Tuesday, August 2, 2011

2011 Belgian Nationals, Day 1, Task 3, outlanding again...

The day started late today with stable conditions on launch. We had an 80 km task. Everything started out well, being on top of the gaggle with Carl. We were the first ones to take a start (we had many choices, 9 start gates in total), together with Tom and a few other people. The thermals were pretty good and the first three turnpoints were flown over in quick succession. When I flew back to Chabre I almost caught up with Carl again, who had lost a few minutes there. I didn't want to arrive low on Chabre, so I decided to aim for the east side of it, since the hot valley air, pushed by the southeasterly winds, would hit the ridge there first. I was surprised not to find any thermals there and decided to push on for the little hills north of Chabre. They also were in the flow of the valley wind, so I had high hopes for them. But, nothing worked, I had to land there, under a blue sky.
Right after landing, I saw the whole sky west of me fill up with cumi's. Not just one or two, but a whole cloud street from Chabre to Beaumont. It was amazing to see, but it also spelled very bad news, because it now was obvious for everybody in the air how to fly. I think a lot of people who have started a little later will have had a nice run there...
I now really need a few more tasks to have any chance for the title. The worst thing is that I have a really good feeling while flying. I'm going fast, I'm not feeling like I take a lot of risks, but I'm on the ground every time again. And Carl and Mart are in goal. I feel pretty bad about it.

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