Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Gulgong Classic Day 4

Today was looking quite good with light winds a 6,000ft blue day with moderate climbs. We decided on a 130km triangle task taking us out the west and back to the airfield. The window opened at 12:15pm and no was launching becuase it looked stable, so at 12:45 I decided to tow. I was first up and pinned off at 1,000ft agl and climbed up in a 4-500fpm climb. Everyone was now lining up and starting tow as the start window opened in at 1:45pm. I ended up heading out to the edge of the start and starting all by myself at 2pm. I knew that it was going to get better and I should probably wait and fly with the gaggle. I left anyway and was doing great for the first few thermals before getting low about 15kms before the 1st TP. I scratched back up and tried to keep pushing as the gaggle behind was now catching me. This is probably the worst thing that I could do as I was leaving thermals and then scratching low. I made the turnpoint and got a reasonable climb back to 4,000 ft and saw the gaggle only kms behind now. So I raced off and went through some light lift and kept going as I was looking for a strong thermal to keep me in front. I got very low and went into survival mode taking anything I could find. I ended up getting down to 150m agl before I slowly climbed back up. Once I reached 2,000ft the thermal kicked and I climbed well. Just before I topped out Curt and Ollie came gliding in and joined me. They must have left the others behind so we took off together and did the last turnpoint. We stopped for a light 300fpm climb for a few minutes before heading off. Curt kept gliding and got low and landed so I was being a little careful as I had nearlry done the same thing just before. Ollie and I hit another light climb and I did a a handful of circles before heading off to the forest just in front. I was rewarded with a 500fpm climb to 6000ft and was now about 500ft higher than Ollie as he hung back for a few more circles in the last climb. I quickly glided off so that he could not see me and I did a long glide. I hit the thermal of the day a solid 7-800fpm climb to 7,200ft and wnet on final glide. I ended up winning the day in 3hrs 18 mins and Scott was 2nd in 3hrs 08 mins but starting 45 mins later. Ollie was 3rd starting 15 mins later in 3hrs 15 and Atilla 4th starting 30 mins later also at 3hrs 15. Another great day and about 12 pilots make goal.