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December 20, 2015

Part 20 of the Aussie diary! Scary wind! AND,….Welkom and the story of Tom the new JWGC champion in club class.

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 12:39 pm

Sunday morning noon;
It’s a blistering HOT storm outside!!!!NOT NICE!!!!!!
Yesterday we got 42.8 dgr. Now before 12 it is already 40 and the wind between 50 and 70 km. gusting to over 100 km./h.

There were fires yesterday to the W of Melbourne, the biggest with damage to land – 4000 hectare, houses [ 8 of them] and animals at Ballarat. It’s under control they say.
This morning about 20 k from here, Finley had a fire, but also under control. Fire brigades are on the highest alert and rush out straight away.

Hangar doors here at Tocumwal Aerodrome, are closed at this moment and I am sure, will be closed for the rest of the day. The cool change should come soon [expected at 2PM] and then the temperatures will drop with at least 10 dgr.
The dust is terrible now and the tumble weed passes by with huge speed!It’s kind of scary this noisy wind.

The Christmas period will be nice with temperatures just under and just above 30 dgr. Starting on Monday with 21, the cycle will built up again to higher temperatures!!!
Yes I have certainly picked the hottest time to be here.

TASK 7 in WELKOM was a 3 hour AAT for the open class pilots. This time the Goudriaans were upfront with 1000 points for Oscar  flying 486 km. with a speed of 161 km./h. and 987 points for brother Laurens;484 km. in 3.02.
The Nationals near their “end” and Oscar has moved from 6 overall in the beginning to 2 , behind his brother now,… with a difference of  less than 30 points; 5974 for 5947.
Nico le Roux is still around 2000 points ahead in the 15. m class , where 1 of the 3 participating pilots did not start anymore and in club Konrad Stark happily flies around, as  a sole competitor finishing every day and accumulating a score of 5818 over the 6 days he flew ,as he did not fly the 4 hour AAT on flying day 5.

It was a difficult day with over development as I read in Ronald ‘s blog and a low base and a possibility of rain.
Ronald flies mostly together in Welkom with Dutch pilot Marco Vermeer and before the 3d TP Ronald was still close to Oscar and Holger, BUT,……..they arrived 20 minutes earlier! As Ronald said; ” It can be  like that as well” , they found a 4 m. thermal and could use that  for the final glide straight home!!!
For Dutch reading readers;

THE UK GLORIOUS JWGC team specially in club class, has published a nice blog from JWGC CHAMPION Tom,  how they “snatched” 2 titles on the last day, interesting for ALL to read , so I publish and share it with you.

—-” World champion… Nope, it still hasn’t sunk in yet! It’s been a pretty manic week since the end of the competition, so apologies for the lack of posts about the last day etc. Here’s a write up of how the last day went for us club class boys, and how we ended up snatching two medals from under the German’s noses.

