Worlds 2013, day 5, task 4

Olav Opsanger did a great flight, starting late and getting the fastest time of all pilots in the 200km dogleg task. Olav Lien Olsen also had a very good time, Johnny, Nils, Tormod and I did not make goal. It’s not been the best worlds for the Norwegian team so far with regards to the results.

I started developing cramps in my shoulder during the first part of the task, and could not stretch or find a position that gave relief, approaching the TP i met up with Nils Aage and we found a rough and strong thermal that needed some active flying to stay in it, during this the cramps came back and would not give up no matter what I did. I tried to fly to take the TP and get high again to get some more time to try to stretch, but had to give in when it started feeling like inserting a knive under my shoulderblade. I landed at the TP, and Lars Olav came there to pick me up 5 minutes after landing. Dinner at Cowra where the team met up on the drive home.

Had my share of bad days in this comp now…

All gliders set up and ready
All gliders set up and ready

 

The milky way seen from Forbes
The milky way seen from Forbes

 

Worlds 2013, day 4, task 3

Yesterdays task turned out to be a good day of flying, blue thermals and not much wind made it a good task. We all got away and flew around the startgate waiting for the time to pass until first start. I was on the edge of the start circle with around 30 other glider at the first start gate at 14:40, I wanted to wait until the 15:00 startgate, but it looked like the whole gaggle I was with took the first gate so I went with them.

It was slow going at first, but conditions turned on near the first TP after around 50 km. The lead gaggle from the next startgate caught up with us just before the second TP, but I made a mistake loosing the TP thermal and lost the gaggle there. I got low on final glide and had to spend a long time getting up in weak lift before Icould glide in to goal. Olav Lien Olsen, Johnny, Nils Aage and me made goal. Tormod landed near the first TP. Olav Opanger had instrument problems, landed and relaunched, and the instrument failed again before the first TP. Looks like it was defective batteries, even though they were brand new Lithium AA’s. Massive stroke of bad luck for him, and not good for the team scores.

Todays task is a bit longer, 200km dogleg into the eastern hills. Conditions similar to yesterday, but with more winds from the NW.

Worlds 2013, day 3, task 2

Day 2 was cancelled due to strong winds. Day 3 gave us flyable conditions, but strong winds, blue and weak conditions, lift to 1600m (13-1400 above ground) and a 163km task made it a difficult day. Olav Opsanger was the only one from our team to make goal, while the rest was spread out along the courseline. I took a quite bad start misreading the start time on my instrument and had to go back against the strong winds and thermal up again, I feel that I am still too rusty after no “real” competition flying for 2 years, but at least it felt like my flying was a little improved since the first task. Body is hurting in many places though :-)

I could see the main gaggle ahead, but catching up is very hard as the gaggle is usually fastest in blue and low conditions. Tormod joined up with me and few other pilots and our small gaggle worked a few weak thermals until we spread out for another long glide. I hit the next thermal core and lost the rest of the pilots behind, now flying alone over terrain becoming more and more shaded under thick cirrus.

I spottet a few more gliders ahead of me but could not get the thermals they had, and had to turn upwind again to avoid drifting into very remote countryside with no roads or farms nearby. I landed near a farmhouse, and was well received by the owners who invited me and the french girl who landed next paddoc for tea and cookies. They had pilots landing there many times in the past years, and sailplanes from the nearby Narromine gliderport.

Olav Lien had landed in an area without phone coverage that was very hard to find, but in the end the local farmers helped our retreive driver to get through the fields and gates to get to him.

My outlanding field, task 2.
My outlanding field, task 2.
Cirrus covered sky
Cirrus covered sky

 

Today we have a better forecast with less winds and a triangle task back to Forbes airport again.

Worlds 2013, official practice day

Yesterday we had another warm day, and after taking the glider out for a short test-flight after some sprog adjustments we went to the opening ceremony with parades and speeches, and a nice BBQ at the Forbes Rugby club. It was over 40 degreees even after the sun went down.

Hanggliding Team Norway 2013
Hanggliding Team Norway 2013

Our team from back left, Tormod Helgesen, Johnny Nilssen, Olav Lien Olsen, Nils Aage Henden, Lars Olav Lund (Driver)
Front, Øyvind Ellefsen, and Olav Opsanger

Tove is expat norwegian, flying for Australia in this worlds.
Tove is expat norwegian, flying for Australia in this worlds.

Today was the offical practice day, with full task setting and scoring. We got a short task of around 140km, with first start gate at 14:00. We towed up into very good conditions, and after a few weak thermals in the start gate I found a boomer that took me to 2900 meters just in time for the second start time. From there it was a few long glides with good thermals inbetween, but the stong conditions also meant rough air, and it was physically hard flying today. I wanted to save some strength for tomorrow, so I cut the task around 30 km short, and made a final glide to goal in headwind and strong sink. It was nice and cool up high, getting low again was like opening the door to  an oven, the towpaddoc saw 47 degrees today, it’s been a long time since I drank so much water in a day.

