Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Belgian Open, Day 2, Task 1, first task win!

Yesterday we had a 77 km task from Laragne to the sailplane field in Puimoisson. With north winds, flying to the south should have resulted in a fast task. I started the task with 2400 m above Chabre and flew to Gache, arriving just below the ridge. I could only thermal up for 300 m there and crossed Sisteron to attach to the Roc d'Aigle. I managed an extra 300 m and was able to make it to the foothills of Montagne de Lure. Finally, in pretty rough conditions there, I was able to get high. But, we had a 2300 m ceiling due to airspace restrictions, cloudbase was a few 100 m higher. I made sure I never got over 2300 m and flew to the last turnpoint following the clouds. There was some serious sink at the last turnpoint and I had to find 200 m to make it to goal. 15 km before goal, I had my best thermal, with 4 m/s climb. I now easily could make it to goal, where I expected to see already a few gliders on the ground.
Big surprise when I couldn't find anyone there. I was first on goal and most of the other pilots had also taken the first start gate, so it looked good for me!
I indeed won my first task :-)
Currently there are serious discussions about airspace infringements. The FAI sporting code says that pilots who have minor infringements (less than 100 m) should get a warning and others should get 0 points for the task. Three pilots had minor infringements (I did with 18 m, Malcolm had 90 m and a 3rd pilot with 34 m). Three other pilots had serious infringements of more than 300 m. At this moment, the rules are applied, but discussions are going on...
I am surprised however that I have a tracklog above 2300 m. I'm quite sure my instrument never indicated that. The times I was close to the limit, I very regularly checked my height and I never saw anything above 2280 m. So it seems we must take a greater margin of error to be sure...
Anyway, it feels good to have won a task :-)

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