18 August 2009

British Open at St. Jean, Task 2

Task 2 of the British Open called for a complex criss-cross route with the start and first 2 waypoints in the valley. The leg between the 2nd and 3rd waypoint was very tricky, very few pilots managed to climb out once low there. Pretty much half of the field bombed out there, including myself.
The cloudbase was very high again at 4000m so once pilots made it back to the Dourmillouse ridge the rest of the course was not too difficult, despite strong winds from the northwest. A bit over 30 pilots made the goal, after 77.6 km; some came in very low and had to land in one of the fields next to the designated landing field in Seylonette.

There were rumours of free beer in the goal, which is why I decided to walk there after having landed nearby. The beer was not there but it was nice to see the heroes come into goal. Once again Luc Armand won the task, and like yesterday the French pilots did very well. Several of the Brits manged to wedge themselves between the frogs though (results).
I had a good start and was gliding high towards the 2nd waypoint when I suddenly, without any of the usual warning signs, hit huge sink which cravetted my wing badly. It took me quite a while to sort it out, meanwhile loosing a lot of altitude in that sink area. As a result I then had to scratch that difficult area between turnpoints 2 and 3. I managed to ridge soar for a while but never managed to really get abo ve any of those smaller hills.
The weather for today, and indeed the next days, continues to look good, so there should plenty of chances to improve one's rank!

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