WGC Hosin: Day 5 Expecting storms along the way in the afternoon, the organizers have called 3 hr. area tasks for all classes with launch beginning at 11:30 local. #ussoaringteams
Two methods of getting airborne. This pic from the contest site
Now, if you were one place behind on the scoresheet and you saw his lucky pink flying shorts left unguarded before the briefing, what would you do?
Another dynamic and enjoyable day of flying here at Hosin. With extensive showers forecast, we had our first Assigned Area Task so far. All classes 3 hours, and all headed west, then clockwise north, east, south, and northwest to the steering turn then home. 18m start opened at 12:37 and I think most folks headed out straight away. It was a fast run into the hills along the German border, then a big deviation back east before hooking back north. I turned with others in the northwest part of the second circle, but it looks like this was the first point at which the faster pilots separated themselves, by getting to 12:00 on the north edge of the circle and lining up the next (longer) leg left of courseline. I enjoyed flying with XG on this leg, and we hooked a couple of very strong (9+ kts) climbs, including directly over Castle Orlik on a scenic, wide part of the Vltava River. Unfortunately, the more southern route into the third turn area led to a 90-degree turn and poor overall geometry–this is a killer on a short AAT, since you end up flying extra distance without really adding to your average speed. Captain Pete was doing his usual stellar job of keeping an eye on radar, satellite, tracking, etc and relaying to us on the radio. He let us know about extensive rain on the fourth leg and in the southeastern turn area, and it was a hard decision which way to deviate after the third turn. My first instinct was the eastern option, left of the rain, since it would bring me into the next circle with good distance and well aligned for the next leg. But I was already going to be comfortably over the 3-hr minimum, I didn’t really know what was behind the rain, and everybody else around me went to the right, so I bowed to peer pressure and went with the group. It worked fine, but I wound up climbing for too long in two weaker thermals, then found all sorts of lift heading into the 5km circle around the steering turn. Ugh. With rain blocking the far side of the circle, I ended up with extra altitude I couldn’t use effectively, burning the last 20km at high speed. So, just 80% of the winner’s score, again. Humbling, this.
We thought we were being smart in the first turn by waiting to turn the second leg when the clouds lined up and avoiding most of the rain. But it was not faster. The second leg involved a lot of blue to avoid the rain. We didn’t go deep into that circle because the next leg looked amazing and we were starting to get way under time. This leg was filled with long runs, string climbs and some more blue holes (we should have went more north of courseline). Then it was a matter of lining up final glide.
Video Recap with Mike Robison
This video is about Day #5 ~ Revisited with Garret Willat
Melanie is strictly ground crew (N1K), but is an avid lover of the sport. She is the ussoaringteams.org web master and loves new ideas so feel free to ask questions, offer suggestions, and give her additional content!