As we drove out on day 8 we could see some clouds building high on the horizon, while we were setting up it became clear we would have overdevelopment in the area. The organization did try to set a course that would keep us out of trouble, but after having three different task briefings and people were getting ready to start, the start window remained closed and the day was cancelled. It rained hard as we drove back to Brasilia so it turned out to be a wise decision.
Today was planned as rest day, and we take it easy. The weather is overcast and rain so the timing was good. The bad new is the weather forecast that predicts shitty weather for the next week. I do not believe it will be that bad, the official meteo info we get in the comp seems worthless regarding clouds and thermals. The wind direction and strength have been OK, but that is the easiest forecast. My wrists and back need some rest after having flown 2 long days with a right turn in the glider. I did some tuning to have more high-siding in the glider and this made the glider spiral right. Most gaggles have gone left so I had to lowside and work hard to stay inside the thermals and avoid traffic. I have adjusted the right glass tip, so it should be straight again now.
All in all I feel the organization of the Worlds in Spain was a level better than here. The good things is that it is more room to set up here, and more launch lanes so it easy to take off when you want. Everyone takes off as soon as the window opens anyway, and the conditions have been better than in Algodonales with fewer death gaggles and no low inversion. The scoring is also efficient, with provisional results ready at 21:00 every night.
You may have noticed that I have not written about Jon Gjerdes results. He was refused to fly in the worlds because he did not qualify within 60 days before the world. This is a CIVL rule we did not know about, we applied for an exception since he had travelled all the way and was technically qualified, but it was refused. He then wanted to fly with us anyway to learn and train, but after the first day he was refused to even fly the course, and to quote the CIVL stewards could “under no circumstances land in goal”. It was also pointed out that the team would be penalized if he did break the rules. This of course no fun at all and Jon decided to go home. During the comp there have been many Brazilian non-competitor pilots flying the task, and landing in goal. This is not acceptable for us, and we will protest. It is clear that we are being treated unequal.
I think the last two flight have been the best and most rewarding flying I have ever done. The 155km day I flew fast and stayed with the top pilots all the way, I even beat Manfred the last half of the course as he passed me in a thermal before the second TP but I beat him to goal. (He had a later start time so he did have a better time anyway :-)) 27. place that day was really nice as I have had a hard time the first days of the comp. Getting to goal after a 192km task was also very satisfying, I lost the gaggle early and did much of the task flying on my own, or with a few other pilots. The level of the pilots here is incredibly high, I did not climb much on the total score even after two really good days.
It was good clouds early in the morning when we drove out to take off, the weater forecast said it might OD and the local pilots thought so as well. We got a long 192km task, with a long headwind leg in triangle back t to the startpoint and to goal. I took off quite late and lot the lead gaggle just after the start gate. 1 minute on the lead gaggle is almost impossible to take back as long as you follow the gaggle. I got low after the 3 TP, together with Steve Moyes I got back up from very low over a sunny hilltop. One other pilot passed over our heads and landed at the end of the field where we got up. The last leg to goal I flew alone when I lost Steve after I stopped under a cloud to pee, too much water before takeoff. I got to goal after flying for over 5 hours, my speed section time was 4:15. 51 pilots in goal after close to 200 km is quite impressive. The clouds were good all day, and no OD to be seen, although it was quite overcast in the end of the day.
Nils Åge landed just after takeoff, Johnny 20 km from the 3. TP and Olav somwhere between the 3. and 4. TP. Manfred won the day again, and increases his lead in the comp. Tom Weissenberger tumbled and came down under parachute into some trees, he was OK but need a new glider. Too bad as he was doing well in the comp.
Today was a good day for me, we got a 155 km task, into the flats instead of down the ridge. The conditions were predicted to be blue, with moderate thermals. It turned out to be a classic good day, with cloudbase at 3100 meters, and strong lift. I stuck with the gaggle and took the first start time at 13:20. After the first TP we all got high, and I stayed high from there on. Conditions around the second and third TP was really good, I only stopped once to turn a few times in a thermal from the second TP to goal. The final glide was 44 km under a good cloudstreet. There was only 5 gliders on the ground when I passed the goal line, and about 10 gliders landing. I had lots of sink the last bit over the lakes before the city, so I did not have much spare altitude.
Nils Åge got stuck and came in almost one hour after me, Olav landed 10km out, and I do not know where Johnny landed as he was not on the radio all day.
The last two days have been difficult for us, none of us have made goal. The conditions are tricky, with low cloudbase and high winds. If you loose the gaggle you are on the ground in no time. Yesterday Olav came closest with 18 km left to goal, today Nils Åge flew around 100 km of the 156 km task. I misunderstood the task and thought the second TP was somwhere else, I had to turn back into the wind to get it, and landed soon after. Max height I got today was 2200 meters( 1000 meters above the ground)
Cloudbase was low this morning, it was windy and overcast. It gradually improved as we set up, but the wind stayed strong. We got a 122km, 8 TP task. 40 km start circle, then upwind and cross, before a new upwind leg, and downwind again to the last TP before a crosswind final glide to goal. I took the first start, and had a good flight until the last 10 km to the second TP. I got really bad air in the strong headwind, and arrived under the gaggle at the TP. I could not get up and landed, Robin Hamilton was 50 meters above me and got up. 10 minutes later as Olav passed the clouds were working and everyone got high.
Jon landed near the first TP, Nils Åge 10 before the second TP, and Jonny close to me. Olav made goal.
Results at http://www.brasilia2003.com
Today was better than yesterday, we got stronger conditions and some clouds. Cloudbase was at over 3500 meters, so we got some clearance to the groud. The task was a 108km task, with a triangle in the middle. I got low after taking the start gate, and spent some time getting back up. The thermal improved to 4m/s as the gaggle passed me, I stayed as the lift was so strong, and I could look down on the gaggle gliding. I topped out with a few ther gliders at 3200, and went on a fast glide, but the gaggle was already high again when I catched up. The triangle was quick going, but the last lift before the final glide was slow and I lost more time there. Olav was first in goal, before Nils Åge, Johnny, Jon and me.
Robert Reisinger won yesterdays task, I do not have the results for today. I was on a shared 94. place after getting only miminum distace :-) Today’s place wil be well below 50 as there was over a hundred gliders in goal.
We got a 92 km task today, the conditions were blue and we got up to 20km/h headwind for the first time here. The take off went fine, but it was crowded and turbulent in the inverted conditions. There was reports of at least one minor mid-air, both pilotes involved flew on. I got up above takeoff, and flew over the ravine with about 50 others. After beein bounced around there not getting up we finally found som broken and very turbulent air. I was near the top of the gaggle with Johnny and Jon, and searched out in front where I saw a surge, but fell through and ended up in the bottom of the gaggle. I had to fly out back on the ridge, found no lift and ended up searching out in the flats where I was setting up to land when I found some lift. The thermal was broken and part of the circle was between two trees as I tried to get up, after spending about 5 minutes between 30 and 50 meters circling between the trees it finally improved and I got back up to 1800 meters. About 10 other gliders landed in the ares, three of us got up and away. It was getting late, and I could not get any good lift after that. Alone it was pretty difficult with blue broken thermals, and headwind. I landed close to Olav after only 10 km. Jon, Johnny and Nils Åge got furhter, but none of us made goal. About 25 pilots made it in.
Not a good start on the comp, but theres plenty of more days to come. Today was difficult, lots of good pilots did not make it to goal.