Thursday, January 17, 2013

Mountain flying

Well ... the same again. Blue day and for a change we were sent into the hills. I've flown in mountains before and know exactly how important and essential the local knowledge is. They always do it once during a competition here and send everyone into the hills. It's not a big issue on a Cu day but challenging for strangers in the blue. You just don't know the spots. It was very tough for me. The terrain is not really landable there and even if your computer shows a glide to a landing strip, you can't even see, it feels uncomfortable. So the tactics was to stay high and top up height whenever possible. It was already late in the day also. The task was almost 400 km and we started about 3 pm. It was almost 5 pm and I still had over 150 km to go over the mountainous terrain.

the sky

two beauties on the grid

the Emu
All in all we had a very scenic flight yesterday and I even managed to take few pictures:

My results are not that impressive but I'm not pushing too hard and just learning to fly the glider, which I fell in love with. I stayed with a group for the first part of the task and then continued on my own. Practice, practice, practice - that's what I need. But we'll get there, won't we?

total after 6 flying days:

Weather forecasts for today are very confusing and it might be really tricky.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

man it's tough

One more day is gone. Blue again, this time with a racing task. I don't think we will see a Cu in the sky till the end of this competition. It will be blue again today.

parking and the rego on Holden

Maddog team

after landing

Daily results for yesterday:

and total:

We will see what today brings ...

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

it's not easy

In my opinion yesterday was one of the hardest days of this championships. Blue, low, unreliable with southerly winds. It's complicated for me to plan any tactics and yesterday was a day to just get around. On days like these it's better to stay in groups because gaggles have better chances of survival. I can't do it throughout the whole task though. To be able to be in the front I have to leave the group or just start later and get them on task. Otherwise the handicap will kill me and I will end up on the bottom of the list anyway. I followed a group to the first area yesterday and then decided to continue to the second one on my own. I found myself struggling to find good thermals and being at 4000 ft at the most doesn't allow for many errors. If you miss one or two thermals you can end up on the ground or motoring back up. Another hard decision that just has to be made at a certain point... Towards the end I caught up with Jenny and stayed with her basically till the finish. I managed to get around but my speed was bugger all. I dropped down in the overalls but it's still not too bad - I have only 34 points to the fourth one.

Here are yesterdays results:

And total:

Ziggy was on his own and missed one climb which put him into a field about 20 km short of Benalla. He shared "his misery" with Lothar. Ziggy got a lift back to the airfield with Chad and was already there when I was landing. We hooked up the trailer, retrieved him in less than 2 hours and were back for dinner in the club. One of the most efficient retrieves ever.

We just rigged the 55 and are ready for today's challenge. It will be blue again but might get a bit higher than yesterday, which we all hope for.

Ziggy called himself BatMan this morning

walking on the horizontal

wind sock birdy

tie downs

Sunday, January 13, 2013

rainy sunday

So this is how we spent the rainy day today. Beautiful lunch in Tallis Wine which is the major sponsor of our Championships. We'll be back to hard work tomorrow.

two days off

We've got a weekend off. It's good to have couple of days to sleep in, visit wineries, do some laundry and shopping for the next week. It's cold and it rains. We haven't seen it here for a while. Next week will be good though and it looks like we'll be flying every day till the end of the comp.

TF in rain outfit

Ziggy and Chad messing with the software ... again

pilots meeting


Tatong tavern

We also had a pilots meeting yesterday. Deja vu sort of experience. We keep talking about the same issues every year and these issues in fact shouldn't be issues at all. It takes forever because, as always, there is people who have something to say and those who have to say something but the overall tendency is to reinvent the wheel ;).