Saturday, July 6, 2013

Mid-afternoon comments

I guess many learned their lesson yesterday about the dangers of playing too much of the start gate roulette game. Some late starters yesterday (some after 15:20 PM) got into trouble on the last two legs, going upwind in a vanishing convection, and as a consequence finished way over time, ending up flying 4 to 4.5 hr on the 3:15 hr TAT. Today, the entire Club Class started within a 7-minute window around 13:15 PM, as soon as the convection was well established. This is a good thing, although I think still a little bit late considering the fact that we are now expecting the task today to take about 6 hours and that the convection is expected to weaken significantly after 6:00 PM, and to be all but finished by 7:00-7:15 PM. Time will tell...

All radios have progressively become very quiet during the last 15 minutes, as all the gliders are probably nearing the end of the long upwind leg, some 90-100 miles away. We expect to hear back from them in about an hour (about 6:00 PM) when they'll get back within about 100 Km range.

Just a few words about yesterday: The small gaggles that had formed before the start rapidly separated or lost sight of each other under the spread-out clouds. Sarah had an OK flight, but flying by herself without the benefit of one or two teammates (the WWGC allows 3 pilots per country per class) to help her search for lift under the very wide and flat spread-out clouds, she ended up doing two low points that slowed her significantly on the upwind legs. She was a little disappointed, of course, but considering that we still have probably 7 days to go, there will be plenty of opportunities to regain her spot near the top. Stay tuned and keep checking with us during this upcoming final week.

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