Hang Gliding Worlds: Task 7


The forecast showed the lightest and most stable conditions of the whole competition today and we certainly experienced that. The start gate was mega intense. 100 gliders all at the same height unable to get above 6000ft (2000ft above the ridge) in punchy 2-300fpm bubbles battling each other for the top of the stack. A 100km task was set with a dogleg back to the main Esplanada goal.
John and myself were in a bad positions for the first start (low as) so we waited for the second. This ended up working in our favour as we found a climb right on the edge of the start cylinder and climbed to 7000ft right before the start clicked over.
We caught the main lead gaggle from this first start part way through the second leg. So far so good!
The inversion broke slightly further down course line and we managed to get as high as 8000ft although climbs remained weak due to high cirrus shading most of the region.
I got low (500ft AGL) at the last turnpoint with Mario Alonzi the comp leader and Jonny Durand. Mario went left searching for lift and bombed out, Jonny and I went right to some birds and found weak lift that eventually kicked. We watched about thirty gliders including John cruise over the top of us and find a climb further towards goal that they took for final but I didnt have the altitude to get to it so had to wait in lift that was drifting me towards airspace. Eventually I was right on the edge of the CTR and had to leave the climb so not to get penalized. The day was getting late and the lift dying I had a 15:1 to goal but turned back for a safe landing half way over the lake because I didn't think I was going to make it. John Smith was about 600ft higher and sailed into goal placing 14th for day! Legendary.

Mario who I had nearly landed with lost his lead and has dropped back to 5th place. Alex Ploner will take the top spot again. But two days left so still early days, will be exciting to watch it unfold!

Task 7 Results

1. Chrisitan Ciech (Italy)
2. Rudy Gotes (Mexico)
3. Alex Ploner (Italy)

NZ Team

14. John Smith
41. Jonas Lobitz
96. Derek Mckee

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