December 20, 2008
Yesterday I took out the Mossie for a flight. I had planned to try out the hills but it was blue and the locals recommended staying in the flats. Most of the guys were planning to go to Temora so I decided I would go that direction as well. I declared The Rock and figured I would go past if it was good. I was hitting good lift in the blue including a thermal that was showing 10.5kts on the 30s average most of the time and got to The Rock at 2:00pm so decided to keep going in the direction of Temora. I planned to go until 3:00pm then turn around. I stopped 245km from home, 25km from Temora. The trip home was much more difficult with the lift getting further and further apart and thermals getting harder to work. Over Corowa I got a bit low and thought I might have to land there but managed to scrape away. I started a final glide back to the club and hit a good thermal along the way and took it. I did another 12km leg past the club to pick up a little more OLC distance. The total OLC distance was 520km which is a personal best for me. It also placed me in third place for the day in Australia and first in Benalla. We were happy to beat the Corowa guys as well. Today may be a better day but I am taking a day off. I went for a bike ride around town this morning and will be getting checked out in the scout later today.
December 14, 2008
The banquet was a good bit of fun with most of the pilots going to the reuse shop to buy suits/dresses (we had a couple guys come in drag). I missed the trip to the shop so I just threw on my hockey jersey to represent Canada. Michael Sommer, the winner of the two previous world championships in the open class and a member of the Benalla club was there to present the first place trophy. I had a chance to sit down and chat with him about flying and he told me about flying in Sweden where he won his first championship. Since Finland will be similar conditions I was taking good note. Michael likes to stay up drinking to the early hours of the morning so he got on well with us juniors. He stresses having fun at a contest. Today was a rest and recovery day and tommorow I will be back towing.
December 11, 2008
It is raining today so the day is scrubbed. Tomorrow does not look very promising either. It looks like I will end up in sixth overall for the contest. I am disappointed in the result but I have learnt some good lessons over the contest and had lots of fun. It has been nice to have so many people my own age to talk about our flights with and sit around the bar with. Tomorrow is the banquet. It is being held in the clubhouse and the bar has been stocked accordingly.
Today I probably had the highest task speed that I have ever been disappointed in. I flew at 104km/h and knew it was not going to be enough. I was joined by Eric Stauss in his Hornet again today and I could not pull away from him even at 100kts. After an hour and a half I looked at my watch and knew I should have been on final glide by then. I ended up taking some bad climbs and going a bit too far off course chasing cu's. Nathan Johnson again smoked everyone at 128km/h raw speed. The task was a bit of an under call because there was cirrus moving in from the north and the cd was worried it would cut everything off. The weather does not look very good for the rest of the week so this may be the last day of the contest.
JoeyGlide Day 4 results
December 10, 2008
Today was blue again but we flew an assigned task. It was tough in the start gate but as soon as I went through, it got much better. I flew with two pilots Adam Henderson in a 304c and Eric Stauss in a Hornet for most of the flight. There was also a Duo Discus flying with us for a while which had a coach and coachee in it. I felt much more confident about my thermaling. It was very easy to lose the core in the thermals but I think I did a good job of finding it again. We got a few cu's on the last leg but we were also into wind. About 80km from the finish Eric and I were still together and he had gotten in front. He went off to a grass fire off course that I thought looked good. I decided to stay on course and see if he turned in it. He did not so I kept going to the sunny side of the ridge that was just ahead. With some searching I found a good climb to get home. The final glide was a bit marginal and I hit some strong sink on the way back. I took a couple of turns in a thermal but in hindsight I probably did not need to. Task speed was 91km/h.
Day 3 Results
December 8, 2008
Today was much better although I think I would have really benefited from having water ballast. It was blue like yesterday but higher convection and less wind. The task was an AAT with Walbundrie to the north east with a 30km circle, Yarrawonga to the south west with a 30km circle and then Glenrowan to the east with a 15km circle. I went deep into the first circle and just needed to minimize the other cylinders to get back home on time. I came fifth for the day behind four guys with water. It is going to be tough to beat these guys dry even with the 2 points I was given on my handicap. I was quite impressed with the first place finishers speed, Nathan Johnson. He will be flying in the worlds in Finland and I had a chance to fly with him a bit today. He won yesterday as well and seems to fly quite consistently.
I have had trouble adjusting to this aussie weather. It would have been nice to get in a few more flights before the comp. The thermals can be very strong but so is the sink. The interthermal speeds I had been flying in Canada don`t work here and I haven`t quite figured out exactly what I need here. I was happy with the day though and I think I should be able to move myself up some more places from here.
Sorry for not posting anything about the contest but the internet has been down for the past week. The contest organizers have had problems getting weather among other things. I had a rough day 1 of the contest. I pulled out to the grid nice and early then discovered water dripping out of the gear doors. The cockpit was slowly filling with water so I had to dump all my water. The contest director said I could adjust my handicap by 2 points but it didn't matter much for the day because I lawn darted 30km from the start. Three of the locals came to pick me up with beer in hand. On the way back from the retrieve without notice and without incident the tread tore off one of the tires. We discovered it when we got back and threw the spare on. I then rigged the glider and put it in the hanger and started getting the water out of the cockpit. The glider had been previously repaired and the drain whole was fiberglassed over so one of the guys drilled a new hole in the bottom of the fuselage and I dried it all out. I was a bit down about the flight but I was glad that I got everything sorted out and it wasn't any worse, which it definately could have been.