Saturday, November 24, 2012

tricky day turns out nice

We ended up with a 3h AAT task. I decided not to fly this task but explore the area instead. Locals already mentioned that north of here is absolutely unlandable. "They won't even find your bones there" - was exactly what was said. I went NW about 60km out and think that not only N but also that direction is tricky. We will see what the day brings tomorrow. It's Ziggy's turn. There is few more people around here planning not to fly the set tasks but aim for their own goals. Geoff Vincent also has a 750km planned and from what he just told me his route is similar to mine. We're hoping the day will come ... In the meantime though, here are some pictures from today:

Messerschmit got damaged last night

north of Waikerie

scary areas till the eye can see

west of the river ... not much better

first day in Waikerie

So, we are here in the world famous Waikerie. We had a nice drive yesterday and made it here in just 6 hours. It is hot. It is really hot and it's gonna get worse.

dry South Australia

Jack's state of the art trailer

People got overexcited with weather predictions yesterday. Since you can fly your own declared task in this competition and still be scored I decided to warm up with a 400 km triangle speed record attempt. I prepared 3 versions of the task and we got up and ready early in the morning to prepare everything. 

it it really gonna be that good?

nice cool beer and a big bottle of water for rehydration after a long day

The predictions were talking 12000 ft day with a change coming through late on Sunday. This morning is bit disappointing though. Hot as hell, patches of thick cirrus over the whole area and change expected at 3pm today. If we get lucky we might get 6000ft somewhere to the east. We'll be having one more briefing in 20 minutes. I decided to fly the set task today with all the others. Next week can be better. I've got a beautiful 3TP 750km task prepared and it would be a shame not to even try it.

10 minutes ago

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Waikerie 38 years later

Here we go again. The "dream team" is almost ready to hit the road to Waikerie in South Australia. We are going for our first competition of the season. This is going to be the first time we'll be visiting Waikerie, the place that hosted the 14th World Gliding Championships back in 1974!
Ziggy has some very valuable collectors items from that event and I couldn't stop myself from scanning just a fracture and posting it here. Back then, in times with no internet, everything was in form of hard copies that lasted until today.
The first one is a booklet containing all the information we nowadays find on the competition website (time schedules, competition rules, some ad's etc.) The most exciting part is the introduction of all the teams with pictures and some short notes. I scanned the Polish and Australian teams. Sure enough most of the competitors from back then are still doing well and flying comps!

Polish Team

Australian Team

Also found in the booklet the hot-shot car those days:

There was another very exciting event happening during the 14th Worlds: Glider Mail. One of the Polish pilots Franciszek Kepka carried a box with 442 specially designed letter envelopes in his SZD-41 Jantar Standard (rego: SP-2685) on a 455 km racing task. Below is the original description of this action and the envelope No. 229 that has flown with Franciszek on January 19th 1974. Now, how cool is that?

The Polish team also brought cards introducing the whole team:

I'm not sure (and neither is Ziggy) if the next scan was also connected to the championships or not. It looks like it may have been brought over as well. It is an information brochure about the SZD-30 Pirat glider. Reading it now makes you laugh but, man, was that serious back then. There are still very many Pirats flying in Polish aero clubs. In fact my first single seater glider was a Pirat as well!

The Orange Week is a very relaxed warm-up competition. You are even allowed to declare your own task but the decision has to made and announced on the previous day. Giving that I thought of trying for some more records if the weather is good enough. I haven't done any for quite a while. The area is very hot and known for great conditions. Let's hope we can see some of those next week. There are official observers on site which makes the whole thing much easier. We are taking the 55 and will be sharing it (also possible in this comp).
After the Orange Week finishes we will go to Gawler to get me familiar with Graham's ASG29E, the glider I will fly in Benalla in January.