Westerly winds drove me to Parlick's North West bowl, love flying this site, always plenty of lift and rotor free landings. Wind was blowing hard, 30 - 40 mph, tossed the Stinger off with 1.5 Kg ballast and found the air rough on the right hand turn and ballistic on the left, as expected the wind was a bit crossed, but the bowl does straighten it up a little, great for practising difficult conditions. A high long turn was needed on the bumpy right hand turn to cut through the rough air, where as a strong pull on the left hand turn resulted in a satisfying slingshot out of the turn. With practice you could harness the momentum out of the left hand turn and then smoothly manage the right hand turn to maintain the speed.
Every now and again a thermal would come through and straighten up the lift making things ballistic, the Stinger sure shifts in good air, frighteningly quick, takes a lot of concentration and eventually I had to bail out for a rest! Landing was easy enough, not much crow required in the big blow to drop it down at my feet. I then filled her up to the max with 1.7 Kg of ballast and found she had slowed down a little and was harder to get on step, too heavy.
Next up was the Artist, she doesn't really have enough ballast for these sort of conditions but she made a good go at it, although she got tossed around a lot more than the Stinger, its fun to fly other models. Landing was 'interesting' as she didn't want to come down, but eventually she was down in one piece, the wind was getting stronger.
I had another look at the slope and decided I was in the wrong place, my right hand turn was over a great big hole in the side of the slope, so I moved position further to the left where the slope was steeper. I left the Stinger full as the wind was blowing stronger and with the increased lift the climb out was much better and as I came on course she turned perfectly into the right hand turn as if on rails. Perfect 30 second air, very smooth and consistent. I could only manage 10 mins or so as the speed was blowing my mind and I kept imagining that I wouldn't be surprised it it suddenly blew up, but no need to worry, the Stinger seems pretty strong with hardly a hint of flex in the wings.
However the landing was a nightmare as the lift was too strong, in the end I had to force it down under crow with lots of down elevator, I had that horrible moment when you suddenly realise the model is aiming for your head before she came down heavily in front of me. Fortunately I had taped the nose on and she seemed none the worse for her adventures apart from some mud and grass on the nose.
A great day out with clear views out to sea, too windy for the paragliders and the full size gliders were maxing out a few hundred feet above me, so I had the slope to myself.