Friday, August 10, 2012

Pemberton Canadian Nationals August 10

Another epic task!

Results can be found here.

Some of the forecasts were calling for a Whistler Express today so we opted for a cat's cradle/fishbowl-type task with multiple laps to the north.  The laps were between Goat Peak, Camel's Hump, and Owl Peak, and we had to do the laps twice before landing at the Bruce LZ for about 67km.

Looking south during lap #1.  Notice haze from forest fires.
Initially we had a race to goal format, but with the uncertain conditions (it was very milky due to upper cirrus plus a bunch of forest fire smoke and our wind technicians were sinking out) and the late start to the day, we changed things to elapsed time so pilots could get going when they wanted to, without making them wait for a race start that could be a bit late if the Whistler Express manifested.  It made for an interesting day...pilots were able to watch how other pilots were doing at the start and choose when they were going to do their own personal start, and it was a bit of cat-n-mouse game with pilots chasing other pilots, not knowing who was really in the lead.

The cat's cradle format also allowed the slower pilots the chance to fly with the faster pilots, as the latter could catch up to the former during the laps with lots of thermal markers all over the area.  We also reasoned that if you could do 1 lap, you could do 2, provided you didn't run out of taskable time :)

Many pilots got high at Copper Peak and were able to tag Goat Peak, Camel's Hump and return to the MacKenzie side no problem and tank up for the Owl Peak TP before repeating the pattern.  In the end it was raining pilots into goal with something like 30 pilots landing there by the goal close of 7:30pm.  A few pilots sunk out after the Camel's Hump crossing, and several sunk out at the start, but by and large most pilots were able to finish a good chunk of the course and there were several personal bests like first time in goal and best XC distance for several novice pilots.
My new baby!

I came into goal maybe 15th or so but it's hard to know exactly until the elapsed time scores come out later on.  It was a fantastic time and we stayed in the non-windy end of the valley (it was light and variable in the goal field with pilots landing in every direction) while a small Whistler Express manifested around 7pm in Pemberton.

Tomorrow is likely the last day (Sunday is optional and at this point looking unnecessary from a comp validity point of view) so we hope to get one more good task in, perhaps using the Duffy Lake side of the valleys if the winds stay light so pilots can see what that end of Pemberton has to offer.

Denis Cortella is having another talk tonight about thermalling techniques so it's time to stop blogging and listen in ;)

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