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For the sake of planning such a long flight, one should have several tasks pre-planned to select from on the day, to suit the weather properly. I have decided on choosing the same task as one of the most inspiring flights I have seen since joining CGC/CUGC – Mark Lawrence-Jones’ first 500km in August 2016. The aim was to fly 503.8 km triangle via Framlingham (FRW), Tuxford Junction (TUJ) and Bicester Control Tower (BIC) turnpoints.
The task fitted the weather nicely, though the day was so good that probably many others would also have had been suitable. The first turnpoint has kept me on the edge of my seat with little thermal activity due to the gentle sea breeze that managed to move upwind. However, thanks to a very high cloud base of about 6000ft, I had plenty of height to trade for distance to turn FRW and return to the good weather on my way to TUJ.
500km.jpg|200px|thumb| left| 503.8 km task - GRL-FRW-TUJ-BIC- GRL]]
I had found a gliding paradise between FRW and TUJ, with very strong thermals that were exactly where I was expecting them. Things got more challenging past TUJ, as it blued out completely. I was looking longingly at the cumulus clouds far in the southeast. Unfortunately, flying to them had meant taking a big detour, which, analysing in hindsight, would probably had wasted too much time. I am glad, that I took my chances flying through the blue, successfully finding and recognising hot spots on the ground – a source of decent, unmarked thermals.