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Lisa Turner winning the day in 18M Class in her ASG 29

The weather forecast for today deteriorated slightly over night. The high pressure system centred in the ocean to the east of Australia brought more stable conditions. A trough is approaching from the west and forcing dry northerly winds from Queensland into the task area. This is a typical Australian summer weather pattern.

What makes the soaring conditions so good at this time of year is the ‘Goldilocks Trough’. If the trough is too humid cloud and rain will form. If the air is too dry then blue conditions will dominate. If there is just the right amount of moisture then a sky filled with cumulus to 15,000ft over a vast area is possible. This season, and today, the air is very dry.

At briefing, the task setter Bruce Taylor was confident that thermals would work up to 10,000ft and that thermal strengths would be 6 to 8kts, a bit less than might have been expected due to the more stable conditions.


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 Alena Netusilova also took first place in 18M Class for Czech Republic

After a hot and dusty launch into a blue sky, all competitors progressed well on task. After landing Lisa Trotter, Standard Class, Australia, said that the first leg south to the Breza plain was a bit tricky with low points of 3 – 4,000ft and taking 3 - 4 kt climbs. But she said, ‘The second half of the task was absolutely booming, with convergence and CUs up to 12,000ft. So it was pretty nice.’ Thermal strengths were 8 – 10kts. 


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Alena Netusilove from Czech Republic in a JS3 and Australian Lisa Turner have been awarded 1,000 points in 18m Class, both taking joint first place. Alena flew the 478.20km task at 145.21 kph, beating Lisa, who achieved 145.19 kph in her ASG29, by a whisker. These are blistering speeds over a nearly 500 km task. For Great Britain, Elizabeth Sparrow took third position coming in at 144.57 kph. Ailsa McMillan, Australia, took 4th position in 18m Class flying at 144.10 kph in a JS1. The top nine pilots were all over 140 kph.

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Lisa Trotter landing to finish in third position in Standard class

In Standard Class, Lisa Trotter took 3rd place on what was a good day for Australia, flying the racing task distance of 459.95km at 125.16 kph. Aude Untersee from France came 2nd at 138.96 kph and American Sue Arnold flew her Discus 2 to tak e the top spot at 137.84 kph.

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Jo Davis took second place in Club Class

In Club Class Australia took the top two places with Jenny Ganderton in first, flying the 411.94 km task at 122.71 kph, and Jo Davis at 122.94 kph to take second place on handicap in her ASW 20. Judyta Czyz took third position for Poland in an ASW 19 with a speed of 115.42 kph.

Tomorrow’s conditions look good in the task area on a pre-trough day with thermals and CU to 13- 14,000ft and ground temperatures forecast to reach 43° C. On Monday the troughs look to be stationary, blocked by the high pressure to the east centred on the south coast of New South Wales. A late shower is possible. As far as the rest of Australia is concerned, a late deluge would be welcome to extinguish the enormous fire fronts that are still growing in intensity. Still, in this land of extremes, it is wise to moderate what you wish for. This is a land of both fire and flood.

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Jenny Thompson took seventh place but just 28 points off the leaders in 18M Class

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The host country started the Championships with a very strong performance. Perhaps these conditions suit the locals. We shall see as the contest unfolds.

More racing action from WWGC Lake Keepit tomorrow.

Sean Young


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