European Championships – Day 1 and 2

Despite the bad forecast we woke up to blue skies and no wind in the morning. We went to a south-facing takeoff just outside the city. The takeoff is quite low and it was marginal conditions in the beggining. We got a 87 km task, to the north-east via 2 TP and back south-west to goal. The forecast was for 20km winds all the way to cloudbase.

I got off together with Olav and Arnt, we slowly got up ridgde soaring and catching some weak broken thermals. The startgate was 25km around the first TP, and I got to cloundbase drifting into the gate. We took off about 45 minutes before the first start time, and I had to fly back out 3-4 km to take the start time. It was bad timing, and I got low taking the start while the rest of the gaggle was in cloudbase. I almost landed next to a highway after gliding for about 10km, but got up over a few other low gliders. From there I met up with Olav and Arnt before the first TP and we glided in OK conditions under a mostly overcast sky, but nice tailwind towards the second TP. I was leading the gaggle on one glide, and pressed east to get over sunny areas to the right of the courseline. The clouds were good even further east, but it seemed like a very long detour to get to the second TP. A stopped in some lift to wait and see what the rest of the gaggle did, and saw some pilots going up in the blue ahead, so I went back on track towards those pilots.

Nils Åge and Johnny was a few km ahead of us, and Nils Åge reported headwind and difficult conditions going to the second TP. He landed soon after, and reported very strong winds on the ground. The area was blue under cirrus cover, and we glided into what became a very strong headwind, making the termals blow apart. Olav and I landed on the same field close to Nils Åge an Johnny. Arnt was behind us and got the message to go slowly and take all lift. He landed almost at the TP.

Manfred was the only pilot to make goal, and only a few made it around the second TP. I saw from the track that he had taken the detour east that I was concidering, at least I had been thinking about it. :-)

All in all an OK start on the comp for the team, there’s only a few points separating the first 80 pilots. Almost everyone landed in the same area before the second TP.

Later we learned a Croatian pilot crashed on landing, and died. Arnt saw the crash while he was flying. Two of the Swedish pilots was there and gave the crashed pilot CPR, but he did not make it. Another Dutch pilot was hurt in his back, he will be OK.

Today was cancelled because of the accident, and the weather is not flyable anyway.

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