With two more days and Tobi sitting in 3rd place we opted for the strategy of close pair flying, something we had been practising in Benalla in the months prior to the competition.
The day was mostly blue with tops on 3500ft but some strong climbs.
We elected to leave early and avoid the gaggles (again) which worked pretty well for the first 2 hours or the 2:30 AAT task.
Because of the low ceiling we often racing under 2000ft, and this is where have a good team mate really helped.
We made a couple of small mistakes, going to far in the first circle and coming in 30 minutes over time when the day was softening, loosing close to 10km/h in the last half hour.
We are in the morning of the final day and the weather is good. We’ll stick to our game plane and hope to make the most of it.
Launching has commenced with the club class guys at the front and Allan in World class is at the back of the grid. The day is now blue with about 5-10 knots from the south (sea) on the ground. Everyone is really focussed today and ready for the last day’s flying.
Today I’d like to thank all the individuals, clubs and the GFA for their support of this team. We’ve had a great competition and hopefully the results will speak for themselves. It’s good to know there are so many behind the team.
Club class gate opens at 13:15. The top 7 places in each class are fitted with trackers today. We have 2 pilots with trackers, Allan and Tobi.
13:15 Club class start gate is now open, I think our guys are going early today as the day seems short. The days have certainly been cutting off early as was the experience yesterday. Tobi has a “friend” following him, SI who is in 2nd place 40 odd points in front of him.
13:28 There’s some cu on track today, Tobi and Craig have made a start.
13:51 World class start gate is now open. Craig and Tobi sound like they are having a good run under cu.
14:30 Allan is yet to start, looks like he’s playing the waiting game. Only one of the top 7 PWs have started F14 who is currently 70 points below Allan. Craig and Tobi have already made the first turn, none of the other top 7 club class have started yet. They are having a good run and so hopefully won’t lose much and have some protection from the day dying early. They are still climbing under cus.
15:13 Allan started about 15 minutes ago along with many of the PeeWees. Tobi and Craig are travelling well, along the second leg of the AAT. They have diverted to the south a bit but are now tracking back northerly again.
15:43 Very interesting times… Tobi and Craig are at least at the centre of the second circle with now under an hour to fly and the last leg is 83 km from the centre. The other guys in club class on the tracking look to be doing strange things, perhaps the sky is not kind to them. Allan is making great time downwind and has turned the first area and heading for the second. The final into-wind leg will be the challenge I feel. There’s stil cu overhead Chaves and the wind has not picked up significantly.
16:10 Tobi and Craig are now only 50km out with 20 minutes of time remaining, there’s still some scrappy cu overhead and there is no significant sea breeze yet. All seems good for their finish. Tobi reports good cus ahead and they are almost on final glide.
Allan is now in the second sector so we wait to see when he turns.
16:20 PB/ G4 30km and final glide ! sounds great.
16:55 2 happy club class pilots have posted their traces, we wait for some scores. Allan just called 32km and marginal final glide.
17:05 Allan has called 10km, I’ll get out to the finish to welcome him home too.
17:27 Just back from the tie-down and greeting Allan, he’s pretty happy with his day.
What will today bring?
Tobi is currently 3rd overall, Allan 4th and Australia is 3rd in the team cup.
The skies are clear and the forecast is for a low , blue, windy day with a small chance of cumulus. We are just going out to the grid for a group photo, launching starts at 12:30.
I got back to Dingo base and a fellow came over with a wad of photos from the worlds in Argentina came over to me. He was particularly keen to show me this one of the Aussies from 50 years ago. We went through them all, it was very interesting and I have asked him to come back this afternoon when the crew will be here. In the meantime here’s some photos from this morning on the grid.
I’m just back from the launch grid after the World class launch. They halted the launch for 10 minutes and have only just started club class launching. The world class gate is now open on task A which is a 173km racing task. It should take about 3 hours. There are still cu around , quite low though and there’s a more solid mass to our south. Allan seems very focussed on getting back onto the podium today.
Today I’d like to thanks Al Sim from Go-Soaring for all his efforts in getting our team long sleeve shirts arranged.
The club class task is B, a 2:30hr AAT to the west, 265km point-point.
13:48 The club class gate has just opened. It’s blue overhead however the pilots are still climbing under cus. No one has started yet.
14:10 All 3 pilots started on the same minute ! We have some British company 2 minutes behind in club class.
14:40 Tobi and Craig are established on the first leg. They were after details of the standard class task and it sounds like they are chasing some standard class glider into the first sector. There’s some high level cloud over their area although it appears broken. Further west is some rain and storms, it appears to be moving mostly north and way from us.
All quite from Allan, his SPOT shows him well along the first leg.
15:10 Allan is about 2/3 along the way to the first turn. He has a tracker today , it shows him with a gaggle of tracker equipped Peewees. Craig and Tobi are still together and now 1 hour into the 2 1/2 hour task. It sounded like they were discussing making a turn with 140km to run.
15:40 Allan is midway along the 2nd leg. The trackers show he is about 5km behind the Argentinian pair, they started about 10 mins before him. It looks like he may be catching them, fingers crossed. Tobi and Craig have turned also and are just about to leave the first circle, the radio chatter implies they are only going to touch the second circle.There’s a gaggle ahead of them which is good for marking the thermals.
16:10 Tobi and Craig have less than 1/2 hour to complete the minimum time and have just called 51km to go. Conditions still seem good, Tobi just passed up a 3 knot thermal. The tracking shows Allan around the second turn. I suspect he’s close to the third turn given the 15 minutes delay.
The crews have spent the afternoon cleaning cars.
16:40 Our guys are on the way in working in the blue. 1 club class pilot from Sweden has called 10km and a half dozen standard class gliders are back. The crews have gone out to the taxiways to wait. We’ve heard Ian in the British club class LS4 has outlanded.
16:50 Allan has called final glide from 15km out, it seems like he has done a great job of catching the Argentineans. Four guys including Allan have called 10km now.
16:55 Craig and Tobi just called final glide at 22km, it seems the last climb was hard to come by. Still only 1 club class is home.
17:03 All Aussie gliders are on the ground.
I have just returned to the house after briefing, there are 3 tasks briefed. It’s not going to be fantastic flying weather however I’m quite sure there will be a task flown. The rain has cleared away leaving cool, maritime air behind. The forecast is for low convection height (1000 – 1200M) with about a 10knot breeze and blue skies. Later this afternoon there’s a chance of mid-level cloud impacting the area. Our guys are still very positive and are looking to consolidate and improve their positions. The task A’s are point – point and will require about a 3hour window for both classes.
The internet at the airfield seems congested again and so I am posting this from our house in town. Hopefully it will improve so I can keep the updates flowing throughout the day.