The difference between landing somewhere in Russian flatlands and in Piedrahita is that when you come from your field to the nearest village in Spain you cannot hear Russian language and see Russian drunk man. The rest is fairly the same — a church, rural calmness, a cafe, a small store, people gazing at you and maybe tipsy Spanish guy is there also. Very relaxing to sit at “Plaza Mayor” and to recall the flight 🙂
Today is the third day, the organizers set 144 km with first tail wind and two 50 km cross-wind legs. Almost made the second turnpoint, which means about 85 km of the task. Strong 25 kmh face-wind as it was yesterday. But the difference is in huge shadow and then the blue hole which killed many of us 10 km short to the waypoint. Should be faster to go through these obstacles earlier with more warmth from the sun. This competition is a master-class about flying against strong winds.
Yesterday thunderstorms were predicted in area behind the mountains in Pedro Bernardo and also there was a possibility of overcast in front of the ridge. So the organizers set 91 km task towards flatlands with hope that the area will get enough warmth to make thermals. I was hesitating about the day because even before the window opened, the take off was already in shadow of the thunderstorm anvil which has grown in the next valley. So the thermals were weak, and it was a race with this cloud cover — you come to a sunny spot, make several circles and then it’s done because the shadow overtook you. All this is against 18-25 kmh wind. Sometimes you are fast enough to work out a good thermal before it’s killed — interesting game 🙂 So it was for the first 35 km leg of the route, the next 30 km part was against cross wind with only hope to go through the area without landings under cloud base with full vg and catching everything that help you to stay “as high as possible”. And the last part was pretty easy, but since I was struggling for a long time before the thermals just ended and I landed 1,5 km short of the goal 🙂
The results are here
Meanwhile our Russian team seems not bad 🙂