It feels so good to be back home. It was a very intense and challenging competition. As far as I can remember this was my first one where I haven't seen a Cu in the sky on any day. We've flown 7 totally blue competition days. Some of them were low and weak and some better but all blue as they can be.
Thursday was the last flying day since Friday was cancelled after hours and hours on the grid in 40+ degrees heat and strong and gusty winds. Sustaining that itself was a challenge we should have been given points for ;-)
|it sometimes gets boring on the grid|
Anyway, Thursday was very interesting ... we've been whining for clouds and got them:
|no, this is not what we meant wishing for clouds ...|
|"there's gotta be lift around here .... somewhere"|
The day was wave influenced and we had over 400 km to run. It took a while to figure out where to look for lift. For some this while was longer and resulted in putting them into paddocks or airfields. I stayed with the strong leading group for more less half of the flight and as soon as I had the tricky "finding thermals" figured out I decided to go my own way. I had to do it if I wanted to have any chances of getting more points than them and catching up in total results ... handicaps ... My tactics worked and I arrived back home earlier than all of them. Unfortunately not early enough to really beat the handicap. All in all I learned a lot that day and regained some points back:
and this is where I eventually ended up:
I'm pretty happy with this result considering the fact that 15-m class is the strongest one in this country. The class accumulates all the top pilots with tons of experience and gillions of hours in this area. So I haven't done too bad for a novice to this class and I consider myself prepared for the World Championships in June. I am also very comfortable and happy with the glider. It is amazing how much impact the glider itself has on you. In the 29 you come back after 5 hours on task and physically don't really feel tired. No sore bum or muscles and the flying has all been basically a two fingers job. An eye opening experience. Now I understand exactly what Graham was saying when I was picking up the glider from him: "You will not wanna bring it back". He was sooooo bloody right ...
|day cancelled on the grid - this happens at least once every comp|
The final night and dinner was nice, as it always is in Benalla. It's not easy for a clubhouse to cater for over 100 people so the food was average this time. But man, we had fun!
Everyone got their certificates of participation and here is mine:
We'll be dropping TF off in Adelaide next weekend and then our yearly Horsham Week competition starts which means even more flying.
Did I already mention that Graham was reluctant to accept Ziggy's offer to swap the 29 for 55?
How come? ;-)