Tomorrow it’s for real, the first task in the Worlds 2013.

Practice days 1 and 2 in Forbes

I’m back in Forbes with blue skies, thermals are booming, and all is well. I met up with the rest of the Norwegian team who had spent a few days flying at Gulgong, they had good conditions and nice flying there, and now it’s time to get up in Forbes and be well prepared for the Worlds that start on Monday.

It’s stinking hot in the tow paddoc at the airport with 38 degrees today, and predicted 40 degrees tomorrow. Yesterday was quite windy and gusty, with dustdevils working their way through the gliders in the setup line. We waited to set up until most pilots had towed up, and was rewarded with an afternoon flight in windy but OK conditions.

Today we set a task out and return to Peak Hill, about 150km,  and in hindsight  we should have set a start time to get a small gaggle going into the blue conditions, instead of getting spread out from the start.

I was some km behind Olav Lien from the start and had a few good thermals until I pushed a little too hard hard upwind and started getting low in sink. I found some weak thermals and got up to around 1000 meters, but lost a nice 3 m/s core and could not find it again – searching through the 6 m/s sink soon had me looking for a landing again. I decked it around 35km from the TP at Peak hill, so it was a short flight for me today. Olav Lien seems to have done the whole task as I write this he’s still flying, while Olav Opsanger and Nils Aage landed on the way back between Peak Hill and Forbes. Johnny and Tormod flew locally at Forbes.

It's summer here...
My landing site, somwhere west of Parkes. It’s summer here…

Last day at Keepit

We got another good day, set the same task as before around 550km triangle. I am still a little to slow to make the whole task until sunset, but nearly made 500km this time. Have to start gliding at 100kt instead of 80 :-)

Packing up and heading to Sydney to meet my wife and celebrate newyear now.

Nice storm at Mt. Kaputar
Nice storm at Mt. Kaputar
Sunset
Sunset
Nearly 500km, 5:30 hours in the air
Nearly 500km, 5:30 hours in the air
80 km final glide, looks like I'll make it home
80 km final glide, looks like I’ll make it home
On final glide
On final glide
On final glide
On final glide
On final glide
On final glide

Lake Keepit, some flying

It turned out to very windy again in Forbes, so I packed up and drove the 5 hour trip up to Lake Keepit, where I had booked a sailplane for the rest of the week.

Christmas day at Lake Keepit was stormy, so we had a very nice Christmas lunch at the clubhouse, with turkey, ham, and seafood for 12 people. Very nice food and a relaxing day. The storms were quite spectacular at night, and we lost power for a few hours.

Christmas lunch
Christmas lunch at the Lake keepit clubhouse

 

After lunch I noticed this fella skulking around outside, probably looking for a lunch for himself;

Lizard looking for lunch
Lizard looking for lunch

 

The day after was forcasted quite slow and gray, with some storms in the afternoon, so we took the day off flying. Yesterday we got some OK conditions, with cu’s forming from around 11:30 and light winds. I did my checkflights in the Grob in the morning, and took the LS7 out for a flight after lunch.

Conditions improved during the day, with cloudbase increasing from 6′ to 8′ feet and thermals getting better, but it seemed like the day shut down early. I did around 300 km triangle’ish task, but could probably have stretched it a bit more.

Today is forecasted bleak, and looking outside it does not look too promising, we sit just under a through line, and between shading and predicted storms it looks like a day for going to town for coffee and some shopping. Forecast for tomorrow looks better, maybe a 500km day.

 

Under the trough line
Under the trough line
Under the through line
Under the through line

Windy days in Forbes

Two days ago we got a fairly good day with clouds and 15 kt northerly winds mixed with plenty of dustdevils. I towed up in some rough air, and my weaklink broke at around 250 meters in a strong thermal. I started climbing in the thermal, but had to avoid drifting too far downwind across the runway. I struggled staying upwind for around 20 minutes but had to come down out of the lift in the end. By the time I landed the wind had picked up a bit too much to go alone on the dolly with no groundcrew, so I parked glider in the hangar and had a nice aftenoon at the Forbes pool.

Weaklink break;

Yesterday we had a god looking sky early in the day;

Forbes sky
Forbes sky

But it was quite windy with strong thermals mixed in with the gusts, it would not be possible to keep the glider on the dolley. In addition we had storms building around us, so after some hanging around at the airport we decided to try some evening tows if the storms had passed by then. It was still raining in town at night, so no flying yesterday.

Storm building
Storm building

Today looks too windy again so far, but the RASP forecast predicts less winds in the afternoon and less potential for storms.

 

 

Good times in Forbes

Had a nice flight today, starting to get the gear sorted out and getting back into the routine of flying. Some more pilots showed up to tow around noon, I was first off the ground and straight into a 3 m/s thermal. Some of the other pilots were struggling a little in the beginning, but I think they all got away in the end. I  had a knot in the harness zipper line and could not close it enough to relax my legs. It’s good to sort out stuff linke this before the comp :-)

Some pictures;

 

The thermal after tow, vario goes high and silent for a while :-)

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