Saturday, January 12, 2013

Good report - Diez

WGC2013 report - 12 January

Yesterday's weather turned out just a bit better than the pessimists expected, but still fell well short of what the optimists had hoped for.  The wind did increase, but only moderately - pilots reported about 55 kph (30 knots) which is rugged but, as we've seen, not extreme for Chaves. The cirrus cloud did intrude from the west, but did not smother all lift.  Yet the day died around 5:30, and that left most pilots short of home - mercifully, in most cases within a 30-minute drive (we've come to think of a retrieve that ends back at the airfield before dark as an easy day).

Phil and Peter were with the leaders most of the day, but needed one more climb to get home.  A dozen Standard class pilots found that climb and were able to finish, with modest speeds.  The Club class had just 5 finishers; Sarah and Sean were among those with decent flights that ended about 20km short of home.  Tom McKnight has his best flight of the competition, and landed with the fifth-best distance.  Unfortunately, the requirement that 25% of pilots achieve at least 100km was not met, so this will not be a valid day for the World Class.  It really seems unjust that this class should have the same distance requirement as all others (including Open Class) - surely this should be at least to some extent scaled by glider performance.

Today we have a welcome rest day.  The decision on this was promised by yesterday afternoon, but around 7pm it was announced that the final decision would be made this morning.  An approaching cold front was predicted to bring low cloud, then possibly some good soaring conditions - perhaps including cumulus clouds (!), of which only a handful have been seen during the past week.  The morning view was that the chance of good flying today wasn't great, and after so many landouts the troops are more than ready for a day off.  Few dissenting voices were heard.

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