Tuesday, August 27, 2013

British Nationals - Tasks 3 to 6

It's been a while, but since this is a kind of a flying diary as well, I'm writing down what happened in the second part of the British nationals.

Task 3 was flown in quite difficult conditions. I lost a lot of time early in the task, but caught up with quite a few again and wasn't unhappy with the day's result. Dan Vynhalik had taken the last start gate and raced the whole task, showing the rest of us what was possible that day. He won the day with a considerable lead.

Task 4 started with an ominous sky on launch. We even had some drops of rain there, but the day cleared up enough to allow us to fly.

It was third time I had to fly the task to Calaf. The first time was in the 2010 Europeans. It was the last task of the comp and managed to land 15 km short then. The second time was the 3rd task in the Belgians the week before. I landed after only 40 km then, effectively losing the title then. So I wasn't very comfortable with the task ;-) The task started with cloud flying, but out in the valley to Calaf, things turned blue, very slow and very low. Half of the flight was less than 500 m above the ground. But, I finally made it to Calaf again... (after an earlier task in the 2010 Europeans) Gijs was also happy to be at goal (with the sea breeze convergence in the background):

A big 140 km task was set for the 5th task. But the weather was that stable that only 10 pilots made it across the ridge. I failed to do so and had to land after 50 minutes of trying. That wasn't good for the overall classification, but not too bad either, since the day was seriously devalued. I was still in 4th, only a few points ahead of Malcolm.

The last day proved to be a rather difficult day as well. Very stable, low thermal tops and blue. I had the opportunity to go for 3rd and I tried too hard. Landing out halfway through the task made me drop down to 9th overall... Andreas who had been leading the comp managed to do about the same and fell off the podium. A big congrats to Grant for winning both the Open and the British title, to Glen for yet another strong performance in still an early competitor's career and to Malcolm for yet another second place in his nationals. Come on Malcolm, better luck next time!

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