Monday, January 16, 2006
Well after a nice last task to finish off the Bogong Cup we travelled to Tocumwal for the Top Gun aprentice challenge. The weather looks far from perfect this morning but hopefully the high cloud will burn off and the weather will turn on for us.The set up here is great setting up on green grass next to the swimming pool and then tow up from the strip just next door...
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Today was forecast to be a moderate northerly so we went up to Mystic hill again. As the weather was looking like rain for tomorrow we decided on setting a longer task to wear out the pilots. After some long discussions we decided on a 134 kms task with a 56kms leg to start with into about a 25km/hr headwind. It was was of the most difficult days to get away from Mystic with the lead pilots struggling to stay up. Eventually I got up and crossed over to Mt Porpunkah where I topped out just in time for the first start with about 10 other pilots. We ran down the ridge to Myrtleford getting good climbs to 27oo metres before heading out towards Millawa on the flats where the first turnpoint was. I did a long glide of about 15kms and was rewarded with a 900 up and quickly joined by the rest of the gaggle. We all topped out and Atilla lead out on a straight line and I went more up wind for another cloud which payed off and caught me back up to the lead again. After rounding the turnpoint I hit a light climb and stayed for a while to see if anyone else was going to have a dig. Eventually Atilla left and the others followed I went more downwind for a cloud and hit a solid 800 up. Rohan and Andreas joined me along with Olli and Atilla now 1,000 ft lower. I left the climb early which turned out to be the big mistake of the day. Lucky for me, Rohan and Andreas came with me but Olli and Atilla stayed. We got low on Myrlteford hill and spent 20 minutes before getting up. I slowly watched the others passing to our north at cloudbase and knew then that they would be un-catchable before the end. We topped out at 3200m(9987 ft) and headed off for the last turnpoint at Kancoona South, I had a slightly better glide than the Climax and Talon and once rounding the turnpoint I realised thanks to my 4030 race that I had final glide into Mt Beauty. We ran down the western side of the Keiwa and made final easy. This turned out to be a 41kms final glide I think one of my longest finals I have ever done. Atilla will take the day again in 2 hrs 45 mins followed by Philthy, Olli, Lenny then me. There were 16 pilots that made it and now the Hungarian Mafia has been split up cause Balaz landed at the last turnpoint.. I will move into 2nd place behind the hun and Olli is now 3rd with Philthy in 4th..
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Here is a couple of pics I took today me at the start clowning around before I nearly landed and Atilla at goal after we landed.... Would you trust this man???? Well today was not looking good with strong winds predicted from the north we went up to mystic. There was lots of cirrus and this stage not much wind so decided on a task to ovens then back across to running creek then to Mt Beauty airstrip. It was a difficult day I nearly landed before the start but got back up from real low and started 30 mins late on the last start. The field was quite spread out today with some pilots making the first start and the others just starting when they could. Steve moyes had a great start and was now nearly 20kms in front of me with the same start time. I thought oh well at least I did not land at the start so everything is a bonus to me now so just make goal. As I rounded the first turnpoint I flew onto Myrtleford hill and hit 700 up to 2200 m I was now only 5kms or so behind atilla and Philthy among others. We all did a long glide toward the Pinnacles and Phil call me into a 1-200up which was enough to climb 300 m and get me to the 2nd TP and over to the Keiwa wall. I was gliding in to Atilla and Phil who had been climbing there for some time in light lift, as I approached they left and headed down the valley towards goal. I could not follow them as I was a lot lower so I went into the north bowl on Mt Tawonga and was rewarded with 4-500up. I kept a close on the boys and saw them hit a light thermal on Mt York 14kms out from goal so I quickly dove off after them and arrived just below Atilla and level with Phil and Jon. We climbed a couple of hundred metres and then when my 4030 Race told me to leave I left and the rest followed. Atilla was right beside me and we took turns of being in front on the final but when it came to the crunch it was me that got victory over him by like 2 seconds. Jon and Phil will come in just behind us. Dave seib was first to goal but Steve Moyes was only 5 minutes and did the last start so he will win the day by 20 odd minutes. There were only 9 pilots to make goal and some of the usal faces were missing in action.....
Monday, January 09, 2006
Here are a couple of Pics from the day Lukas at goal and the main gaggle!! Well with a light northerly predicted we decided on going up to the ever so scary Mt Buffalo. The task was 120kms long taking us up past Myrtleford then back to Porepunkah up to Gundowering then back to Mt Beauty airstrip. I think the whole field made the first start with Dave and I leading the pack of kids around the course again. We tried to escape them but today was not the day to go low and push hard as the others would just come in above or level everytime we tried. On the way to the 3rd turnpoint I decided to detour off course and see if they would follow sure enough they all turned 90 degrees off course and came to me as soon as they got there I turned and flew back toward the turnpoint. Dave was just behind me and went straight to take advantage of the situation as he was laughing his head off on the radio. He could not believe how much the guys were following me. Once rounding the last turnpoint we all dove onto the Keiwa wall, it was pretty light lift down low but if you were patient it kicked nad those that waited were rewarded. I was not patient and kept trying to push low untill I figured out what was happening. Dave went on a 13:1 final and managed to beat the Hungarian mafia in by a few seconds. Steve was next in just a few seconds in front of me then came Gerolf amonst others not far behind. It was a great day I think there were like 44 pilots in goal out of 70 so lots of smiling faces around the goal field.
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..