Sunday, January 08, 2006

Bogong Cup Day 1

Saturday was the first day of the 2006 Bogong Cup. With a forecast for light southeasterly winds, Phil Schroeder Ollie and I the task committe decide to go up Mt. Emu on the east side of the Kiewa Valley overlooking Mt. Beauty.The road up Emu has been graded and it is passable by two wheel drive (amazing).When we arrived at launch we were blessed with very consistent, light to a little less than moderate winds. The inversion is clearly visible on the horizon and this certainly explains why there are no cu's. After making some calls to find out the latest weather from around the area we decide on a task. It will take us 31 kilometers to the north to Gundaring then up the Happy valley to the west to the Ovens intersection next to the always on and very strong Myrtleford Hill in the Ovens valley, then back up Happy valley to Running Creek intersection in the Kiewa valley, then home to the Mt. Beauty airport. 114 km. There is a twenty five kilometer start circle around Gundaring which keeps us within six kilometers of the launch at Emu and in the thermal producing part of the range. I take off in my order and head right to find a nice 400 up to 5,500ft and quickly head down the range toward the start. There are gliders everywhere along the ridge which makes nearly impossible to go down. We wait there for the start some 30 mins and after thinking I would take the 2nd start steve moyes and dave seib convinced me to go on the first start along with most of the feild. As soon as the time ticks over I blast out on course only to see atilla and a few others up high and not in position for the start, I was not to worried as we had most of the pilots with us including gerolf. I hit a rough 500up on Mt York and climbed up while Dave seib charged low accross to Mt Tawonga hitting a boomer so I follow and come in just above him. gerolf comes in just below and then we charge off down the ridge, Gerolf is flying a prototype a 4 sail on a 5 frame which seems to be quite impressive on glide. He passes all of us as we glide along the ridge but he made the mistake of forgetting to climb before heading out to the turnpoint. I see him 5 minutes later diving back to the ridge low trying to get up below us. Micki ,Lukas and dave leave for the turnpoint about 1,000 ft above me so I followed and arrived there quite low leaving me to find some scrappy lift in the valley. manwhile behind us I can see the gaggle getting high and about to glide out on top of us. This is about the point where I decide that I should have taken a later start, after scratching for some time I hit a boomer and am joined by the rest of the gaggle including Phil Schroder who did the 2nd start and the Hungarian Mafia come in low also. At this point I thought ok it is time to do something special weve lost 15 mins already so I top out and across to the Pinnacles but for some reason I went to the west side with Steve and found myself in the leighside. As the glide out form in there is pretty much impossible I quickly turn around and head back out to some gliders turning. I see Gerolf come in on the east of the mountain and scream up so I went around the corner and was also rewarded. Chris Smith from the states a new pilot moving up through the ranks came in and joined me in a solid 600 up. I can see gerolf now about 5 kms in front so we head off towards the 2nd TP. We soon find ourselves coming up to Myrtleford hill which is one of the best mountains in this whole area. We hit about 600 up davis kept going as he was a little lower I kept a eye on him, He hit one and seemed to be gaining on me so I dash over there to find him in 800 up. We topped out to 7,000 ft and glided to the 2nd TP then turned and headed straight back to the same climb again. once topped out we glide straight for the Pinnacles again and hit a 700 up with Rohan about 10kms from the last TP, Dave and Lukas are just in front lower and also hit a sreamer by the time I get there I missed the strong core and I watch them pull away. I could see gerolf just doing the last turnpoint low and he crosses the valley and hits a slow climb. As I approach the TP dave and Lukas do The TP and head to the west side of the valley, I do a few circles maintaining to try and make up my mind as I was about 500 ft lower I decide to go to the east side where Gerolf had just gooten up from. I was with rohan and davis we hit a light one which kept us alive, as we slowly drift toward the hill the thermal gets better. Then in comes the Hungarian Mafia just below us, great I think well there is 15 mins blown as we climb out together I think I need to try and get away from these guys so I dive off down the ridge to Mt York. Of course they follow, the mafia and I hit a rough thermal right at ridge height on Mt york. I am deperately trying to out climb them but I found that very hard so I thought well considering they have caught me up they wont push hard for the final. I watch gerolf gliding on final as I keep my eye on my 4030 race it tells me we have it, but considering the thermal has just kicked to 700 up I decide that i dont want to leave early as we were still 14 kms out. When it told me I had 1000 ft over my glide i was wondering why the others had not left, So I pull my Vg on and leave sur enough the mafia is straight after me. We pretty much are all at the same height as atilla pulls up beside me I can see that ever so cheky smile he has when he knows that he has beat me or is going to beat me. Knowing that they have started later I try with hand language to ask atilla which clock he had taken and he thought I was giving him the finger so he returns the favour. As we get within 2 kms from goal we start speeding up Balaz just on my right wingtip and atilla now about 50 ft above and also to the right I think if I go fast enough I might get them. Atilla holds his position but balaz cant handle the speed and gets the wing walking happening and eventually peels right in a semi wing over. Atilla will beat me accross the line and Balaz just behind. Once we land I get the look from gerolf's face after he had spoken to atilla I think he is not happy and neither am I really especially when I find out that they started 30 mins behind us..... Oh well it was a great task and 20 odd pilots made goal so lots of happy people.. I will just have to catch up tomorrow..