European Championships – Day 5 and 6

Yesterday we got a 133km task with 4 TP, taking us north and back to the goal here at the camping. I got low into the start circle, and flew out to take the second start at 15:00 after thermalling up to 2500 meters. From there it was very good and fast to the first TP, where conditions were very difficult. We had to cross over some plains that were totally in the blue, Johnny and Nils Åge landed there, and many pilots were struggling low. Olav did a nice move and went past the TP under some good clouds that were working, and got so high he could go 90 degrees off the track to the TP and back without needing more lift.

I got over without getting too low, but spent way to much time staying safe. After getting back south under clouds again I catched up with Arnt, and we stayed high between 2500 and 3100 meters until the last TP.

I had 2300 and went on the 20 km final glide, from 12 to 8 km out I flew under a cloud that lifted with 2-3 m/s even gliding at 90-100 km/h. I crossed goal at 1200 meters, it seems I often get more lift than I need going to goal. Olav got to goal with 40 minutes better time, Arnt came in 25 minutes after me. It was a very good day, and I was tired after almost 5 hours flying.

Today we were warned about thunderclouds over the mountains. That must have been the meteo guys dream. We had a shitty and dead stable day, with no clouds and crappy lift. The task was delayed, and then shortened as the conditions did not improve. We all took off about 45 minutes before the first start gate at 15:30, and struggeled around over takeoff between 900 and 1200 meters. I finally got to 1400 and took the second start time, gliding along the ridge with all the other pilots. It was just too stable, and I could not get high enough to take the first TP, that was 11 km from takeoff.

I slowly drifted back towards the start while struggling to stay in the air, and finally landed in a nice field next to the river. About 20 other pilots, including Olav and Arnt landed in the same field. I took a swim in the river, very refreshing in the 35 degrees heat.

Johnny landed next to the first TP, while Nils Åge made it back over Millau and landed halfway to the second TP. 15 pilots made goal, that seems like black magic on a day like this. Many of the top pilots landed between 10 and 20 km.

Forecast for tomorrow was clouds and rain, hope so – it will clear the air and give good conditions again.