Thursday, April 29, 2010

Flytec Rally Day 4

Today was looking very difficult with the prospect of light lift and thermals to only 4,000ft max. We had nearly full cloud cover and a 109kms crosswind task of 18kph winds. I waited untill nearly the first start had gone before I towed as I wanted to make sure that I was in good position at the start. I did the last start on top of the hige gaggle and flew the first few glides in front pulling the gaggle along. I soon realised that it was a day that leading out the whole day was not going to give e any advantages and only increase my risk factor of landing. I then tried to relax and just follow for awhile letting others share the work load. This worked for awhile until I get impatient and just charge off on my own. After 2 hrs of flying I had only flown about 50 kms and still had 60kms left in the day. It seemed that we would not make goal at our current rate of flying but none of us were prepared to give up. Lakes on our courseline. I spent most of the time out in front with Carl and Richard Lovelace and even Ben Dunn turned up along the way. It was evident that you needed to have many friends to complete the task today. I was in no hurry and was trying to be as patient as I could to eliminate taking risk. Carl and Ben Dunn climbing tip to tip with me half way through the course. Dustin slipped behind for awhile and I thought we had nearly dropped him off but he said that he found a 700fpm climb which was about twice as strong as most thermals. We eventually ended up in a good group of pilots and we battled the hard conditions to advance metre by metre towards goal. About 15kms out I got low and ended up at the bottom of the gaggle and struggled to stay in the air. I saw Fillipo turning and I headed for him only to hear that Carl who was right next to me hit a better climb behind. After a few circles with Fillipo I headed back to them and climbed up below Carl, Zac and Dustin. The guys above me topped out and headed on a 10:1 glide for goal as I was still climbing lower. The thermal stopped and I had no choice but to leave on a 12:1 glide for goal. The last 5kms before goal was not landable so I was not really happy with my final height. I flew slow and maximized my glide and ended up making goal with about 100ft to spare. I will arrive about 3 minutes after the guys who all arrived at the same time within 3 seconds from 1st to 3rd. Only the 4 of us made goal along with 2 rigid wings, Ollie and Millar from the TTT club. Everyone was so tired trying to pack their gliders up after spending 5 hrs in the air in very challenging conditions. Happy goal boys on Day 4 Here is Day 4 Video. \