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3 Flights from Bates / 2 PG and 1 HG
1) Flush to the path that runs down to the beach
2) Climb to 1K by The Gas Plant and flush to the field on east side of La Conchita
3) HG flight to Ventura Fairgrounds
Bonanza and Sensor 510E
The wind was a bit much for PGs in the mountains. It did block at The Peak, with Debbie reporting no base wind at 10:30 am, but it was gusting to 15 out of the west at Parma at 9 am. The PGs opted to try and time Bates. At Bates, the wind line looked sharp, with a SE breeze inside, but hearty caps a couple miles out. It finally turned around and Bob H and I got off in a building breeze. Lift in the SW at launch, and I got about a hundred over on the first pass, but the wind moved out and we were on the wrong side over at the main ridge. It was in and out, shifting from the SE to the SW. I landed upwind on the trail going SE. John boosted us back to launch.
By now it was consistently over 20, with gust a little higher. Got well below the lip with Benson for an anchor. It came up straight enough, and I hollered we were go. By the time I turned around, I was up behind the lip and backing up. I got the canopy turned off the wind line and pointed away from the hill, begging for a push. Got the extra horsepower (Ojai John?). Eased out in front, giving ground to the left. Got on full speed bar and penetrated out to the surf line. Found a sweet spot and started easing off the speed bar. I was holding my own and climbing slow with some speed bar. After climbing as high as I could, I stared letting the bar out for a better sink rate. Backing up with no bar, but climbing all the way. Went to min sink going through 550, and topped about 650.
Easy run uphill in smooth air, but hit some ratty stuff before The Gas Plant. I was on the edge of the wind, and could 360 in the thermals. Up at 1K, I was above the block and backing up. I turned to run downwind, but noticed the trees on the ridge line didn't have any movement, despite stiff west wind at my altitude. Thought of turning out to sea, but ran for the main cliff instead. Big sink hole with nasty sharp turb down lower. Lost my grand in ~90 seconds. Took a full stall a couple hundred over the lower slope behind town. Rock and Roll coming in to the field on the far side of town. Good landing in the brush.
Benson, Sharon, and Bob H boosted me back. I took The Buzzard on lead chase. Craig had already jumped, but out ran the wind and was on the beach. Scouted up at the Oil Pier Point. No wind to light off shore. Back to Craig to finish his breakdown. He was just west of The Gas Plant, and had a little wind. Hammer and Flying A had gotten to 7K launching from The Liminator. Hammer came in on Rincon with 3K. TQ jumped when the wind was getting better. He pulled up on the west edge of the block, out over the water just west of The Gas Plant. Rotor came over and they got up and on course. Hammer, TQ, and Bob made it to Ventura. Rotor went down at Pitas. After scouting the wind up at Sea Cliff, Craig boosted me back to my car.
It was coming in nice, but a little too strong for a PG. I went home and grabbed the HG. It was blowing hard by the time I got set up. Competent wire assist below the lip from Cathleen, Terry, and Chris (a spectator). Clean launch, but needed to pull the bar in to hold ground. Backing up at 5 to 10 knots over the ridge. Took the wide route around the corner with 850. Worked numerous bubbles and topped about 3,500' a little off shore out in front of the Upper Gas Plant (just east of the pier). All down hill after that.
Steady sink to Pitas, and only had 18 hundred going around the corner. Came in on Solimar 300 below the top. Skipped by and got back to 13. Had to pull in at Taylor to keep from getting blown OTB. Around the corner with only 950. Land on the beach at the Fair Grounds, just east of the river mouth. Ride back to Bates with Hammer, Bob, and Susie.