Saturday, 4 October 2008
The day is looking strong and fast... probably one for the hot bloods. Pilots taking on ballast at launch. Andre are you ready?
And BOY! is Andre ready. He blasts into the lead on the 55km task setting a cracking pace with three others with the pack in hot pursuit. Andrew dawdles at the start and fights a rear-guard action along the cliffs and spines that constitute the course line. Andre is still on top in front with a crossing and 20km to go. He gives it full, gets the line and goes in a minute or so ahead of the rest.
Andrew plonks in a while later.
Cold beer in the after glow, and were speculating about the probability of both finishing in the top twenty. That would be pretty cool, but let's wait and see....
After dicking around on the huge cliffs for a couple of turn points, the task takes us across the flats to the distant cliffs and valleys. Puppy styles the first few moves across the flats and to the 600m vertical cliffs. Alas the fan was off so he ends up get retrieve out of the most astonishingly picturesque village on the back of a scooter. Jones does the tree kicking, cable dodging samba which he has by now perfected to get a reasonable finish elevating him to the rarefied top fifteen elite, punching in at number 13. Puppy takes a glide of eight down the ranking amidst some pitiful grumbling.
The 11kva web of power lines claimed it's first victim in the form of Renata from Czech. She sustained first and second degree burns to her legs on hitting well hidden lines less than five metres above the terrain. She is out of hospital and will be fine.
Thursday, 2 October 2008
The morning dawned sultry and nothing dawned on the sultries despite the death like slumber. Hot and humid to start we got to the top of the hill and settled into the 'Shadow of the Wind'.
Darkness on the horizon turned into cloud beneath us eerily tracking the sombre tone of my novel.
A task is set in swirling darkness, my shades a shade too dark to see. Mine had to be removed as puppy blundered prematurely to ground. Most of the task is soarable up giant cliffs sporting military crops of still bigger trees. We chat together as we inch up the cliffs amazed that there are a hundred pilots making their way around the course (most ahead of us).
The day started in the teens for both of us overall. This equates to a respectable charge at the head of the weekend warriors. Today has warped that happy picture.
Wednesday, 1 October 2008
18H30 Wednesday 1 October 2008
One might have hoped for a sane task after the excesses of yesterday. No
such luck I am sorry to say. Strong North AND strong South wind, so set
something crazy in the flats to the west where we can ridge soar 50m hills
in the howling sea breeze. I am really pleased not to be on the task
Now what was the thing about sea breezes? Uhm.... OH YES! Now I remember!
Stable air! I guess they have high expectations, but this is too much! Mind
you, some pilots may well have the luck we had yesterday and get through...
Anyway, I managed to land in good company after groveling in a hole for an
hour. Weird to be able to fly 220m ASL for so long and not coastal ridge
soaring at Map of Africa.
News Flash! 9 pilots in goal, with the captain just 5km short! The mind
boggles at the depth of skill and experience in this field.