I love a sunburnt country,
A land of soaring planes,
Though I don't care much for Victoria,
it's freezing when it rains.
That hopefully is the limit of Australian culture for this website but what's written there is the truth. Australia can be hot in summer. Damn hot. And while the country gets sunburned, you do not want to.
Unless you have spent some time somewhere south of the Mediterranean, you may not be prepared for quite how strong the sun can be in Australia. For sure, it's one reason why we have such great gliding conditions but it's also the reason why we have to be so careful when we're out in the sun.
The average day temperature at Keepit in January is 34º which with our normal low humidity, is quite bearable. The record stands at almost 49º which is not. Regrettably, extreme temperatures do not make for extremely good flying. But on an averagely hot day, when you can expect to be above 7,000' for most of the day, the temperature in the cockpit is fine. It's on the ground that you have to be careful.
The first thing is, wear the right clothes. This mostly means dressing in light, long-sleeved clothes with good UV protection and wearing a broad-brimmed hat. Wear plenty of good, high protection sun screen on any exposed skin, especially if you are light-skinned.
The second thing is to drink lots of water. Most people carry water in a hydration pack or bladder wherever they go on the airstrip. Most water at Lake Keepit comes from the dam. In summer, if the dam level is low, our tap water can contain bugs like giardia which can give you an upset stomach for a while so only drink boiled tap water. Rain water is available at several points around the club and at the launch points so this is the best place to fill your water bladder.
If you're drinking lots of water, you're going to need some effective 'pilot relief system' in the glider. If this doesn't work brilliantly, don't worry. The humidity at Keepit is pretty low so things dry very quickly!
It's a good idea to get your glider ready in plenty of time, before briefing and before it gets hot. Ideally, your crew does this for you while you relax in the shade.
A good tip, whether you wear a terry towelling hat or not, is to soak it with water just before you get in the glider. Then when you shut the canopy and the temperature starts to climb, you can have a cool head until you have reached a cooler altitude after launch.