Monday, 12 March 2007

Saturday, 10 March 2007

The team is very pleased with the result. Having a team member on the podium at a World Championships is unprecedented and a phenomenal achievement. Congratulations Harmo!
This was made even sweeter by having Viv Williams, former Kiwi, now flying for Australia (If the Australians can claim Split Enz, Pavlova, and Farlap; then surly we can clam her as one of our own).

Final results for team Kahu:

Click on the image to view clearly
Task 5
The last day of the 10th FAI World Champs. After persistent rain the previous day conditions were going to be slow, low, and weak. And they were. A 53.6 km ask to Gulf Creek was called (On the main road north between Barraba and Bingara) launch was open at 12:40 and the first of four 20 minute start gates was at 13:00.
Conditions in front of launch were very slow I waited for about 20 minutes watching pilots only climb a few hundred meters above launch. Some slightly stronger cycles come through and I decide its time to launch. We climbed at between 1 and 2 meters per/sic cloud base is around 1150m. The thermals are quite small, uneven, and a little ruff. The potential for a collision is high as there are a lot of other pilots close together. I took one collapse and just managed to maintain my turn while sandwiched between two other wings.
When I reach cloud base the first start gate has passed and I decide to let the next pass as well because conditions are still improving and I am not in a good position in the 3km radius start cylinder.
At the next start time I am very well placed in a strong gaggle with good height. We move north along the Baldwins Range toward Tarpoly, a well known sink hole. We stay close to base under active but low clouds (1200m). We even manage to get above base up the side of some clouds. A couple of the pilots are pushing the no cloud flying rule.
We manage to negotiate the sink hole and the gaggle splits behind me and I move on with a very strong gaggle of about 15 pilots. We veer left to some small hills. The climbs are very weak we try drifting in 0’s to 0.5 m/s. The lift dies and we move on getting very low. Now at about 30m above the ground we get a small broken bubble and start to turn. Some lower pilots only manage half a turn but lose it and land. We drift along for three km about 100m AGL with pilot’s slowly dropping out and landing, I to land 25km from goal. The rest of the gaggle is all on the ground over the next 5km.
When the gaggle split at Tarpoly, the pilots that went more east had a better time and many made goal (wrong decision by me).
Thomas was also in the sane gaggle as me and landed 20km from goal.
Harmo was 6.7 from goal. A fantastic effort considering she spent a long time scratching below launch and got a late start and then flying pretty much on her own.
Personally the last two tasks I was a little disappointed with my results. But I am happy with the decisions I made given the conditions I had.

Thursday, 8 March 2007

Wednesday, 7 March 2007

Task 4
Yet another very slow, tough day. A 60.8km task to Baanbaa with no turn points was called, launch window opened at 2:15pm with five start gates 15 minutes apart the first at 2:45pm.
Shortly after the launch opened the sky in front got very crowded as the climbs were very slow low down. The slow climbs and small thermals resulted in a number of midair collisions, the first I saw resulted in one pilot deploying there reserve. Another (I didn’t see) resulted in both pilots deploying there reserves; unfortunately they were locked together and spinning down. I am not sure of the outcome, but understand one pilot has back injuries.
Conditions on course didn’t change much. I took the third start gate and made reasonable progress taking a more northern rough along the rangers were the clouds looked better. After the Narrabri gap a large cloud toward Mt Kaputar cast a large shadow and slowed progress. My gaggle was forced to drift in slow climbs. We were drifting NW and getting in a position that left us with a into wind leg to goal. The head wind proved too much and I landed 5.2km from goal.
Thomas landed around 4.9km short after taking an earlier start time.
Harmo landed about 33km from goal. Unfortunately she bombed first up and was held up on launch for her reflight.
26 pilots managed to complete the task in good time considering the tricky conditions.
Two comp days left. I hope we get some racing before the end of the comp.

Tuesday, 6 March 2007

Scoring systems

If country rankings were based on the average score of all the team members then New Zealand would be coming second!

Country Total Pilots Ave
1 CZE 15890 7 2270
2 NZL 6409 3 2136
3 CHE 13011 7 1859
4 GBR 12863 7 1838
5 FRA 12310 7 1759
6 DEU 11339 7 1620
7 ESP 7925 5 1585
8 SVN 9983 7 1426

If you wanted to be really perverse about scoring systems (almost as unfair as the current system) then if you took each country's lowest three scoring pilots then NZ would be coming first!

Country lowest 3
1 NZL 6409
2 CZE 5723
3 JPN 4618
4 CHE 4610
5 ITA 4600
6 AUS 4441
7 BEL 4289
8 BRA 4239
9 CAN 4226
10 AUT 4148
11 NOR 4016
12 DNK 3979
13 DEU 3931
14 RUS 3809
15 USA 3799
16 ESP 3718
17 IND 3666
18 VEN 3661
19 NLD 3634
20 SWE 3625
21 GBR 3483
22 FRA 3337
23 POL 3271
24 KOR 3130
25 ZAF 3099
26 HRV 2998
27 SVN 2351


A long day.....

Right: Middy & Harmo on launch. Note windsock

A long day para-waiting on the hill. We got up the hill at midday. The wind didn’t drop and at 3:30pm the day was canned. Three comp days left.

Below: Sitting waiting.