon Jordy readied the tug for the planned trial lessons.
Looking for the wave in the Falke (James Flory)


After much tea and discussion the cloud finally lifted enough to allow flying to start around 11:30. Duty Instructor Simon Leeson took the first launch, closely followed by James and Martin in the Falke. Conditions were far from booming, but there were broken thermals to be found. James and Martin also searched for wave downwind of the field, but only found broken lift. Simon did a great job, especially as there were reports it was his birthday, working through the two seater list whilst several club members enjoyed trips in the junior.  James, back from his Falke trip with Martin then stepped in to cover until JB was able to arrive mid afternoon to work through the rest of the list with help from Steve Westlake. There were even reports of Ron and Woolly having a quick two seater trip together, while Guy Adams took Dave Cowley up in Victor Golf to see if he could navigate his way home to Martock. Two trial lessons were flown by Matt Williamson, including one mile high flight. Everything was safely packed away soon after 5. Particular thanks to the members who helped all day but didn't fly, especially Tim Petty who did a stirling job driving the winch for half the day.  Not the best weather but a good days flying none the less. - James Flory

Saturday 16th September

An interesting day at the club, not many members turned up to fly and the showers were rather frequent. I did manage to capture a bit of a rainbow before the Airfield was thoroughly soaked and at 4pm the kit was packed away and dried off in the Hangar.
Rainbows (Lisa Humphries)
 In the evening, we held our SGM for the members to approve the purchase of a K13 replacement glider. The recommendation was approved with 84 votes in favour and 5 against. We will now start the process of finalising the specification and ordering the Perkoz which we hope will be delivered to the club in November.
Thanks to all who attended and those who couldn't for submitting their proxy votes. - Lisa Humphries

Thursday 14th September

There was a strong and unusually gusty north westerly wind with strong thermals from the first launch, but disappointing low cloudbase.
Aston Key and John Borland led the way in the Juniors with long flights, but the conditions particularly on approach became increasing boisterous, and limited to yellow card.
Looks better to the north east (Jill Harmer)
There was a long line of heavy showers to the west of the motorway nearly all day, whilst the airfield stayed predominantly dry and sunny with the ridge working quite well at times.
Storms to the west (Jill Harmer)
Pete Startup in 230 persevered for 2 hours locally, Wyn flew W7 and there was a rare outing for DG1 with Tom Sides. 
Tom with DG1 (Jill Harmer)
Woolly was kept busy with Roly's BI revalidation, and then some back seat flying with Aston Key in the DG505. 
Thanks to Robert Lee and Mike Fairclough for standing in tugging. -J&P

Wednesday 13th September

Another Wednesday another lousy forecast so little hope of flying, the trial lessons were cancelled, hardly any members turned up.  But then there was a glimmer of hope - the strong Westerly was right down the field and members started to drift in and the sun was trying to come out so we decided to get both K21s out and and set up the field for N/W launches.
 
At about midday Pete Warren and George took the first launch and radioed down that he was in good lift, John Street and William soon joined him, the only problem was a line squall spreading from the north west.  The lift ahead of the squall was off the clock which is usual in these conditions - but before the rain arrived - airbrakes open and on the ground ASAP.
Cloud Street shadow looking east (John Street)
 An early lunch was the order of the day, after lunch a weather check at the end of the field looked as if there was going to be more rain.But before people started to drift away I did another weather check and the prospects looked much better, the next problem was to prize people out of the comfort of the clubhouse and onto the very cold airfield.
Geoff flying up the cloud street (John Street)
 Pete Startup saw the wisdom of the flying possibilities and started to rig his Discus and reaching Tiverton - quite an achievement in the strong wind. After such a poor start to the day the afternoon produced some excellent conditions with abundant thermals, cloud streets and ridge lift. Most of the flights airbraked down, and on the last flight of the day there was  some wave just to round the day off. - John Street

Saturday 9th September - The highlights

At 9:28 the hanger was unpacked ready for a day of flying.

At 10:09 the hanger was packed away due to impending rain. 


At 10:30 Francis arrived and immediately started his daily digest of today's newspaper.

At 10:31 Francis took a snooze.

At 13:02 Francis awoke and promptly left for home.

At 13:30 Ruth and Rowan took the first launch of the day to enjoy off the clock lift to 1700 feet cloud base and a 40min flight of shower dodging.

