Sunday, August 8, 2010
Day Six, Time to Fly My Game
Thursday, August 5, 2010
I am not unhappy with yesterday's flight, but a little disappointed. However, I have concluded that I do better when I do what I know how to do. So, today I will not worry about flying with the other JS1's and I will fly for myself. (Note: The JS1 guys are flying fantastic. I am very excited for them and hope they end up on the podium -- which they are very close to doing. It certainly would have been great to work out how to fly together but this is simply too difficult to figure out once you arrive at the contest.)
Today's weather is the best yet. We will have Cu and plenty of altitude. The course is to the northeast.
I have a good start abut 10 minutes behind the first gaggle. I press hard and find good Cu. Deviating slightly to the right of course line keeps me connected with Cu. The run to the first turn is straight foward, good climbs, push over to 100 knots, climb again.
At the turn, I have caught a number of gliders. I feel good about my speed. I press on. I am with a group of gliders and we stop for 2.5 knots -- well below my average for the day and there is good Cu ahead. I am at 3000' and I press on. Hmmm, the others do not.
There is an interesting quote in Brigliadori's "Competing on the Wind". He says, "If you are flying along with the gaggle [of the best pilots in the world], one should consider carefully your thoughts to do something different then the group. Why do you think your eyes have seen something the rest has not?"
The Cu I was running to did not work and now I'm down to 1200' and the sweat is dripping under my arms as the fleet passes over head. I dump water for a minute and work 1 knot. Shift one mile, two knots. Climb a little and shift again, three knots. Whew! This has cost me. I was running 110 kmh before this point, now I am done to 100 kmh.
I am running again and working to catch the rest. The day is improving. A four knot thermal gets me closer. Make the turn, then another 4 knotter. Press on. A 5 knotter and I am below the gaggle that passed me. Garret calls me and says, "WE if you like the one your in, you'll love the next one!" I top out and push the nose over hard. Bam! 6 to 7 under the next cloud. I am on final glide.
A long final glide with the usual losses and gains. More gains towards the steering turn and I am home. Back up to nearly 109 kmh. One poor judgement clearly cost me the top ten for the day. My igc file is below. Two more days.
Day Five, A Somewhat Better Day
Thursday, August 5, 2010
We didn't fly yesterday so I was hoping to catch up. However, I was pulled into several conversations with interesting people, like Gerhard Weibel, and my day just dissappeared. I did catch up on my getting photos uploaded at:
Okay, back to my reporting of the flight.
The weather for today was a little better than the previous days. We expected some Cu but likely to go blue. I have been using a new program called TopTherm for looking at the weather. It quite nice and very interactive. It will be available in the US soon. Here is a screen shot.
The task today was to the west, not quite to the Danube. Then, east to a pie shaped sector, on to the northeast, down to the southeast and home. Today I am going to try one last time to fly with the Jonkers but it has been difficult as I have a lot of difficulting understanding Ays on the radio given his accent and a very poor microphone.
As it turns out, I cannot get hooked up with them at the start so I head out on my own shortly after a big gaggle. I am able to start around 4500' and make a very good run to the first cylinder making it to the back ahead of the pack. They come in just under my and we climb up in great position to head on to the next turn. But, much to my surprise, the group heads 90 degrees to course line and outside the circle to another Cu. Why? I don't know, but like a lemming, I follow. I am now frustrated so I lead out.
Twenty miles later, I am down to 2000' without having hit a bump. I must stop in a 1 knot thermal over a swamp! The fleet comes in over head and passes me. Rats! Another mistake I should not have made. They move on another few miles and start a climb. I must gain some altitude before I risk moving on.
I get to the next thermal and get a decent climb. One more climb and I can see the gaggle ahead. I push the nose over and come in at the bottom of a 5 knot thermal! Hopefully getting a full climb here will help me catch up more. I top out and see the gaggle is going deeper into this pie shaped sector and the next gaggle is five miles ahead circling. I head for them.
They are in two knots. I leave and move on. The next climb is better and the next is more like 6 knots on the averager. Again, we have two gaggles formed in roughly the same thermal, I am at the top of the lower gaggle apporaching the upper gaggle that is overlapping me causing a serious potential for mid-airs. I roll out from my right hand turn and immediately into a left hand turn in the bottom of this gaggle. About the same climb rate.
We top out, now at 5000' and head for the next turn area which is well into the Tisza River valley -- another slow area. My computer says I am approximately on time for the TAT so I decide to nip the turn area and move. I don't understand why they are going deeper. There is Cu on my course line so I feel I have made the right decision.
I am now finding 4 knots to 5000' and moving along nicely. (Looking back, I probably should have been cruising faster during this leg.) I calculate that I need to get as much distance as I can in this last sector to make sure that I am at least 5 minutes over time.
As I turn for home, the sky is blueing out again and looking soft. I cruise for a while and get weak climbs. Continuing on, it is clear this will be a struggle to get home. My last climb is 1 knot to get on a marginal final glide. I glide to the steering point, turn immediately and get a few hundred feet on final glide. Sink!
As I cross the finish cylinder, I can see an Open Class ship in a field just outside the finish line--so, close but not to cross the line has got to be bad.
Again, I feel like I have done well but the score sheet shows otherwise. I have a lot to learn! My .igc file is attached for your viewing/analysis enjoyment.