Nordics – Day 1

It was nice conditions on Saturday when we woke up and went to the airstrip, blue skies and quite windy from the west. We hung around for a while and finally set up to test the aerotowing set up. They have a very powerful and fast BMW trike here, the first tow behind it I broke the weaklink as I could not get down fast enough when the trike hit sink. The second tow was fine, just needed to pull on more VG and keep the bar in to below the chest. There’s 4 trikes here, and 28 pilots, so it’s no problem to get in the air. The Swedes have a full team, and there’s a team from Denmark as well. No Finns this year.

The first comp day looked nice, with 4-6 m/s WSW and nice clouds by the time we were set up. The task was a 72km dogleg towards Sala northwest of Köping. I aborted the first tow when I got hit by turbulence and got way out of line. I landed at the end of the strip, and had to carry the glider back down to the takeoff area. After cooling down I got up again and towed to 600 meters. I searched into the wind and found some broken lift that I worked while drifting back beyond the strip. After some searching around I found a nice core that went to cloudbase, suprisingly low at only 1000 meters. I pushed into the wind again and crossed over to the next couldstreet, where I worked broken lift for a while, but could not get back up to more then 800 meters.
All lift seemed to form on th wrong place related to the wind sun and clouds, I had trouble figuring out where to look for it. After struggling for a while I went on glide to a more promising area with big fields and a nice cloudstreet, only to end up drifting into the forests in weak lift. I went back upwind, but got way to low before I hit strong lift again, unable to get up I had to land. I came down almost vertical in strong headwind, until the wind turned 180 degrees in 1 second when I was on final. I pushed out but had no chance to save the landing. The glider just stalled and fell, basebar hit the ground and I nosed over as the strong tailwind continued to push from behind. I got the glider down on the A frame before I became a turtle. The glider was whole, nothing broken or bent, except holes on the knees on my jeans.

I landed 15 km out, Nils Åge also got into trouble and landed 30 km out. 8 pilots made goal, Johan Dalquist got the best time. It was definetively not the day to race, with such low cloudbase and stong winds. All the pilots I’ve talked to expirienced broken and weak lift, I was tricked by the good looking sky. You always learn something new when flying competitons.

Today was forecasted to be shitty with wind and rain – they got it spot on. Canned today, tomorrow is forecasted fine again.