Dalby 2010, day 5 and 6

I forgot to write-up about yesterday, sorry Trent! :-)

Day 5 saw a good day with not much shade from the morning, and what seemed like good lift. We got a 130 ‘ish km task, with a TP in the middle just for fun. I was one of the last to tow, and teamed up with a small gaggle taking a good start in cloudbase. We flew fast and dropped off most of the pilots from the gaggle, ending up with me, Dave May and Trent Brown flying together for most of the course. It was going OK with some slow parts over partly shaded areas. On the penultimate glide I had Trent ahead of me, and Dave behind and a little to the right. Trent god a good line and I followed him, but I got shit air and lost 2000 feet extremely fast ending up low and in the shade while Dave found something to my right that I could not reach. I had to land 27 km out from goal.

Today the conditions looked even better, but it was far between the good clouds. The task was a slight dogleg of 176 km. I got up in the middle of the towing line, but got a slow thermal and made the startgate 5 minutes too late and lower than the gaggle who just had left. I and one more glider spent the next 15-20 minutes just on the edge of the start circle, getting nowhere, slowly drifting away and not getting up. We were too low to go back to take a better time, and finally just had to go downwind and look for better air. We found some crap lift 10 km down the course, and a third glider came under us. We could not get high, and kept on going on small glides looking around for better air.

The course takes us over a big forest that have few good landings, and on the edge of that forest we needed to get high to cross it. We split up, and I went in over the forest for some good-looking clouds. I found nothing until I was down at treetop height, next to a small and shitty paddock between the trees, when the thermal I had found died after two turns I had to land there as there were no more options.

Xavier picked me up quickly, and we drove to goal to get Conrad. Tim landed just 4-5 km from goal, but in the middle of a big paddock 1,6 km from the road. It was getting dark as we drove into the rough paddock, where it was a big risk of driving into small waterholes and get stuck. We found Tim after about 2 km offroading and got back out without getting stuck in the dark, hanggliding is always an adventure.

I have no good idea why I am flying so bad in this competition, I just seem to miss the good lift and stay out of sync with the conditions every day. The conditions are not that difficult, and I have plenty of flatland flying experience, I’m in good flying shape, I climb and glide better than most here, but it does not seem to help much when I land short every day. Normally I can tell when I made a bad decision, and learn what I did wrong, but these days I can not see what I do wrong.

One more day and it’s all over, I hope I can at least get to goal tomorrow…