Lisa Turner waiting to launch her ASG29.
Today’s launch time was set for 11am. Dave Shorter forecast a good day but again cautioned that there would be an early cut off to soaring conditions and recommended that the pilots be in final glide by 4.30pm. Some shower activity was forecast and by 3pm overdevelopment and rain were showing up on the satellite pictures and radar.
As recommended, the first of the fleet arrived home at 4.30pm.
Showers did indeed develop and in the end the entire fleet were home (with one engine start) and tied down before a storm front passed over the airfield. As there is little ground cover, the wind whipped up the dust and from my room where I was firmly closed in, I could not see to the end of the deck.
Half an hour later the storm had passed. As the fleet had come in to land, a shower passed to the south of the airfield and the wind was 15-20kts from the south. After the dust storm moved through, the wind had turned to a stiff easterly.
Australian Team Captain Terry Cubley said, ‘Today, the Aussies decided to leave a bit earlier than the others and it didn’t pay off. Yesterday they decided to leave a bit later than the others and it did pay off. I think they were worried about the overdevelopment.’
Aude Grangeray from France (see video) found the day difficult with different wind strengths and direction at varying altitudes making it hard to find and centre thermals. She lost contact with cloud base, which was at 9-10,000ft, and got low a few times. I mention this so that all the Aussie pilots and I who have been there and done that, far too often, can feel comforted as well as commiserate with Aude.
The tasks were AATs for all classes. 18m Class had a 304 to 591km maximum three-circle task. Standard Class were set 283 to 552km and Club Class had 220 to 437km.
In 18m Class, the French are showing their consistency. Ann Ducarouge came home to win the day flying 456.02km at 138.61 kph. Two times day winner Czech Alena Netusilova came in 2nd flying 467.62km at 137.45 kph. From what Alena told me yesterday, this would have been a day very much to her liking with varied conditions and a changing sky in an AAT task. Anne’s teammate Mélanie Gadoulet took 3rd position flying 455.34km at 137.13 kph. JS3s took the top three places with Liz Sparrow, Great Britain taking 4th place in her ASG29.
Melanie and Ann for France are now leading the 18m table followed by Alena Netusilova for Czech Republic in 3rd. The Australian team maintained their positions with Ailsa McMillan maintaining her 7th position, Lisa Turner 9th and Jenny Thompson 13th.
In Standard Class the Czech Republic made a complete sweep of the top spots with Jana Veprekova, Hana Treslova, Dana Nováková taking 1st, 2nd and 3rd spots, all flying roughly 425km at 119 kph. This will please hard working team captain Peter Krejcirik very much, as his entire Standard Class team are now well placed on 4th, 5th and 6th positions overall.
The top three spots in Standard Class are held by Sarah Arnold, USA, 7th on the day, Anna Piotrowska from Poland and Ayala Truelove, who took 4th place on the day. Australian Claire Scutter did a sterling job to take 5th place putting her in 9th place overall just behind teammate Lisa Trotter in 8th place overall with Cath Conway in 11th position.
Ailsa McMillan who won 18m Class yesterday waiting her turn to fly again today.
In Club Class, French pilot Céline Rault came in 1st place flying 351.47km at 109.64 kph. This is Céline’s first WGC and she wanted to ‘surprise’. This is her second day win and she has kept her 2nd place overall so far. Christine Grote from Germany came in 2nd, flying 323.19km at 106.23 kph and yesterday’s winner Australian Jo Davis came in 3rd, flying 338.77km at 109.56 kph.
The top positions in Club Class remain unchanged with Jo, Céline and Christine in the top three slots followed by defending world champion Sabrina Vogt. The other two Australians Jenny Ganderton is in 14th and Kerrie Claffey is in 17th place.
I believe tomorrow will be another flying day with International Night tomorrow evening and an official rest day on Saturday 11 January.
On International Night, the various teams delight their fellow competitors and crew with culinary and drink specialities from their respective countries. The French are rumoured to be serving Crêpes Suzette and champagne, the Italian team zabaglione and Barolo. See you there.