Saturday, August 4, 2007

Golden: Canadian PG Nationals

A similar day to yesterday, except the winds were from the opposite direction. We called a short downwind task to Harrogate, even though we knew it would probably be completed in under nominal time. But we wanted the day to be finished early so we could do the final scoring, do the prizes, and get to the GEAR dinner on time.

I launched and it was very windy from the NW, and I wasn’t able to get high for the start, and after getting it, was forced to fly downwind to Mt. 7 to try and get up there. But the thermals were leaned way too far over to get high in, and I was only able to maintain around 1800m across the Kapristo gap and over to the Pagliaro cliffs. And of course the cliffs weren’t working since the winds were blowing parallel to them, not up them, so I had to keep going until I went around the corner.

At this point I was in the lee, not liking it, and decided to head out to the valley. I caught a little something above my chosen LZ and was able to stay in it since I finally had clear air all around me, and was able to ride it (big ovals!) right to cloudbase which was only about 3000m. I was back in the game!

I checked my GPS and it said I had goal at 8:1 glide, but I was only getting 6:1 glide at that time (lots of sink). But I figured since it was so windy lower down, as I got lower I would speed up, and my groundspeed would make up for the missing 2:1 and I’d still make it to the goal field (at least that’s what I hoped for). The thermals were so ripped up I wasn’t actually counting on finding more discrete thermals, but along the way I picked up little bits and pieces of thermals, and was able to maintain so that by the time I got above the goalfield I still had 1000’ of altitude.

A good thing too, since the actual goalfield turnpoint was at the downwind end of the field, and it was blowing about 30 kph in the field, and many pilots were coming straight down. With my 1000’ I was able to tag the actual goal, and slowly fly back upwind of the field so I could back my way into it if necessary, since my groundspeeds were approaching 2-3 kph.

There were already about 15-20 people in the goalfield, and in the end there were about 25 people in goal. Many people chose not to fly down the range and landed at Nicholson, or landed short as they tried to do what I did but didn’t hit the pieces of lift that I hit on my way there. With the winds it only took 2-3 good thermals to fly 45 km!

We had one accident as Peter Breitschneider crashed into the cliffs in the “washing machine” in the gully below Mt. 7, right above the LZ’s against the mountain. He was heli-rescued and sent to Golden hospital with an elbow injury and general soreness, but nothing too serious. A non-comp pilot, Jim Wagner from WA state, was able to hike up to him (1200’ above that LZ) and help with the rescue as the heli-people lowered a paramedic and basket to him. He later on hiked back down since the heli only had room for Peter and the paramedic.

Another strong Golden day, and lots of pilots in the Willi Muller XC Challenge flew far today. Norm flew to just short of Fairmont, 120 km open distance.

I had a really fun time at this meet, everyone was so helpful and cheerful it made all the organizational things go that much more smoothly. I also had some personal bests...I made goal every day of this comp, and I also started flying a lot faster, using my speed bar a lot more, and keeping up with the lead gaggle for longer stretches of time. The quality of the pilots here was very high, and I learned a lot from watching the top pilots fly into goal every day.

At the awards party we gave awards for the “Never Ever” category (pilots who this was their first comp), the top 3 women, the top Canadian male and female, the top 3 Serial class, and the top 3 open class.

Day 6 top 10 results:

1. Gadd, Will (903)
2. Devietti, Marty (820)
3. Izadi, Amir (816)
4. Messenger, Jamie (812)
5. Dadam, Matt (801)
6. Beechinor, Matt (801)
7. Brown, Jack (780)
8. Zahner, Gavin (765)
9. MacCullough, Keith (747)
10. Thompson, James (738)

Final and cumulative top 10 total results, after 6 tasks:

1. Messenger, Jamie (5215)
2. Beechinor, Matt (5043)
3. MacCullough, Keith (4725)
4. Zahner, Gavin (4704)
5. Dadam, Matt (4675)
6. Gadd, Will (4669)
7. Izadi, Amir (4549)
8. Devietti, Marty (4190)
9. Riggs, Josh (4115)
10. Belcourt, Bill (4115)

Final top 10 serial class results (DHV 2 and below), after 6 tasks:

1. Yeates, Brett (3115)
2. Morris, Bill (2945)
3. Oddy, Eric (2872)
4. Letchford, Ryan (2779)
5. Lara, Juan Carlos (2717)
6. Hackney, Trey (2705)
7. Thompson, James (2694)
8. Ghaban, Florian (2506)
9. Sullivan, Joe (2419)
10. McGuan, Brendan (2372)

Final top 10 Canadian class results, after 6 tasks:

1. MacCullough, Keith (4725)
2. Gadd, Will (4669)
3. Izadi, Amir (4549)
4. McLearn, Nicole (3865)
5. Yeates, Brett (3115)
6. Oddy, Eric (2872)
7. Letchford, Ryan (2779)
8. Zlatev, Zack (2608)
9. Ghaban, Florian (2506)
10. Roumiantsev, Denis (2256)

“Never Ever” category (first comp):

1. Morris, Bill (2945)
2. Edwards, Jim (654)
3. Bahr, Jim (627)
4. Dubak, Veronica (517)

(Bill and Veronica were the recipients of the “Oz prize” from David and Lee Menzie: a Manilla Rivergums prize pack, which includes 1 week free accommodation at Manilla Rivergums caravan park, good for the next 2-3 years, to encourage them to keep competing and travel a bit.)

Top 3 females:

1. McLearn, Nicole (3865)
2. Hamann, Heike (3133)
3. McCullough, Michelle (2103)

At some point the final results will be posted at:

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