Finally a less windy day and a 192 km triangle was set. Rest day for the drivers as the task committee put it. No Belgian has ever flown a 192 km triangle, so I was pretty keen to make goal ;-) The task committee wanted to make it a race (single start gate), but they did include later start gates for those unlucky with launching.
Because I'm quite far down in the standings and launching was slow yesterday due to the turning winds, I was launched 25 minutes before the start gate opened. It was 9 km from Forbes and I was going to be hard to get to the start in time. I found a good thermal 3 km behind the start gate and when I flew back to start, I was 5 km behind the others and had a height deficit. Not good, when everybody takes the first start.
Initially, I raced hard and started catching up with pilots. After 40 km, I raced for a field which had 5 dusties, sacrificing a lot of height, but the resulting thermal by far wasn't as spectacular as expected and I had to take the relatively slow climb now. No chance of catching up with the leaders anymore.
It was good flying, but I had to make all the decisions. A bunch of pilots followed me, but they never went out into the blue. So, I took the risks and got low and slow on 2 more occasions. 15 km from goal, the day faded and I had to be extremely patient in a thermal that drifted more than it went up to avoid an outlanding.
Anyway, I made sure I could get to goal and enjoyed the evening colors:
As expected, lots of people were already in goal, as gaggle flying does pay off on those blue days. It took me 5,5 hours and the leaders were an hour faster than I was.
Biggest triangle flown by a Belgian :-)
I enjoyed flying it a lot.