Today should have been an easier task than yesterday, but unfortunately the wind was stronger than in the organizers´ prediction. Lift was very rough and broken, I barely managed to fly one full circle in climb in many places.
Take off was south of the piano landing again, but 1 km less radius than yesterday. I made a mistake right at the beginning, flying back to take off and not finding lift again. While the others were already at the Divisadero turnpoint, I just started into the task. Coming back, I was almost on my own and made another mistake, flying to far south. When you fly outside of the convergence line, which I could not find as it was all blue and seemed blown out, you go down pretty quickly. My maximum height today was only 3400m, so not really high above the ground anyway.
At some stage, I just decided to land at the Peñitas goal field, just behind take off. All other choices didn´t look promising. I was the only one in that field and had a fantastic landing, but I was very lucky that the wind blew perfectly strong and smooth, and I was pleased with my elegant finish. I didn´t go far at all, but at least I finished in style! Easy to say, as not a single soul was anywhere near me, not even kids were around today.
I packed up and was happy that Uli came to pick me up and took me to Valle. Uli had informed the team that Andre had a crash landing and is looked after by the ambulance, but no major injury luckily. Still it was going through my head all the time that maybe I should better be there to translate if Andre needs to go to hospital. I met Andre when we got home, and his arms and nose look bruised, also his glider got damaged in his cross-/downwind landing just after Tres Reyes.
Roland was the hero of the day for making it all the way to goal, but the drive back takes about 3 hours. The rest of the team couldn´t quite make the jump on the high plains today. Broken lift, too much wind, no constant thermals made this task difficult.
When I got home, I decided to cook Andre´s favourite dish that I made at the Euros in Turkey - Moong Dhal Curry and rice - to cheer him up a bit. And also to feed my hungry team with energy for the days to come. It can only get better!