The original plan was the classic triangle, although the weekend previous saw me get decked by Talybont from the Blorange for being too task driven.
On launch there were big clouds out front and behind shutting off the thermals for a few hours, a few pilots took off and went straight down, then later more took off when the sun started to come out, but they weren't getting much height but by then I think everyone wanted the action, it was pretty crazy on launch, everyone fighting for lift, lots of pilots doing side landings, one even in a tree below launch.
There were gaggles moving out away from launch but still not in huge climbs. I ended up low several times just above trees below launch, fighting in the tiny bits of lift, until I got something to get me back up, I decided to head out away from the hill to the higher ground towards sugar loaf, eventually got a nice climb over there and thought I'd stay along this ridge and see if I can make it to Hay Bluff, although going in that direction seemed really slow, even though the Oudie was telling me the wind was slightly behind me, gliders passed over the top of me towards Pandy like I was stood still, so I'm not sure what the wind was doing, cloud shadows didn't move much to help me decide.
As I kept going towards Llangorse I was skimming a face into sun hoping for another climb but nothing, so thought the flight was over I headed for a road in the valley and picked up a really low save off a farm which drifted back towards the hill in the opposite direction I was heading so that told me I was fighting into wind. It's now 4:45pm, I'm in a solid climb to base at 5k and a sail plane come and pimped off me lol.
At base I could see Abergavenny and thought if I could get back it would save a retrieve. So I pretty much went on glide with some bar all the way back, really easily. Thought I may as well try tag Blorange on the way back but met another head wind just over Abergavenny so it would of decked me at the base, so I aborted the tag and just managed to glide to the landing field for a well deserved pint. A very tricky day but I worked hard and didn't give up which I think kept me in the air. Staying on the high ground was a good decision, things I need to work on, is realising the actual wind direction. Some pilots took off much later and made it easily to hay bluff and back taking the right route using wind to their advantage. So definitely need to work on that. Gotta be one of my favourite flights so far. My XC Track log said I was up for 3:52 hours, which is my longest UK flight. Hopefully more of those to come.