Thursday, 16 January 2014

2013 Super Final - Govenador Valadares - Practice Day and snow cones

We were in GV in 2005 for the World Championships.  That year we had ten tasks, we flew every day.  The big buzz on the mountain is about gliders as you can imagine.  

The release of IP7 and the Enzo 2 has led to speculation and broad claims of perfection and 'a new level of performance'.  In truth I believe GV is about the flying and not so much the glider.  It was no surprise that the practice day did not show any obvious leap in performance, but we will know more after two weeks.  In my personal opinion, on my LARGE boom 9, the new wings have only closed the gap a bit....

Much more controversial is the great cone debate.  The greatest headache for administrators, and probably the catalyst for the demise of the open class, is the damned final glide.  The top comps have pretty much congealed into a clump of 'sticky' pilots who appear inseparable until the last glide whereupon up to a hundred pilots push as much as they can out of their equipment to cross the line with the fastest glider winning by a few seconds and the group spread over a few minutes.

The inverted cone finish was invented to stop this practice and it was used during the practice task as a precursor to debate with the possible implementation during this comp.  As is always the case, there are strong lobby groups within the world cup and those not in favor of any proposal almost always shout the loudest.  In this instance I wonder if the groups are aligned along good and evil lines?  If you know how to go faster than anyone else (see this blog entry) then surely you would be opposed, and conversely if you can't be bothered to tweak your glider and devise methods to go faster than the designer intended you would prefer a more sedate finish.  Whatever the case:  'there will be no cone here, but the cone is coming' to quote our beloved chairperson.  

In my humble opinion I believe we should trust the executive to make decisions in our best interest irrespective of the hypothetical consequences because administration by consensus is almost as bad as FAI style bureaucracy.  Paradigm shifts can be refreshing and stimulating.

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