Another great day for racing hanggliders, with strong thermals and high cloudbase. I was up early to do a quick spin training session with Bobby in the Dragonfly, and it was very windy in the morning. I was suprised that we got a triangle task, but the forecasted winds were spot on and we got a great day with around 20km/h headwind on the long leg of the triangle.
We got up to over 3000 meters, Erland reported 3700m, and I was very glad I had put on some extra clothes today.
I took the first start with a small group of pilots, and we stuck together for most of the day and to goal. I was quite fast today, but really missed my RX (or some ballast for the RS) on the long headwind glides where I lost out to the guys with heavier wingloading. Blinky was first in and probably win the day, while I was 5. or 6. into goal.
All of us but Thomas made goal, now it’s dinner and prizegiving night.
Results will be up at http://www.forbesflatlands.com/results.html sometime later tonight. It was not the best results for the team, but we got some very good flights and set new records!
We were home at 03:00 after day 6, so I’ve not had time to write up any details here so far. I’ll summarize the long 370km flight in a separate post sometime soon.
Quickly on day 7 – Classic Forbes racing conditions, but very cold. I launched first as I “won” the alternate launch lottery, and had to waint for 1:30 in the sky for the first startgate. I was shaking of cold after 45 minutes, and decided to loose som altitude to get down to 1500m where it was a bit warmer. I lost a lot more than that trying to get back up, and very nearly landed at the edge of the start-cylinder. I found a rowdy thermal getting me back up from the trees to cloudbase. I wished I was warm – Careful what you wish for…
From the start it was an OK run for me, Olav Lien Olsen and me caught up the leaders at the first TP, and there we split up, I went a bit right where most pilots went and Olav did the right ting and headed left to the better clouds. He did a great flight from there and came in just seconds behind Gerolf, and might win the day.
I took it a bit slower as I really did not want another drama landing short, and came in very high over goal around 15. place just before Opanger and Johnny Durant crossed the line.
As we were setting up at the “Bill Moyes International Airport”, we saw a area of overcast and rain moving towards us creating shade just as the first pilots were towing up.
I was way back in line to tow at 21. position in the green line, and it took a very long time to get all pilots airborne today. The bad clouds were over us by the time I could start. I got towed into rain, and it became quite heavy as as I was thermalling up in weak lift, I got soaked and the weak lift turned into heavy sink, so I had to run downwind and find another very weak thermal to try to stay airborne while the glider dried up a little.
I eventually got to 1200 meters drifting in a weak thermal, but got some very bad lines after both the next low saves and lost a lot of time. Around halfway to goal I had to cross over a shaded area with no indications of good lift anywhere, and no other gliders were visible ahead of me. It did not work and I had to land 86km from goal.
It was one of those days when the timing with lift and couds just never linked up for me. In retrospect I should have waited at the last cloudbase for some more pilots to join or just to drift a little more before crossing the shade, as the rest of the courseline had lots of sun and good clouds all the way to goal.
Olav Opsanger made goal with a very good time, Olav Lien, Erland and Thomas also landed out, as did many others, it was a difficult day with high winds and broken rough lift.
Forecast for tomorrow is less winds and better lift, hope it turns out true.