European Championships – Day 10

The weather forecast was the usual bullshit, between 20 and 30 km/h from the north west and good blue thermals. The wind have been stronger than forecasted every day, and still the organization chose to believe it. We went to the Brunas takeoff, and got a 96 km task zigzaging back and forth over Millau, and then over the platau back to Sarah’s farm goal that we had once during British leauge.

The window was opened after it was confirmed that it was not too strong winds near goal (yeah right), and first statgate was 15:40. The wind had been picking up all day, and I needed wiremen to be able to take off. I got a good 4-5 m/s climb on the rigde, and took the first start time with almost everyone else. Taking the first and second TP went quickly and quite easily. The third was out in the valley north of Millau, and I got loads of sink ending up at 1000 meters, 300 meter above the ground at the TP. I went downwind back to the ridge, but it was not soarable. I got a low save, and thermalled up back over the ridge.

TP 4 was the Brunas takeoff, where the organizers would lay out a white cross if the task was stopped. I was quite suprised that the task was still on, as the wind was now very strong. I took the TP going sideways in the wind, and took a broken thermal up to 1300 meters, 300 over the terrain. A few other gliders glided ahead of me, and I took chase hoping they would mark better lift. I arrived at the back edge of the plateu, where the last TP was down in a valley. With the strong winds there was no way I would take the chance to go over that valley. I had a few thermals coming off the edge, but they blew to pieces. I landed next to the airport as there was no point drifting past the last TP. Coming down was quite bad, I had 150 km/h groundspeed going downwind, and the mechanical and thermal turbulence was wild, but I got the glider down OK.
I was in for a really good time, If I only had been able to take the last TP, but it does not help I you do not reach goal.

Olav made goal, Arnt and Johnny in the same area as me. Nils Åge crashed and went upside down in the sail about 3 km from goal in turbulence and strong winds. He’s beaten up and got some scratches in the leg, but otherwise OK. He got some damage to the glider as well. There were some other pilots injured too, no details.

In my opinion the task should have been stopped, and quite a few of the pilots we talk to are just happy to be alive.

According to the meet director at the briefing now it is the fault of the bad pilots who do not know how to land in strong wind…