At 14:24 Paul S. and William took a half price aerotow onto the ridge only to be forced home because of a wall of showers.

At 14:48 the kit was put away due to heavy showers.

Thanks to the brave tuggies James H and Simon L who towed us aloft in either exciting or challenging condition depending on your perspective. 

Friday 8th September - Course week

The final day of the last course week for 2017 proved to be disappointing, weather wise. So after a course washup, we gave up mid-morning with the cloud still on the ground and an afternoon forecast of heavy rain and thunder. 
Thanks as always to the Course helpers - Richard Harris, George Sanderson, Chris Coville and Allan Mounce and the back-seat drivers John Sillett and Paul C.

Thursday 7th September - Course week

It was a slow start with low cloud, but the Course members enjoyed more lectures from John and Paul. 
Ready to go when the cloud lifts (Jill Harmer)
As soon as it looked possible to launch the Course got going and the Club members decided to wait until after an early lunch. 
There were soaring flights for both Nat and Rob Rankin, with the West ridge kicking off some low level thermals in the brighter gaps of the cloud sheet.
September course and helpers (Jill Harmer)
During the afternoon, the brighter gaps disappeared but the ridge started working more reliably, for a while before the rain appeared in the valley and the kit was put away just in time after 40 launches.

The evening flying had been cancelled, but the Course members and helpers enjoyed an evening at the Keeper's. - J&P

Wednesday 6th September - Course week

The forecast for Wednesday was for the weather to be the best day of the week and so with great expectations there was plenty of enthusiasm to get things going and there was quite a queue in the club line with several private gliders, two club Juniors and the K13.
A good line of Wednesday flyers (John Street)
The wind was a brisk northwesterly and cloud base at about 2,000ft, the September course K21s were first away and had mixed success to start with but soon began to stay up.
Pete Startup, Andrew Logan, Nigel, JB, Barbie and Simon Minson all flew their own gliders and all had good flights,
Pete landed out at Smeatharpe whilst attempting the Club 100......
"Round TIV and picked up a great convergence which I ran for 33km without stopping towards CRK. But then the convergence stopped and so did the sky. Backtracked to Chard where I picked up a climb and it looked better towards CRK by then so tried again. Got rained on 5km from turnpoint so went for home by which time the sky had stopped giving and ended up landing out at Smeatharpe."
A late convergence (John Street)
Both Juniors were kept busy all day and Pete Warren made good use of the K13, a large convergence set up  about 5.00pm and both course K21s spent about an hour in it kept company by Mike and Barbie, Mike in a Junior and Barbie in the Pik, they all landed about 6.00pm or just after. - John Street.

Course blog
A great day for the Course! Early low cloud dispersed rapidly, and we managed to get the first flight off before 0930. Everyone managed some soaring, with the ridge providing feeble support, and the occasional thermal bubbling up in the afternoon. One cable break; possibly instructor error, but we know that never happens at DSGC, so Rob Rankin takes the blame! John Sillett and Paul C had a very long day, but the reward was in the buoyant mood of the course members as we put the gliders to bed as the sun was going down. Tomorrow OK, but Friday looks bad; so a good day today was very welcome. Downside? Failing to see Pete Startup after his safe land out; apparently this has happened before, proving that the lift Gods occasionally tease even their favourite sons! -CC

Tuesday 5th September - Course week

Day Two of the course. 
Fog, rain, low cloudbase. Lecture programme continued, with extra- curricula discussion on ethics, Brexit and a short talk from Chris C on the Red Arrows. Zoe and Emma raised spirits, and also served an excellent lunch.
At 13:30, John and Paul gazed at the heavens some 30 ft above them, and after consulting the course members, we all shrugged our shoulders and headed home, looking forward to a better day tomorrow. - CC

Monday 4th September - Course week

 Day One of the final course in 2017

Arrived under leaden skies and driving rain, with low cloudbase and near zero visibility. Good morning for ground training!
The weather showed a marginal improvement by 1300, and we started flying 30 minutes later, with a series of early pull offs under a 900 ft cloudbase. Nevertheless, 22 shorties flown with all course members getting 2 or 3 flights, eventually finishing at 1730 with the weather closing in again - CC (first-time blogger)