Tuesday, August 23, 2011

British and French Open, Day 1 & 2, 3rd overall :-)

We've had fantastic flying weather the past two days here. The first day, we had a 138 km task. One pilot decided "not to waste the day on such a short task" and went free flying instead. I agree that we could have flown a 200 km task that day, but isn't it bad sportsmanship to show your personal opinion in this way? The organization is trying to have a good comp for all. Give them a break...
So, we flew from St. Andre to Lac de Serre Ponson, then back to Pic de Chamatte and landed in Thorame Basse. The task was fast and pretty easy, with lots of ridge soaring and strong thermals. But, it was not uneventful. We had a tumble over Dormillouse, the pilot being pretty much OK, but the glider is still up on the mountain. There was hail on course line and we had lightning over the landing field, when the cloud above us didn't even look that bad. It was a big surprise!
I finished the task in 4th and was pretty happy with that result. Here's the flight.
Yesterday we were plagued by SE winds while we were on the W launch. A 113 km task to Laragne was set, but it was shortened to a 89 km task because of the late start. It was a fast task again (won by Laurent with a 60 km/h average). Same story as the day before for me. A mistake early in the task, then being rather cautious over unlandable terrain, but with a strong finish (ignore missing the turnpoint by 10 m and having to make an extra 360). I was 9th for the task. Here's the flight on Leonardo. It was fun flying from one famous flying site to the other. And you do appreciate the change terrain. Mountains with rather narrow valleys in St. Andre and then the wide open valley of Laragne, with many different routes towards the last turnpoint. Although the task was short, you still had to make your choice in the end.
The Combat does speed up nicely on final. I was taking 2 extra circles in 4 m/s up in an attempt to beat Carl and Jonas into goal and I would have done so if I hadn't missed the turnpoint. Now I was 30s slower...
I'm now in 3rd overall. That's not bad at all :-)

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