Thursday, January 10, 2013

Good report - Ocho

WGC2013 report - 10 January

Here at Chaves we seem to have settled into a pattern of warm, blue, windy conditions.  The mud of a week ago is a distant memory; the low areas of standing water have shrunk a bit (though it will take at least several weeks of drying to significantly reduce their number).

Yesterday, the World Class had another fairly tough day bucking the wind - about half the fleet landed out (unfortunately, Tom McKnight was again among these).  The Task for Club Class was better, with only about 30% landouts.  Sean and Sarah had a very good day - at one point they found good climbs attributable to a seabreeze effect, and finished 5th and 6th for the day, which puts Sean in 4th place overall.

It was the Standard Class's turn "in the barrel" - a northwesterly wind stronger than forecast and areas of weak lift made the second leg very slow, with the result that no one was able to complete the 366km task before the day died around 6:30.  So it was that a large fleet of trailers headed out - southwest, then northwest, then off onto dirt roads to collect their pilots.

The Chaves task area has proved to be a good place for landouts (large numbers of large, flat fields) and also reasonably good for trailer travel.  Paved roads are not quite as plentiful as we might wish, but the surfaces are generally good and speed limits are mostly generous and rarely enforced.  If you have a sound and stable car-trailer combination (as glider PG does), you can be reasonably bold in the name of an efficient retrieve.  I was moderately pleased that yesterday we were the second (of 25) Standard Class gliders back on the field.  I will note that it's just as well that the vehicle and trailer owner are not on board for the outward journey, which is typically a good deal quicker than the return.

Notwithstanding 100% landouts, yesterday's Standard Class task produced the first 1000-point day of this contest for any class.  This happens if the winner did at least 250km, most pilots achieve at least 100km, and the fastest finisher (if there is one) was on course at least 3 hours.  I think most everyone here would prefer it if this could be achieved as the result of a strong soaring day with lots of fast finishers.

I heard a report of 4 finishers yesterday who were not high enough to safely cross the busy road at the runway threshold and who thus chose to land short, in fields southeast of the road.  This proved a mixed blessing - they were apparently congratulated for this safe decision, but access to at least one field was difficult, resulting in a return to the airfield (by trailer) 4 hours after the landing. (That's about how long it took to retrieve PG from a distant field.)

My volunteer retrieve assistant yesterday was Juan Mandelbaum, who arrived at Chaves yesterday.  Juan is taking a break from Boston-area winter weather; his contribution to the US Team effort goes well beyond helping with a retrieve - he was born in Argentina, has many soaring friends here, and has done a great deal to arrange glider and vehicle resources, both for Argentine pilots who flew at WGC2012 in Uvalde, and for US pilots flying here at Chaves.

Today we have - wait for it - blue and windy conditions.  The wind is northwest, so we can expect it to be hot.  Multiple temperature inversions are predicted to yield a late-starting day that might give a couple of hours of good soaring, provided a few things go right.

1 comment:

  1. John,

    Thanks for the updates. Following the blogs multiple times a day.



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