Saturday, July 18, 2009

Pre Europeans Day 8

Well after very strong winds yesterday we were sent up the hill to check out the winds. They appeared to be not to strong but with Altitude it was very NW and getting stronger. This meant that we would have at times crosswinds on launch and leighside thermals on the ridge. They decided to keep us out on the flats after a quick ridge run to avoid the stronger winds that were in the mountains behind us. A short 69km task was set with 5 turnpoints then a goal at Ballaguer on the flats. I was reasonably early off launch and climbed in a very strong rough thermal to 2200m. Blay and I tried to go down the ridge and we got flushed and came back low to launch. Once getting back up I tried again to get an upwind start for the first turnpoint as it was a 2km entry circle. I got drilled again and did not get back up untill well after the first start and I think nearly all the pilots apart from about 10 did that start. I was not sure what to do as I really wanted that start but with the scores so tight I did not want to start with such a big disadvantage on the others considering the short task. I waited and had a much better start but I was 20 mins later and I could see the others coming back alrady from the 2nd turnpoint which meant they had 15kms on me. It did not seem like much but when you are trying to fly in rough leighside conditions close to very big cliffs it is a lot. The air was just perfect for someone to tumble and I saw one guy in front of me get kicked into the cliff as he was flying along and had to push out and turn to miss the cliff. I saw his shadow and later found out that it was dave shields and he reported that when he landed at goal his legs were still shaking. Once getting away from the cliffs we had to cross the valley onto the flats and this was quite slow if you did not get the good climbs. I scratched for sometime before getting high enough to clear the ridge. Many of the guys I was with landed and the guys that were in front were too far for me to use. After a leighside thermal I topped out at 1600m and headed for the 4th turnpoint where I met the lead gaggle coming back for the last turnpoint before heading to goal. I saw Primoz land below me and I flew in right below Blay. I communicated to him by yelling out that Primoz had landed and to take it easy. Martin harri was below him and I was now only 8kms behind them. I thought to myself what do I do? Do I try and keep racing to see if I can still beat them or do I just stay in the air and make sure I get to goal and take 3rd place. Hmmm I thought for a good whole circle and dove off for the 4th turnpoint thinking I was still in the game. I soon realised why I had nearly caught them and the wind was quite strong on the flats with very few thermals. I did the turnpoint and tried to get up low on the hills coming back but got drilled leighside and landed. I got to sit there and watch everyone flying over me to goal as I packed my glider up. It was quite exciting to watch Blay and Martin fly over me on their final to goal as I knew it was only 4 points separating them. Apparently Martin was in front but when he got to the 400m circle he slowed down thinking it was a radius finish instead of a line finish. Blay passed him before the line at ground level and managed to beat him for the day by 1 point. These 2 guys flew very consistant the whole comp and finished well in front of 3rd place. Gerolf won the day in 1hr 31mins nealry 15 mins ahead of the next guy. Moyes did very well winning everyday of the comp taking out the first 3 positions and having 8 in the top 10. Congratualations to all you Moyes Boys. I finished 5th 200 points behind Blay after making the fatal error on t he last day. Here is a quick video. I did not film to much in the air as it was to rough and to short of a task.