Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Good report - Siete

WGC2013 report - 09 January

The entirely blue conditions we saw at yesterday's launch persisted through evening.  Wind was about as low as we've yet seen at Chaves - it was probably no more than 10 kts at the end of the day.  But lift was never strong, nor did the thermals go high, and the result was another tough day of unimpressive speeds and many landouts.

Included among the landouts was the entire Club Class.  Their final turnpoint was north of Chaves, and most reached this about as the day was dying.  By nursing scraps of lift, the leaders - including Sean & Sarah - were able to get within 5km of home, but the last 100m of climb they needed was not to be found.  So it was a distance day, and the top positions went to the gliders with lower handicaps - flying ASW-20s, Sean & Sarah wound up around 70 points out of first.

Standard Class had a turn-area task which resulted in just a single landout - but when the best speed achieved by the best pilots in the world is just 85 kph, you know it was a tough day.  Phil Gaisford and Peter Deane managed 68 kph, for 17th and 18th place.

In World Class, a bit more that half the fleet completed the area task with distances around 130 km and speeds around 50 kph, for another seriously devalued day (400 points for the winner).  Unfortunately, Tom McKnight was again among the landouts.

A world gliding contest needs a food concession on the field, and WGC2013 has a popular one, known as the Cantina, which sells candy, ice cream, sandwiches, camper's supplies, soft drinks, beer, wine and other assorted treats.  A specialty sandwich is the Milanese, which consists of half a baguette, a large veal cutlet, cheese, ham, lettuce, tomato, mayo and topped with a couple of fried eggs.  Half of one of these makes a bigger lunch than most of us really ought to be eating.

In the evening, one specialty is carne asado, which is barbecued meat of various kinds.  The classic Argentine method here involves mounting slabs on meat on spits stuck into the ground around a fire pit full of hot coals, and turning the spits from time to time until the meat is ready.  On the evidence, the locals are rather good at this.

The small town with the long name (Adolfo Gonzales Chaves) just east of the airfield has made several hundred international visitors feel welcome.  It has a limited number of shops and restaurant, but enough to keep us happy, and staffed by consistently friendly locals who are very tolerant of non-Spanish speakers.  A complication is the typical commercial schedule in rural Argentina, which has shops open in the morning (when we are busy assembling and gridding gliders, and attending the pilot briefing) then closed during the afternoon (when pilots are flying, and it's convenient for crews to do shopping).  Restaurants typically don't open until 9pm, and are not well attended until around 10:30 (when serious pilots should be thinking about bed).

Today we have yet more severely blue conditions, with a forecast of moderate lift to moderate altitudes.  The wind at the field is northwesterly and not savage (around 17 kts at launch time).  The forecast noted the possibility of a seabreeze effect today (shortest distance to the Atlantic is around 100km), and tasks have pilots headed far enough southwest of home that it may be possible to make use of this (or suffer from it, as the case may be).  Standard Class has what looks to be a longish task (366km), which might possibly produce our first 1000-point day.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.