15 Januar 2013

Long drive back from our 240km goal...

 The towing yesterday was a handful - it was the roughest Ive ever experienced out here in Australia! But my tug pilot Bruce Crerar did well to keep me on the line, and I was happy to be on the small Moyes RX3, because I could move and control it even in these turbulent conditions. While we set up, two dust devils ripped right through our line, but no glider was damaged. Everybody is aware and doing a really good job to stay safe and healthy.
The start gaggle gets a bit more aggressive every day, and I left with the first start yesterday to save my nerves and muscles for the long flight - with a tailwind of up to 30km/h from the south we went 240km up north. In the beginning I enjoyed flying with Chisato from Japan who is really good at finding thermals and scratching up from low. Also Francis Gafner flew with me, but both of them went different directions to my intention. Then I had Rohan Holtkamp with me and I was proud to find some good climbs for us. A few thermals later, the leading gaggle caught up to us, and I managed to stay with them for most of the way. Only 25km before goal I got low and had to slow down, as there was only shade. Drifting along in 0, I was superhappy when Wolfi Siess found the last strong lift that I needed to get to goal. 60 pilots got there, and many flew their personal best!
It took us more than 3 hours to drive home from goal, we got to HQ only after midnight, and I was very happy about our comfortable Mercedes bus! The meet director Davis decided not to have a rest day in this competition, so we will fly another 3 tasks. Today a 190km triangle is set.
Kathleen Rigg won the women´s score yesterday ahead of me and Tove, but also Françsoise arrived in goal. It was nice to see her team mate Antoine Boisselier talking to her on the radio, making sure she had a safe landing and helping her with the glider on the ground. The French are really good team workers!
At the moment, there are several protests going on because of the flying two days ago. Some pilots flew into or landed in a restricted area, but because the task had been stopped before, they had not been penalized. The scoring changed when they got a penalty, as some pilots protested who did not fly into the restricted area but had a disadvantage. Big controversy at the moment, but we have 3 more days to fly and to score and should concentrate on the flying and let our team leaders discuss those matters.

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