Sunday, July 25, 2010

2010 Europeans are over!

Day 12, Task 9. Rain in the morning with a very low cloudbase. Quite a lot of wind predicted and there should be better weather coming in so we headed up the mountain. Some pilots didn't even start setting up their glider because they couldn't believe we would have a flyable day later on.
The weather indeed cleared and we got a 87 km task out in the flats. I started well and followed the lead gaggle until 20 km before goal. But, I wasn't feeling comfortable in the air and somehow slowly lost height in the gaggle. I started the race on top and now, near the end, I was low, but still in the lead gaggle. I just needed 1 more thermal to make it to goal. I started flying conservatively due to my decreasing altitude, but when I saw the lead gaggle shoot up 2 km ahead of me, I raced towards them. 1 km before the gaggle, I flew through a 2 m/s thermal, so I concluded that the one ahead surely needed to be a strong one if the area around already had such rising air. Sadly, I found nothing below the gaggle. The 2 m/s thermal probable was the same one, but broken from the part the gaggle was in due to the wind. I didn't find anything decent anymore and had to land 18 km from goal. I needed 1 more thermal to end the competition in style and I failed.
It cost me a lot of points because 50 pilots made goal. I dropped from 34th to 39th and I am no longer first Benelux pilot. That honour goes to Koos. Well done Koos!
Still, 39th place should provide me with something like 40 points for the world ranking, which should move me into the top 150. Will the Belgian and Dutch Open enable me to reach the top 100 this year? I'll try, but hey, no guarantee!

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