We were set a 3 hour AAT, with blue conditions up to about 7000 ft forecast. Big sectors, close together in a relatively short AAT can be a recipe for a bit of a lottery, and there was a lot to be gained or lost on the last day. With myself sitting 80 points off the lead in second place, and Sam in seventh, we discussed tactics a lot in our usual pre-flight team briefing and decided that we would try and fly our own flight, knowing that we had flown very well as a pair on the previous blue days. The plan was to try and start on our own, but if we did end up with the Germans, to stick with them to ensure we secured a podium finish. The start proved to be vital. We knew that if the Germans found us, they would simply wait until we started, and then follow us. So, with a bit of help from the Standards (thanks Mike and Matt!), we went and hid about 25 km from the airfield, the other side of the standard class start line, whilst Andy and the crews kept a close watch at the airfield for any club class starters. As our pre-determined latest start time approached, we snuck back towards the airfield, and managed to make a start relatively undetected. Unfortunately, we caught up with the Germans, who were surrounded by a massive gaggle of gliders, after only 20km or so. Although it turned out they had started about a minute before us from the other end of the line, we knew that sticking with them would mostly likely secure a second place finish, but no better than that. It was here that we made the pivotal, and risky decision, to hang back a bit, and then make a split from the gaggle. We were confident that we could fly faster as a pair in the blue, so we went for it, taking a more northerly track whilst thankfully everyone else stayed with the painfully slow gaggle. After a long glide, Sam cored 6.5 knots which put us well out of reach of the gaggle and we pushed deep in to the first sector before turning to align ourselves with the standard class task. We then ran with some of the standard class gliders, heading North for another 50 km or so before we stumbled across a large gaggle of club class gliders. YES, it was the Germans again! After some communication with team base, Andy told us that it appeared they had turned much shorter than us in the first sector. We ran with the gaggle, again at a rather slow pace with nobody willing to push on, until they all decided to turn for home. In order to squeeze as much advantage as we could, we decided to push just another couple of km’s in to the turn, before chasing them down all over again. Five minutes later we were back with the gaggle and Andy came on the radio to say the speeds looked good and our best bet was to just follow them home. This turned out not to be so simple! We managed to miss a bubble in one of the climbs and fell off the bottom of the gaggle. Soon we were down below 2000 ft and thinking that we might have thrown the day away. We took a couple of weak top up climbs but still had to keep pushing forwards uncomfortably low. Finally we cored a solid 4.5 kts and took this on to a very skinny final glide. As we approached the final turnpoint, we came over the top of a few thermalling gliders. OH YES, it was the Germans again! Somehow we had managed to catch them back up, and as we turned for home the question was whether we had done enough to bridge the 80 point gap to first place. With the gliders off the field, the traces submitted, and everyone pacing nervously, we waited… BOOM! 2nd and 3rd for the day, but more importantly 1st and 3rd position overall! I can honestly say I’ve never been so happy. After 10 gruelling days flying against the best under-26 pilots in the world, we had nailed the last day and come out on top.

So, now it’s back to reality… A cold, dark and wet UK for Christmas. I’ve already got my Christmas present though, and I need to say a few thank you’s. Firstly, on behalf of the whole team, I need to thank our generous sponsors, without whom this would not have been possible. The British Gliding Association for all their support, including entering us in to the comp and transporting our gliders, British Airways for flying the whole team across the world, Land Rover for providing us with a Discovery for the comp, Apogee for lending and fitting us out a container to transport all of our equipment, and Sydney Charles, Lasham Gliding Society, Naviter and Navboys for supporting the team throughout the year. On a personal note, I also need to thank the whole team who made this possible. Andy Davis for being both a fantastically organised and dedicated Team Captain but also a coach that provided us with a wealth of experience throughout the competition. His tactical calls and infamous ‘weather updates’ were spot on every time, and were so good that we had to resort to ever more complicated code to stop the other teams relaying them to their pilots. Pami Davis for supporting both Andy and the rest of the team whenever we needed her to, in any role we needed her to. The crews, Ben, Bendict, Guy and James for ensuring our gliders were on the grid every morning, without fail, ready to go, whilst also feeding us, sorting out a multitude of equipment problems, and still finding time to cause mischief around the airfield.
To my crew, Guy Dutton, I couldn’t have asked for a better crew. You put up with my pickiness for a whole month and I couldn’t have done it without you. And finally, to Sam Roddie. This was truly a team result and I could not have achieved this without my amazing team mate flying alongside me every flight. It took a lot of practice throughout the year, but we made a formidable team. We took on the world and we won! Tom—-”


I guess reading this,….. the DESERVED GOLD  and bronze winner.Also it shows HOW important it is to have a good coach and ALL support on the ground necessary. Of course coach Andy, Matt’s dad is a world champion himself and a VERY TALENTED pilot and a great guy!!!

Attila, who so kindly “gave”  his glider to USA pilot Boyd, flew his St Cirrus from Lake Keepit over 690 km.

Off home, TOO hot in the hangar, waiting for the cool change with a book in an air conditioned room.
More next week.
Cheers Ritz

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