Saturday, January 7, 2012

morning of day 5

Sky looks more and more white in the morning of day 5. It looks like we will have a well deserved rest day today. Tomorrow doesn't look much better either but next week will be good again.
We have to think of an alternate program for the weekend ...

Here are some more pics from yesterday:

gaggles in the blue

Competition Director early in the morning

Peter's rego

Mak's car battery went flat yesterday and the car stayed at the tie downs. We drove down there in the evening to try to jump start it (which didn't work) and met this cute little guy:

my friend - the Fox

I pissed him off with the camera

and he took off in the sunset

dust devil or grass devil past 6 pm yesterday

sunset Zig

Friday, January 6, 2012

End of day 4

Another day is over, we both managed and are having dinner at the moment. It was as predicted a blue day again. Thermal heights were rather low and not too strong. It was way better than yesterday though cause we didn't have to fight against strong winds. The task was a racing task and people tend to move along in gaggles which was sometimes annoying. We all know how a gaggle sometimes flies exactly around a narrow thermal core and there is no way to make people bank steeper. The only solution is then to leave such a gaggle ...

Ziggy and Craig contemplating before launch 

"I'm jumping in now!"

Marta in the glider on the grid

We already know that one of the weekend days will be the official rest day. Weather depending it might be tomorrow. We can already see the cirrus. It started approaching while we were half way down our today's task (around 30 km inbound Tocumwal A/F). Luckily not like yesterday it didn't shut the thermals down, just weakened them a bit. We managed to get in and out the cirrus without getting in trouble and made it back to the sunny area. From there on it was a nice run back home.

I am in the task setting tomorrow morning.

Today's results:

OK, now it's time to enjoy a glass of white with a nice dinner. Cheers!

Day 4 - another day in the blue

Just a short entry while waiting for the morning briefing of day 4. The forecast is blue as it can be again. We have a pretty strong southerly breeze from early morning today and it makes me bit worried. We don't know today's task yet but birds are singing it's supposed to be a racing task, which is good I think. We shall see ...

Gliders are ready and so are we.

crowded tie downs in the morning

Weather forecasts don't look too promising for the weekend so we might have a well deserved rest day Sat or Sun.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Day 3 - blue day

Today was another low and tricky blue day. Well, it wasn't quite blue - the cirrus clouds were white and very successful in shutting down the thermals. But we managed, which you can easily see on our happy faces.

happy Zig

happy me

We were just joking with Tim and Joy that D1 is a very good horse and always brings you back home. She tends to land out once a season and it has already happened to Tim some time ago. He landed in Tocumwal. We are not quite sure if an airfield counts as a real outlanding but we will see by the end of this comp. As of today I'm more than happy with D1 who knows the local thermals very well and I don't have to do much ;-)

D1 ready for her night rest

We had an 2 hrs 30 AAT task to the north and most of us flew around 200 km. Speeds were not all that great but I think everyone was relieved to be back home. European weather in Australia.

D1 in front of her home

very smart solution

it's a no brainer to store all the gliders in their spots

good night D1, see you in the morning

Tomorrow will be another blue day but hopefully better and higher than today. It's really challenging and exhausting to fly in such a conditions every day but we will survive.

We had some outlandings today as well and here are the daily scores:

And the total after 3 days:

Time to finish up the after flight beer and get some rest! Good night!

Day 1 & 2

First two competition days were very hot and the flying was challenging. We had perfect weather the first day and the task turned out too short for some. I know that I still have to work on speeding up on very good days. Yesterday (day 2) was the exact opposite. Southerly winds brought the see breeze in and shut everything down. It started blueing out during launching and it just got worse and worse during the day. It was good for me to have some practice from Sweden. This was a good Swedish day. I struggled long and low almost flying backwards at some point but eventually managed to complete the short task and that was the thing to do. The way back home was against 20 kts winds and 3000 ft was already comfortably high. A big thanks to Dave Shorter in his JS1 who was my companion on the way back and found the last thermal that gave us final glide. Ziggy was less fortunate and ended up landing in Yarrawonga. He got an aero retrieve back and was home shortly after I arrived. 

morning routine

lucky ones who made it back yesterday

D1 brought me home again

waiting for Ziggy

We are now waiting for today's briefing. Weather looks similar to yesterday with pretty strong southerly winds. It's gonna be a challenge again.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Practice day

We had an extremely hot day today and it felt good to be up there. Although the period just prior to launch was horrible. There was just no way to escape the heat.

very hot

We had the opening ceremony and the initial briefing this morning. Nothing about washing hands though ... strange.


evening outfit

dinner guests

We had an AAT task to start with - same for all classes. Ziggy completed it and I just explored the area. It looks so much better than last year. Paddocks are dry, most of them already harvested. It is also good to have the oxygen fixed - I went up to 10000 ft just goofing around. Ziggy claims he reached 11000 up north.

The race starts tomorrow and we are slowly heading to get some rest. One thing is sure: the AC will be running all night long.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year from Benalla!

The last day of the old and first day of the new year turned out to be very busy. We arrived to Benalla yesterday afternoon, rigged the 55 and it was time for New Years party.

bit overdressed for airport party...

...but what the hell

live music

A good dinner, few glasses of wine or beer and a good laugh later we ended up in bed few minutes after midnight. Airport life can really make you tired.

New Year started with some work and maintenance on both gliders. Not easy in +38°C either. It was way over +40°C in a shaded hangar where we were working on the Discus.

Jarek hammering his tie downs

Zig checking out another 55's

Some people went flying today. The cloud base went up to 11000 ft. The rules here are that you are illegal going over 10000 ft without oxygen.
Tim informed me yesterday that the oxygen system in the Discus is in-op. The bottle mount took s... and he wasn't able to fix the bottle properly. We decided to fix the problem somehow and during that procedure also figured that the bottle started leaking. It turned out to be a rubber o-ring and luckily the club mechanic had a spare one to fit. So we managed to get rid of all the maintenance issues on time.

guys, are you following?

We also weighed both gliders today. Ziggy is spot on - 2 kg under his reference weight. I'm 17 kg under and will get another 0.5% handicap for that. 

ZXT on the scales

beautiful Cu's

world is turning


on tow

Ziggy setting up Altair

A very hot day forced us to seek for some cool down in the motel pool.

I wouldn't believe he will get in

 How do you know we live next to the airfield?

Zig staring at landing gliders

fun day

There is someone out here who didn't believe we will really do it. Well, here it is ... now you are truly gon-ski!

It all will get serious at some point though. Tomorrow is the official practice day and we are starting racing on Tuesday. Weather is unbelievably good and we will for sure be able to fly the whole 2 weeks. Tim will be forced to choose an official rest day for us. So different from last year ... How exciting ...