Ringstead Bay – Saturday 8th August

Well Sunday was promising to be fantastic at Bell Hill, then the good weather moved to Combe, and then in the morning the good weather seemed to have disappeared! After looking at RASP hoping for somewhere that maybe, just maybe might be flyable, it was looking a bit pants. Hmm the south coast looks like it has a breeze and it is looking like WSW or maybe even SW. After talking Neil into a 2 hour drive to Dorset we decided to head to Ringstead rather than St. Albans as I hadn’t yet made it to the cliffs despite flying there twice already. Neil had never been to Ringstead so it was going to be a new one for both of us.

The whole drive down we were looking at the trees not moving a bit and thinking that we have made a horrible mistake. But we pulled up at Ringstead to a 14mph SW breeze!

Neil was off first and after boating around the bowl for a bit went down for a slope landing. I took up as the wind picked up again and the air was surprisingly thermic and rough. I gained quite a bit of height and pointed towards the cliffs. I flew over the trees giving me a lifty line and made it to the houses where I did a few beats to gain back some height. Once over the main cliff the lift band was massive and the air the smoothest I have ever flown in (hence the large amount of photos!). Neil soon joined me on the cliffs and you couldn’t drag us away from the cliffs. Flying out over the sea and doing spirals before racing back to the cliffs to climb back up, what a laugh. It was lovely to be able to kick back and enjoy the view for once without worrying about going down or keeping the wing above your head in rough thermals. I certainly wouldn’t trade thermalling to base for this, but why not have your cake and eat it!

My vario battery died about two and a half hours in and a bit later the call of nature decided it was time to land. An easy glide back into the rough(er) air of the bowl and straight into the back field for a nice touch down next to Shamus.



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