Benalla Storm

Benalla Storm

Friday, December 24, 2010

JG - Contest Day 6

Saturday, December 18

Playing around at cloudbase before the start.
WoW! An entire contest flown: 2 practise days and 6 contest days! This is the first time this has happened in a contest all year in Australia! The conditions for the final day were looking similar to the previous day with extensive cumulous, but slightly better. The task was set as a two-hour Assigned Area Task with a nominal of 220.6km. Winds were forecasted to be very strong out of the west. I knew it would be another day where it was important to stay at cloud base. I was also determined not to let my poor performance from the previous day prevent me from being optimistic about the final day. However, I was very cautious throughout the flight. I know that I could have and should have flown faster, being more selective about the climbs I opted to take. However, I also thought it would be better to stay up and get around than to land out again.

Waikerie from the air: scrub to the north, fields, and the river.
 I started the task around the same time as other competitors, but from another start location. Although I saw a few people out on course, they were often much higher than me so I didn't stick with them for very long. I decided to go quite far north in the first circle, often making detours in an effort to chase the clouds. The first leg was very slow. I picked up speed towards the end of the second leg, and flew a cloud street towards the third turnpoint, picking up speed along the way. I decided to just hit the south side of the third turnpoint so that I could avoid the river as much as possible on the way home. I knew I had flown a very cautious and slow day, but I was incredibly happy to be successfully home back at the airport! I flew my first ever high-speed approach, coming short of the clubhouse, but safely going from 200 feet back up to 600 feet to have a solid circuit. A good fun end to the contest! Andrew Maddocks smoked the field flying an incredible 118.63km/h!!

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