Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Ager Women's Open Task 2, August 30

Similar weather to yesterday so we decided to stretch our wings and fly to the goal lake, after zigzaging back and forth in front of the ridge, over the back to the Castle, Isona, then finally to the lake, for about 66 km.

After the start we had to tag the train station turnpoint and then return to the far west of the ridge.  There was a nice cloudstreet running the length of the valley so I tried to position myself under it after tagging the train station, but I was too far north of the lift and ended up hitting horrible sink.  Had to turn to the ridge and fight my way back up to ridgetop height after a very low save (100m AGL), after which point I learned my lesson and stuck to the ridge for the remainder of the westward trip :)

After tagging the western TP it was time for another ridge run and then over the back to the Castle.  It took a while to get up at the Castle and some pilots who had taken a different line got ahead of me while I struggled to regain cloudbase.  Finally though I was back in the game and then it was technical part to Isona.  When designing the task we figured this would be the crux of the task: flatland flying with possibly less clouds than yesterday, and this is exactly what happened.  There was a giant blue hole over Isona which meant you had to either take the southern or northern route to the turnpoint if you wanted to remain under clouds.

The southern route is more direct and is in the lee of some small hills which are good thermal producers, so I headed over there.  Yep, in the lee of the hills it was indeed working, although I had to keep saying to myself, "patience", as the lift was all disorganized and I had to circle around in 0's until it coalesced into a nice climb straight to cloudbase.

Goal at the lake.
At this point I possibly had goal on glide even with the necessary Isona detour, so went for Isona and found lift the entire way there.  Back to the high ground it was a short climb to get over the last mountain which is in the way of a straight glide to goal (you have to either go over it or around it).

I ended up in goal 5th for the day, and in total there were 6 pilots in goal.  Two of the Japanese pilots were tied for time into goal so it'll come down to speed and leading points to determine first and second for the day :)

Today's task was more technical then yesterday's but we designed it to make the first section fairly easy, and then progressively more difficult near the end, so we'd get a good spread of pilots along the courseline.  And the pilots that didn't make goal still got to see the lake since the retrieve drivers brought them so we could all go swimming.

I made a big mistake today...after tagging the train station I should have either returned straight to the ridge, or taken a more southerly line under the cloudstreet.  In the end I took the worst possible line in the sink between the two lift lines and it almost cost me the task.  Fortunately low saves are common here so I was able to get myself out of the mess I put myself into and continue flying :)  I also hit a couple of slow spots on the courseline: the Castle and the flats on the way to Isona, which cost me maybe 20-30 minutes in total.  I was flying by myself so had no help finding lift (other than birds etc) so I came into goal behind those who were flying in groups of 2 or 3.

After 2 tasks I'm in 2nd overall, but have to make up over 200 points in order to catch 1st place overall.  I just have to continue making goal and be consistent in my flying and maybe I can do it :)

Full results can be found here.

1 comment:

  1. You can do this one, Nic. I can taste it. Stay focused.

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