Ridge Smoking and Cloud Soaring Denbigh Edition

Hi all,

This past week I have been staying at Denbigh Airfield with Chris Gill and a small group of juniors.

We aimed to have a task week in and around the local area. Since I don’t currently have my own glider, Chris said he would have some two seaters arranged for the week.

In traditional welsh style it was raining when I arrived on Friday 21st August with a howling wind across the airfield. Perfect camping conditions!

The next morning we had a briefing about the site and the day’s task. In he briefing I spoke to Rod Witter and he invited me to come and fly with him in his Arcus M LEW. 

The task for the day was to run the ridge from DRS to Denbigh Ridge South.

We took off via self launch and held above the ridge waiting for a slot to open up as we were running 5 gliders at once on the course. 

Three very rough and wet beats, we pulled up and abandoned the task, after gaining some height we found some weak wave and I learnt about the signs of wave and how to fly effectively in wave, we managed to get up to around 5000ft msl. We then flew to the seaside !

Arcus wings are amazing for photos ! featuring Rhyl.

The next day was a shorter ridge task from Denbigh ridge to Denbigh ridge south. Me and Chris Launched in G-OSOR as the sniffers and managed to complete the task slowly at 103kph. 

Not much happened on the Sunday apart from a few beat ups and smokers over the ridge.

The correct speed for a ridge

Monday was a very weak thermal day, but I was lucky enough to fly with Rob Vaughan in his new to him Duo T. We managed to make it 50km before we did some motor gliding up to the sea breeze front by the coast. I forgot how much I love original Duo’s!

Back over the coast this time in a Duo T

Tuesday was a survival exercise, as we were battered by 50 mph winds and had to take the 8 man tent down in pouring rain. We moved into the hanger for the rest of the trip, as the tents were destroyed or badly damaged. 

Freddie said that evening that he wanted to be up at 7am to go wave flying.

7am rolls around.

Heavy rain, back to bed. 

We got up at 9am and I was invited to fly the Rob V again. I took the covers off the duo and got her ready for flight, including the oxygen kit.

We were the last aircraft on the stubs on 27, we also went back for a soft drink in the clubhouse. No rush. Unlike some of the other aircraft after seeing Chris motor into wave. 

12pm rolls round and we take a 4000ft tow to Llyn Brenig, you could see the rolling effect on the clouds from miles away. (strangely other people were taking 3000ft tows to the same spot and pulling off under the wave and meeting the sink instead of hanging on like we did.)

Check left is clear, check.

Pull release, check.

2 Knots up check.

We flew around the edge of the clouds getting higher and higher. The rest of the Juniors bar Lewis and Freddie, were all sat on the ridge at 1000ft, not happy.

We eventually got 6 knots constant.

12,229ft Check!

I will let the photos and videos do the rest 0f the talking!

Heading Back to Denbigh
The Lenticular on top of the CU

I aim to go back up to Denbigh in the Winter / Spring. 


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