Dyke to Ditchling Village
I'd declared an ambitious 25km triangle from the Dyke, but after a few frustrating bunfights in thermals, I was doubting whether I'd be able to get away with so many other pilots there. Eventually it got a bit quieter and I pushed out front, found a thermal, flew out the front of it and straight into a super strong core which got me above all the pilots thermalling closer to the ridge within half a 360. A manageable gaggle of about 6 or 7 of us quickly formed and everyone proceeded to outclimb me.
The climb got pretty weak at around 3000ft and as my first turnpoint was Ditchling Village, I decided to leave to fly towards Newtimber rather than drift towards Brighton. I was rewarded with a nice active cloud and a good climb all the way to cloudbase. Then a crosswind glide, nice and lifty under the cloud. Fortunately the cloud got out of the way before I got to the 4500ft airspace, so I ducked underneath that and pushed out towards Ditchling where I could see Airworks teaching. Made it to my first turnpoint with about 1000ft to spare and found a nice climb over the village. It didn't get me high enough to get any further though and I landed at the bottom of the Ditchling ridge. Hitched back with a family who'd just been out for Sunday lunch at the Half Moon.
In the end a frustrating day turned into a really good one. Very pleased with that for my first XC in Sussex. And thanks Ghandi for your tips on how I should have been flying my triangle. Maybe I'll ask before I fly next time.