Monday, April 26, 2010

2010 Flytec Race and Rally day 1

Day 1 video
Today was looking quite average with strong winds up high but not to strong down low. Cloudbase was only 3,000ft and it was nearly full cloud cover.
They decided on a 67km downwind task to Okeechobee airport flying up the west side of the big lake. It was a very difficult day and many stuggled to avoid the lake and the surrounding swamp lands.
I did the 2nd start with Carl and a handful of others and had quite an easy run for the first 40 kms. We then hit lots of shadow and not much lift under a cloud and Carl and Max flew out towards the road.
They landed 20kms short as I drifted slowly downwind in light lift into the middle of the swamp lands. I lost the lift and glided striaght down courseline into what I thought was landable areas. Once I got low I realised that the green areas were actually water as well and not dry green grass.
I made a low save of around 600ft and eventually got back up to 1200ft agl 12kms out from goal before losing the thermal. I dove off downwind towards goal and made another low save from about 700ft agl in strong winds drifting in 50 fpm lift.
I circled for what seemed to be a lifetime and soon saw Dustin flying past me well upwind on final to goal. I was still 6kms out and less than 1,000ft agl and now almost downwind of goal.
I had to thermal up 3 times to get enough height to make the glide back into the 30kph headwind to goal. I arrived about 10 minutes after dustin and started maybe 10 mins before him.
We were the only two to make goal and I think Zac was nect closest at 2.5 kms short. There has been many stories of people landing out and having to walk or swim their way out in waist high water.
We are now all at Quest Air enjoying a pizza party and watching a huge lightning storm out teh window. Not sure if we will get to fly tomorrow.
Dustin and I enjoying the bar at goal as we wait for our retrieve drivers. Some of the planes were huge here at the airport we landed at.