Keep the wings level, watch the speed, keep the rate of climb consistent, use the rudder pedals to stay inline of the runway, assess when you are just above the point at which the winch cable joins the ground, dip the nose slightly, pull the release cable, check it has released then fly ahead for a few feet.
Turn gently left onto crosswind, level the wings, watch the speed, watch the rate of climb, look for other gliders, look for the downwind leg marker on the ground – usually a bush or hedgerow, aim to be at that point at a certain height.
Hit the downwind leg marker, Turn gently left onto downwind, level the wings, watch the speed, watch the rate of climb, look for other gliders, look for the base leg marker on the ground, aim to be at that point on the nail. Notice the staff and instructors on the ground watching.
Hit the base leg marker on time and height, airspeed good, height good, this is it, one more turn and I’ll be landing.
Final turn onto the runway approach, all lined up, height and airspeed good, not allowing the angle to changing landing spot on the ground identified, I will aim for this. As I passed the instructors I unexpectedly put my arm up to them (a mistake at this stage and was later told off – lesson learned quickly).
Just above the ground now, easing the stick back, float, float, float then the glider skid hit the ground and things slowed down quickly. I sat there in the cockpit silently. I didn’t know what to say or feel.
The instructors ran up to the plane, helped me out and shook my hand. Well done, said one, Welcome to the club, said another. Now let’s see 2 more of those and you’ve passed. Phew!
The next 2 flights were an uneventful time and spot-on plan. My finally landing was extremely sad as I knew that this was the end of a chapter. A thing to learn as you go through life is that its full of times like this.