Task 7. Epic Cu filled sky. Light NW-W-SW
The last day of the XC Open and classic conditions. What to do? A short task to have the prize giving and scoring done at a realistic time, or leave it open and allow the pilots to come here to do what they want?. The latter wins out and predictably there are pilots beyond 160km.
Very late scoring and heaps of problems with airspace infringements/arguments/bad feeling etc. The prize giving is eventually held at around 1am in the main square with the Mayor who has stayed up late to help preside.
The overall winner is Maxime and our favourite and regular guest Andy Davies scoops the Sports class prize and also second in the Serial Class. Well done Andy.
Our overall notam for the comp given by the ¨Ministry of such things¨ was only 8000ft. Way below the Notam beyond Avila of 3000m. In my initial briefing 8 days ago I expressed the need to maintain below 3000m to the airspace East of Avila, and north of the Mountains. North of the mountains was not an easy concept to score with, so Hans made a line from Villatoro to TP B11, which was roughly along the main road…..so simple, keeping N of the road keeps you out. However, what stuck in many peoples minds was the N of the mountains bit, many forgetting this line traced on the powerpoint projection. Also, this line actually went S of the road near Villacastin. So, after 6 epic tasks, on the 7th many pilots flew into this area, feeling that they were obeying the spirit of the rules, yet were unknowingly clipped of their points as they flew south of the road near Villacastin. Amongst those with points clipped right back were Paul Tomassi who had flown over 160km and Martin Muller, who flew back to Avila from Villacastin. So, what to do? Those having no points clipped would argue that the rule of the line N of the road was given and is the rule. Others argued that this should have been explained once again during the task briefing of Task 7. The Jury decided to go with the line, though I was more in favour of the general ¨N of the mountains¨, though recognised that the line was given at the first general briefing. The scorer was also very reluctant to score again as he said it would take a further hour (it being already near Midnight).
After an hour of general abuse from a number of the agrieved pilots, including threats from Tobias Hinas to take his complaint to the to the CIVL, we completed the prize giving sometime near 2pm. 7 days of quite epic flying soured by this affair. I am profoundly upset by what does seem unjust due to the genuine mistake due to lack of clarity of the briefing and understanding on behalf of some pilots. Likewise I am somewhat upset by the attacks of some of the agrieved after what has been probably the most successfull XC Open of the series since its inception (as regards days and overall distances flown). I imagine this is the last Piedrahita XC Open as I would much rather fly with a small group of our guests than spend the week earthbound and watching others have great flights then gripe about it at the end!