Saturday, 10 March 2007

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.

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