I am back in my beloved country after a totally relaxing time in Portugal where I had some time for reflection. Some time back Mads Syndegaard wrote about the effects of EN D equivalence on world cup racing:
"... I have this horror vision of our sport turning into something like the pro road cycling; if you aren’t cheating (doped, in their case) you don’t need to bother showing up. On that note I’d also like to emphasise that the more rules we add, the more we benefit the cheaters – the “by-the-rule” crowd will either be corrupted, or go away.
I believe anyone scientifically minded could take the .kml files from the Superfinal last week and get even further proof of this theory; when I was watching it certainly didn’t look like anyone going alone had any success – this isn’t purely down to Serial vs. Open Class, but the trend is there. Pilots who are known and respected for their independent nature (how about Yassen, or André Rainsford?) did terribly in the comp, although André is adamant that this was just because he flew like a plonker – he doesn’t realise that the odds were stacked against him. Please note that I’m not saying the winners were the followers, I think Petsch is a great pilot and I’m really happy for him, and I know from eye-witness accounts that Josh actually flew the gaggle less than most, so you CAN beat the odds, but as always with odds, the odds are you won’t… "
At the time I thought perhaps Mads was being kind after I bottled in Valle and he was still venting frustration of the status quo on our collective behalf. Now I see that this 'touring' view of Mads is mirrored by many (top pilots) who were in Montalegre where several suggested that world cup was becoming a 'travel agency' or 'FAI style heel dragging' with suggestions that finely honed skills are no longer a pre-requisite to finish well overall.
For the record I was not entirely unhappy with my performance in Montalegre so I have no need to look for excuses. To some extent I believe the site and corresponding conditions determine effective style and my experience in Montalegre worked both ways in the context of what Mads refers to: on one day I was in front and styling only to find fifty lurkers come floating over my head at the finish; and on the other day I was seriously dead and buried yet managed to pull back to a nine-hundred pointer. Of more concern is that after getting the first day wrong I decided to cruise in order to try make top 25 for a shot at the super final. Normally this kind of approach would make me feel dirty and impotent but I really really want to go to Columbia so I tried it out. You can never enjoy the thrill of winning a world cup task like that, but it is soooo much easier than charging. So now I understand and I don't want to fly like that! So roll on Sun Valley!!!! THERE WILL BE NO LURKING IN SUN VALLEY!!