Image - Helmi E from Austria
Sunday 28 September 2008
A clear morning with little wind proved to have absolutely no bearing on the flying conditions at all. Wind and rain killed the task which was stopped after the majority of maelstrom survivors had flown 30km of the 50km task in just over two hours. It's been a while since I have had water streaming down my face while pushing full bar into a 25km/hr headwind. Not great, but they stopped it before anyone got into real trouble.
Cowering from the rain at a bovine feeding trough and eventually being retrieved (standing room only), I caught up with Helmut Eichholzer of X Alps fame, winner of the Bulgarian world cup and currently 5th on the overall world cup ranking:"'We tried hard. There will be no difference between the overall leaders. Probably the real competition starts tomorrow" (delivered in that cool 'I'll be back' Austrian accent)
The world cup rules make provision for task stoppage after 90mins and minimum validation distance as opposed to cancellation if no pilot makes goal as in the past. It remains to be seen if we made minimum validation distance.
As for the Captain and I, we are happy to report we were on the pace all the way. The Captain would like to comment: "Although puppy is somewhat gleeful at being in the front when the task was stopped, he did give me indigestion as I watched him slime over a windy col a mere 3m above the deck on full bar. Not once but twice. Fortunately altitude was my friend."