Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Worlds day 8 Task 2

Finally we get another task with the chance of storms we set a short 115km course with 4 turnpoints. It was pretty clear that you needed to do the first start in case there was a stopped task from the building clouds around us. the 150 pilots were all launched in less than 1 hr and it seemed that there was at least 130 pilots making the 1st start gate. I had a great start nearly at the top of the group with Alex and Christian leading out just above me. We had a fast run down to the 1st turnpoint which was only 17kms from our start. I pushed hard coming back olong the ridge to the 2nd turnpoint trying to chasedown the Icaro boys. I was flying with Franz and Robert resinger and we were leading the big gaggle down the ridge with Alex and Christian just in front and higher. We got to the 2nd turnpoint and I found a good strong thermal which nearly caught me back up to Alex as he seemed to have forgotten about the turnpoint. He had to go back and get the turnpoint before heading back to launch where we climbedup below Christian. I followed the guys out into the valley under a cloud street toward the 3rd turnpoint. We had lots of shade in front of us and it was clear we needed to get as high as we could before making the glide out to the turnpoint in the shade. I came in below Alex and Christian about 6kms from the turnpoint under the last cloud. Christian was just leaving at cloudbase when I arrived below and Alex started to follow but stopped and kept turning. He stayed in light lift and watched Christian glide off as he whited out in the cloud. If only my camera had not run out of battey I would have been able to film it but I guess it was not meant to be. I left just below cloudbase and headed out into the valley behind them. I was about 2kms from the turnpoint when Alex came back past me still higher with Christian lower infront of him. I knew that this was going to make a huge difference as they were able to get back into the main valley below the gaggle who were climbing. I did the turnpoint just in front of Manfred and Franz and we were now forced to stay on the Gubbio ridge in the shade. We hit a light thermal and circled as we watched Alex and Christian climb out good behind us. We spent the next 20-30mins low waiting for the sun to come out so we could climb back up. Unfortunately for us the sun started back near the turnpoint so the whole gaggle of about 70 gliders behind us managed to get high and glide in above us before the last turnpoint. I did a long glide to goal from about 10 kms before the last turnpoint on a 21:1 glide. I was about 40th around the last turnpoint and decided to go straight line to try and beat some of these guys who had over taken me. I managed to overtake quitea few on the final glide and finished about 1 min 30 seconds behind the 3rd place which was Manfred. Alex crossed the line first 1 second infront of Christian and about 7 mins faster than Manfred. Christian will win the day with the leading bonus and 95 pilots will make goal. There was 60 pilots that finished within 5 mins of each other so the landing field was complete chaos but everyone survived. We were quite lucky to get the task in as there was some big over development around the outside of our courseline. It was a very interesting day and I have never seen such a finish in a hang gliding comp before. The weather for the next day or two does not look good but it seems we will fly again on friday. We now officially have a valid comp so there will be a 2011 World champion.