Forbes, NSW, Australia
Two days ago we got a 135 km task to the SW. It was blue and quite good conditions, but inversion at 1800 meters. After a late tow all tree of us flew together almost all the way, Gordon went ahead after the first TP, and got stuck low around 25 km before goal. Andreas went a little off track to catch a thermal off a dustdevil 16 km before goal, and got a good one that took him high enough to get to goal. I found a weak 0.5 m/s 18 km out, and was joined by two other pilots that came in over me. The thermal took me to 1750 meters, and the three of us glided in headwind all the way in without finding anything, and I landed 100 meters before the goal line, the two others had 20 meters more height, and made it. I lost 250 points on those 20 meters, but still got 20. place that day, would have been 8. if I got over the line. It was over 5 hours flying to make that distance, Gordon got stuck low, and landed out 5 km before goal.
Yesterday I was hit by a gust right before lifting off the trolley, and broke the weaklink and a upright. I was back in the line as last tow out of the paddock. I was really tired and demotivated and really just wanted to land. A layer of cirrus moved in while we were setting up, and only the first gaggle got off before it shaded the area. I flew under it in weak conditions for most of the fligth, got up to 2800 meters over the TP, but after that I never got over 1800. 20 km before goal I was down to 100 meters over the gound, and preparing to land, but got up again and crossed the goal line quite high at 130 km/h. Gordon and Andreas had made goal earlier with good time, about 58 pilots in goal. The task was short, only 118 km.
On the way back out Ford Falcon started to vibrate followed by a bang from the engine, and a even stronger vibration. It still worked all the way back to Forbes. Now it’s in the Ford dealer for diagnosis, they hope to have it fixed today. I’m stuck here waiting for it, and then I’m off to Sydney. Gordon drives a car for one of the tug pilots back to Sydney so that he could reach the plane back to the UK tomorrow. Andreas is leaving for the Bogong cup with Alberto and Johnny Jr.