Sunday, 15 April 2018

World Cup Brazil 2018- Baixo Guandu - Task 1

Who would have thought a day that started doubtfully would turn out so right!  The deluge that welcomed us home in the evening before gave a cloud-base below the road on the drive through to Baixo in the morning with no fewer than three levels of cloud starting on the ground through the stratus into the cirrus.

We were trucked up the mountain at 8am to the launch site where the normal first day buzz permeated proceedings.   Many were doubtful until the sun sparkled through just in time to lift the wind technicians enough to get the racing juices flowing as one hundred and twenty pilots took to the air.

A sixty kilometer dog-leg task was set to the east for thirteen odd kilometers before a left hand turn to the north along the river past Baixo to a remote goal field guarded by a low ridge and a river crossing.

The start was sublime with conditions allowing competitors to climb up the side of the lower level clouds above launch before heading off on the course.  The pace was fast and furious with cloud-streets marking the way to the first turn-point allowing pilots to apply maximum speed to escape being sucked into the clouds.  The clouds were developing rapidly some 20km into the race in a cat and mouse game with rain chasing our progress.  My group managed to escape the rain mostly but others reported torrential rain thrashing their gliders in a cacophony of sound (imagine the sound of heavy rain on a massive plastic bag).

In the end there were fifty three pilots into goal with another twenty five making the end of speed section but landing short of goal.  I am proud to say team SA was second today flying under the Alas del Hombre  banner (The Mexican Mecca for Monarch butterflies and humans with wings).  We were sixth in the nations.  Both Russel and I were in goal quickly a minute or so behind the lead finishing in the top fifteen for maximum points.  Andrew was not far behind.  Jon and Khobi were agonizingly close landing a few kilometers short.

Michael Sigel won the day on a Boomerang 11.

'Home' Rock - photo: Red Russel Achterberg

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