Rain and wind seem to have signaled the definitive return of the fall season. No more thermal flights this year. 2012 was a year which has been exceptionally bad for flying in Belgium. Although I was ready to fly almost every weekend, a combination of bad weather during weekends or the lack of towing pilots when we did have good weather, resulted in a pathetic season with only 3 XC flights in Belgium. I got a total of 60 hours airtime this year (incl the holiday flying!) and that's the worst in 3 years. So, let's quickly forget about that.
On the other side of the spectrum, I'm really looking forward to the 2013 World Championships, now 3 months ahead of us. The Worlds will be held in Forbes, 400 km from Sydney, Australia. The place is known for epic flying with strong thermals and long flying days. I really hope the weather delivers there! Let there be 300 km tasks :-)
But yes, going down under requires a number of preparations. I've teamed up with the Dutch National team to organize the logistics. These include transporting the gliders there and organizing the retrieve team. The gliders will be shipped (literally). They're going to leave the harbour in 2 weeks time and should arrive in Australia early December. Insured and nicely wrapped in a wooden box, that's a much better solution than risking them by taking them on the plane.
So, logistics are going nicely. And physical preparations are going well too. I'm running 3 times a week and I've started taking up swimming again as well, to give the shoulders some work to do. I'm still doubting whether I should start going to the gym. I don't like those cramped, sweaty places and would rather do my sports outdoors, but hey, the gym might be way more efficient...
This is Jonny Durand showing us what kind of flying we can expect down under: