And so we were off to a glorius albeit chaotic start with a 154km task set past Segovia in a substantial west wind. The SA men did reasonably well with Andre leading most of the way joined by Russel at the halfway mark only to be held up near the end. Henry romped home on the end of the first gaggle in the 30's with Russel and Andre in the 40's and 50's
It was a relatively straight forward down wind dash complicated by an awkwardly positioned exit start gate that had most of the field stuck in no-mans land over the pass with ten minutes to go and no-where to wait in the relentless westerly. The day was further complicated by no-fly zones and height restrictions along the course in the second half. The start put a fair few on the ground and airspace navigation issues will cause tears because around thirty or so pilots who made goal received zeros for their efforts on account of infringements. I imagine there will be fireworks at the team leader briefing this morning with protests, complaints and appeals being the order of the day.
I have to say it is not that much fun trying to stay under 3,000m ASL on a booming day and avoiding little parcels of no-go-zones can be stressful and tedious. It's a real bummer that quality pilots like Torsten Siegel should be out so early.
Other notables who had less than a perfect day include: our viking mate Mads; Jack Brown from US (of Korea worldcup fame); Xevi Bonet who finished 10th in Mexico in his tenth world championship event; Elisa Houdry (defending female champion).
There is alot of flying to be done over the next 12 days so I guess it is too soon to make any predictions.
Launch is hectic with strong wind and human bowling balls dragging through take-off on every second launch attempt.
The leader boards:
Male: Charles Cazaux, Rafal Luckos, Neil Roberts
Female: Petra Silvova, Regula Strasser Strasser, Seiko Naville
Team: FRANCE, UK, USA,
SA team in 14th.