Pre-Worlds Day 4 (task 3)
About 50 gliders all took off for the first turn point about 60km out. After 2 climbs pilots were littered all along the course line and the race was well underway. I was following some good pilots who had good lines picked out and it was mellow...although the first few thermals were like cage-match wrestling with prision rules (no rules). We were getting close to the turn point when a few of the pilots I was gliding with went for a new cloud off to the left (a little left of course line) and I spotted Jonny in a climb in a more direct route to the turn point and faded to the right and did my own thing - it paid off. I made the turn point just behind Jonny and was on my way to the second turn point with about 30 pilots going the opposite direction to tag the first turn point - thats a good feeling. The next two climbs were rockets to 9500ft msl and I was in the lead gaggle. Someing happened in the next climb though, I am not exactly sure what, and I missed the climb and got left behind. I scratched around low for a minute then the whole area lit up with dust devils (one guy actually flew into one and tumbled and had to deploy his chute). I finally got a good climb and hooked up with Kraig Coomber and we set out back on course for the 2nd turn point.
I thought we were behind because we both got low and had spent some time getting back to cloubbase but when we were about 4.5kms fromt he turnpoint everyone was there (jonny, attila, gerolf, phil, etc) and at that point I felt like i was back in the game.
Me, Jonny, Kraig, and Jeff O'brian rounded the turnpoint and took a nice lifty line towards goal with the leaders in site.
Several good strong climbs to base and we had the airport in site. I was with Jonny and Kraig and we were a little faned out looking for the best line and climb as we approached the airport.
My vario started to tell me it I had goal but we did a bit more climbing because I knew we were going to get into stronger wind as we decended. I was chasing Jonny and all the way to goal and just made the goalline in ground effect about 45 seconds behind Jonnny! I placed 7th for the day and that has moved me into 8th place overall. Its very exciting!
Now I just need to stay calm and continue to fly the glider...