Friday, July 17, 2009

Pre Europeans Day 6

We were promised another good day so a 160km out and return was called as the first task. After some discussions about bringing pilots back through the canyon of no landings on final, the task was changed. We ended up with a goal about 20kms away to avoid this situation. The task was shortened to 140kms. The wind was crossing a little from the east so launch was a bit slow. Once in the air it was rough and pretty much one main gaggle right over launch. I think there must have been 80-90 gliders in the thermal. It was quite dangerous I thought mostly because it was rough and many pilots did not have full control. There was only 2 starts and I was not so high on the first start and really did not want to fly with such a big gaggle all day. I opted to wait for 20 mins for the next start and did much better. I glided to the first turnpoint 15kms away then hit a good thermal on the ridge straigh after the turnpoint. I then pushed a little hard and got low which cost me about 10 mins of ridge soaring. Finally got up and back to base 47kms from turnpoint 2. I kept pushing hard trying to catch the leaders as I could see them in the distance. I was never sure it was them untill I got close to the last turnpoint. I had not seen anyone coming back so I knew it was them on pushed on low down the ridge. I made another mistake by not getting high before doing the last turnpoint. I passed the lead gaggle when I was 2.5kms from turnpoint so I was only 5kms behind. Things were looking good but when I returned to the ridge I was much lower and had to work to get back up. I eventually got up and took a short cut across the valley for some clouds. This got me back close to them again as I came in underneath them but much lower. 20kms out from goal I came in only 250m below them but they left for final and I was not confident from my height. The final was scary as we still had to cross over a big forest into a headwind. I topped up before heading off as I thought they might get stuck before goal. I will arrive 12 mins later but will beat them by 8 mins.. Balazs will win the day starting with me and coming in 4 mins before me in a time of 3hrs 06 mins. Martin and Primoz will be first in on the 1st starters taking 3hrs 18mins. It will be very close for the first place now as Blay was 20 mins slower than me and Martin and Primoz might beat me for the day. Only time will tell and It seems that we will not fly tomorrow at this stage due to strong winds. It is possible that we wont fly saturday either if the wind stays up. Below is todays video.