Saturday, August 27, 2011

Ager World Cup Task 5, August 27

Final task of PWC Ager.
Pics can be found here.

Today was the last task of the Ager PWC, and likely the last task with open class gliders for a while.  Much colder today, maybe 25C instead of the 40C we had at the beginning of the week.  Today it was along the ridge and across the gorge and back, followed by a technical section on the flats, ending back on the ridge and then goal in Camping Ager.  I think it was around 82km when you took out the TP cylinders.

There was a significant SW wind that made heading east easy, but the coming back along the ridge and across the gorge was very tough for me.  It was cross-windy enough that I didn't want to be close in to the ridge, so had to balance flying out front while at the same time finding lifty lines and stopping for the strong stuff.  A few pilots landed out on this section and one pilot tossed his reserve (he was OK), landing in the gorge and requiring a heli rescue due to difficult logistics of reaching him by ground access.

Back across the gorge to the familiar side and I almost landed out several times, but the gullies leading to the ridge were working and each time I was able to claw my way west another couple of km's.  The actual ridge itself wasn't working (which is the first time this week) which flushed a bunch of pilots (and almost myself too).

Crossing the gorge.
The crossing to the flats to the south was very tough...I had to try it a couple of times and backtrack when the first time didn't work.  I eventually got across the valley but then I had a bunch of high ground to clear, and the thermals were drifting me away from where I ultimately wanted to go.  The wind was picking up as the afternoon progressed and I had to, once again, backtrack a bunch of times before I got enough height to attempt the high ground crossing to the flats.

On the flats the wind was scrubbing all the thermals to shreds and it was hard to find anything cohesive; I struggled upwind but couldn't find anything to keep me up and going the way I needed, and ended up landing short of the penultimate TP, for a total of around 62km.  Flight is here.

It was a really tough day and only ~43 pilots made goal instead of the usual 70 or 80, so I didn't feel so bad about landing out since I almost made it around the whole task :)  The flying was quite technical in spots and patience was required, and I really enjoyed the necessary decision-making involved.  

The Norwegians party it up.
The final ceremony is tonight and the final results can be found here.  As I'm typing this the Czech team is going hard at it, with torn t-shirts, nudity, and singing (I'm not sure they will make it till the prize-giving at this rate!).  The Women's Open starts on Monday, with tomorrow being a practice day.  One more week of flying here!

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