After a pause of one hour, we finally started at around noon to tow. In a wind gusting up to 35 km/h from the west (at least straight along the tow direction), I had a good take off, but a very difficult tow. I was glad when I pinned off and found a little bit of lift. I just wanted to stay in the air as long as possible and not land and tow again!
The other pilots from the top ten joined me soon in a little gaggle, drifting towards the northeast. Roland, Hans, Carolin, Bernd, Yeti, all with me. When we reached cloud base at around 1200m, I decided it´s time to go on course, because I could already see a next cloud cover sqall line moving in from the west. I´m not that fast, and I wanted to stay ahead of that.
When I left on course line, I was surprised to not see anybody coming with me. I turned around a few times but no. We had an elapsed time start, and the guys went back to get a better time.
So I flew on my own, drifting in the strong wind, trying to pick the best cloud line. It worked well until Golssen, about 80km out, where the clouds started to dissipate and a cover moved in. I crossed Schwielochsee and got really low, in front of some major forests. Spreewald, a huge rain forest, is famous for nice tours by boat, and for the Spreewald cucumbers, but not exactly for good thermals...
Just at the edge of a major forest area, I found a light lift at about 200m above ground. Of course, I drifted over the forest quite low. At least still in a light climb! Still I was relieved when I saw that I could make it to another landable field.
At about 25km before goal, two rigids caught up with me. One of them, much higher, flew towards goal. The other one, Carlos Puñet, only stayed slightly above me and was happy that I managed to find quite good lift for us that finally really took us to goal, where Dirk Ripkens was already waiting for us.
My friend Rebi had taken my parents on the long and complicated drive out to goal, always providing actual information from the live tracking of my height and position. I was superhappy to see them arriving only 15 minutes after me at goal!
I had expected the leading gaggle to overtake me and to find a faster, better line, but I guess they had been caught in the shady air behind me. Only one other flex wing pilot, Jonas Willemeit from Berlin, and four rigid pilots made it to goal. Ah yes, Japanese pilot Naoki Itagaki drifted past goal to the south. When he landed, he was very surprised that he found himself in Poland, not in Germany anymore! The friendly Polish people were even more surprised to find a man from Japan landing in their backyard, and they brought him sausage and drinks and celebrated his unexpected visit!
What a great surprise when I found out on the next day that most pilots had made half of the nominal distance, and I got my highest score in a mixed comp ever - 954 points, as the day winner! It also took me up to first place overall!!!