Sunday, July 24, 2016

2016 Euros, Day 5, Task 4: GPS issues again

We had a 120 km task yesterday, which took us more into the mountains (more to the North and visiting the Predistil mountain). The race started in a good position for me, but I soon found myself low after coming back from the first turnpoint. A slow low save was required and I thought the day was over. But, the second half of the task I raced hard and managed to get quite a bit closer to the leaders. There were nice climbs in a convergence zone west of Bitola, which provided a great view on the Prespa an Ochrid lakes from 3000 m.

On the second to last climb, Antoine, who had been super low at Krushevo, joined me while the climb was slowing down and I signaled to go on glide. We both left, only for Antoine to fly into a strong core 500 m later. So I was gliding out alone again... on to the last climb of the day in the middle of the valley. The gaggle now came in above me, since they had all enjoyed the core found by Antoine.

Antoine was the first to start on final glide and the entire second gaggle followed. So did I. But, after just a short while on glide, I lost GPS reception, as has happened each time I fly in the Prilep area :-( I had no numbers on my glide and no idea where exactly and how far the last turnpoint was. That was a major bummer. I flew around the other ones to ensure I made the turnpoint and immediately after taking the turnpoint, the GPS signal was recovered, so I flew into the cylinder again. Only to lose the signal again and now be in trouble because I was too low for final glide. A low and slow thermal cost me 15 minutes and around 100 points... Luckily the backup GPS and the Airtribune logging show me in the turnpoint and I was scored flying into goal.

Alex won the day and probably takes the overall lead now.

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