Nice to begin with!

A 60km valley race was set, from Corrals to the start near take off, then corrals, Hoyoredondo, Bonilla, red rood, then goal near Piedrahita. A classic looking Cu filled sky until around 3.15pm, but all the while large congestus clouds forming on the plateau behind, with rain falling beyond Chia from around 2.30. Conditions along the ridge were quite gentle, with cloud base around 2500m. With the leading pilots closing on the Hoyoredondo turnpoint, the task was stopped at around 3.21. This was just nine minutes short of getting in a validated task (the rule is that the race must run for 90minutes after the start gate is opened. There was grumbling from some during the briefing that the original start gate open time of 1.40pm was too early to allow ALL the pilots to get to the start gate. If we had run with the original start time the task would have given the German league their first valid task of the year. I wish people would realise that tasks are often designed so that not all the pilots will be at the start gate on time. I would normally work for just the top third to the there. If all are there then there will be a safety crowding issue. By making pilots fly a good number of kms before the start gate we ensure two safety factors. Spreading out along course, and getting pilots off the hill early before stronger launch winds and possible later cancelling due to deteriorating conditions. So, by being foolishly democratic and allowing pilots too much say in the task (extending the race start to 2pm) led to the loss of a task being valid. Anyway, a nice few hours of flying anyway!

Posted: Wednesday, September 10th, 2008 at 18:19 by Steve Ham in Flying Journal, German Open 2008.

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2 Responses to “Nice to begin with!”

  1. bela kovacs Says:

    you are not right, you and the safety commitie had wait for 9 minutes for valid task. we were flying next to the rain all time!
    unfortunately, we didn’t get any weather forecast, and the task was set without the right local weather forecast knowledge

  2. Steve Says:

    The task committe had the forecast from the web sites. I am unaware if Dieter spoke in detail of the forcast at the briefing in German. As for local forcast knowlegde, the day went almost as predicted. I said there would be a poor chance of finishing the task, the validity could be made with the 90 minute rule (that is why it was annoying that more time was asked for by Abe Meyer, which ate into the short task flying time availble. It was a shame that the Meet director did not wait another 9 minutes, since conditions in valley were acceptable for perhaps 30 minutes longer – but this is impossibl to predict.
    The rain you saw to the south of TP4 falling from the large congestus cloud (later Cb) was not really the problem, as that was fed from a valley behind, and normally stays there. This comment was made over the safety frequency and pilots generally agreed level 1. The greater problem was the growing clouds ant Hoyoredondo and Bonilla which at the time of task cancellation started to become problmatic.

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September 2008