The car park was full to bursting, but luckily some walkers vacated a space just as I arrived. Before walking up with Jim Mallinson and Gus we'd seen plenty of gliders doing well, but on top it was pretty windy and got more so. I walked down the slope to launch but thought better of it, and was glad of a hand from Dan Horeman to decommission my wing, while Jim and one or two others went over the back not very high.
It remained strong for a while. Then it got lighter, but suddenly very busy at ridge height, so I waited a bit longer still. As I stood clipped in, Craig Atwell whispered in my ear where I should go to find a climb. I took off, went there and climbed, along with a dozen others, slowly but steadily.
Opinion seemed divided about whether to stick with the remnants of the climb at its top or to glide. I set off once there were a few ahead of me to pimp off. They didn't seem to find much, and I got low enough to decide to amuse the tourists by landing, as I did a couple of years ago, inside the stone circle at Avebury. But I found a bit of lift, which turned into a steady but even slower climb, with Xiaoting and a bunch of others. It didn't get me high enough to have lots of options, so I headed for a gaggle downwind, but well above me. I glided straight under their bubble of lift without finding it, and the brownish field that I then headed for produced only scraps. A hare sprang up in surprise as I touched down. Gus and the rest of the gaggle flew on.
Telegram revealed that Stuart Garbutt had landed not too far away, and a man on an old BSA confirmed it. I walked through Winterbourne Bassett, where Mike Manners flew over my head low, and on to the main road. It was a fast stretch, infertile for hitching, although a bus stop promised a ride as far as Avebury in a while. But soon along came a van containing Tracey Manners, on her way to collect Mike, and with Richard Ford already aboard. We scooped up Stuart, too, and headed back to the car park for tea and biscuits. Having forgot to put most of my clean mugs back in the van, I had to drink my tea from a bowl, like the Chinese Mandarins.
A fine day. I'd like to have got further - Gus did 99k and there were a couple of tons. I felt I'd performed reasonably well on my wee Yeti, but I know that the difference between 13 and 100 is probably 90% good decisions and 10% equipment. Still, I might, if my rickety bones allow it, get the Phantom and the pod out next time!