27 January 2010

Monarca Open 2010, task 3

Today, day 3 of the Monarca Open 2010, things went a bit better again. Far from perfect, but better. Already in the morning it was obvious that unlike the previous days we would have plenty of cumulus clouds in the sky to show us the way. A 65 km task was set with a start around Magay which also was the first turnpoint. Interestingly the next turnpoint was Laguna and was given an unusual 2 km radius. Alltogether this made it potentially advantageous to take the start on the north-west side very high to do a quick down-wind run towards Magay and then return to Laguna. I'd considered this but thought the advantage would at best be small, and as I didn't end up with a group to cross to Magay (before start time), decided to wait above Espina. Some 15 pilots tried the alternative and then got a nice lead on the way from Laguna to Saucos.
Once we'd reached Sierra Gordo and tanked up on altitude it was fairly easy to fly the famous convergence zone to Saucos and back to the plateau (see track). The real challenge was now to fly to the antennas at Divisaro, against considerable headwind. I saw new clouds forming all the time over the northern edge of the plateau and decided to take that straighter route. The normal route is to fly back to Magay and then turn towards the antennas. But I know from experience that the glide from Gordo to Magay is often too much for me and my glider. Initially my route seemed quite possible but later I failed to get back to cloudbase although I did find several thermals. Slowly I got ever lower and eventually had to land near Colorines; at best I was only 3,5 km from Divisaro for a scoring distance of 50.2 km.
Later I heard from one of the pilots that left me at Gordo for Magay that some of those crossed the ridge only 5 m above the trees, whereas others were forced to land on the plateau. So perhaps my plan was better but would have required company and/or better thermalling.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good Robert, keep on pushing.
We had yesterday winterstorm here in Rovaniemi. Man, its cold now 23 - Celcius. Two days ago it was 32 ms and 8-Celcius degrees.