|Waiting for race start - Photo: Olivier Montel|
This competition followed the recent trend as the weather was yet again marginal making the job exceptionally difficult for the task & safety committees, but we did manage to get a valid competition by getting three tasks in.
On the first few days of the competition the US Aviano Air Base allowed us to enter their airspace so we took advantage of this by setting a 54km race out towards Aviano and back. I had a really bad start, really bad - low and late. I'm not sure how I managed to put myself in such a bad place at the beginning of the race but I managed it in style. My only strategy now was to fly fast and try hard to catch the leaders way out in front. Nearly the whole field took the mountain ridge line, but to me this route looked quite tricky as it wasn't a classic linear ridge like in say Slovenia or St Hillaire. It resembled the ridge in Bir with lots of perpendicular spurs to cross and with a headwind it would have made the air turbulent and messy. With nice fluffy clouds forming in the flats I decided that would be the best option so along with two other pilots we flew the flats fast, spinning up to cloud base when we needed to. This strategy was working wonderfully until near Aviano when a huge area went in to shade and we were forced to scuttle for the ridge. About this time a pilot had an accident and the task was stopped to allow safe access to the rescue helicopter (he is recovering well).
|Task Board - Photo: Olivier Montel|
|Photo: Olivier Montel|
|Yours truly trying to catch a matching Icepeak-6 - Photo: Andy Smart|