09 August 2014

and thus it ends

I think the pictures pretty much say it all.  The contest is over.

Thanks to everyone who supported us and followed the blog over the past days/weeks/months.

signing off...


Last task at competition

For the last day organizers changed task three times.
From initial 400+ km to final version C that looks like:
15M - racing task 253.8 km
18M - racing task 245.3 km

At the begining we have blue sky and sniffer was trying different places before he was able to climb to 1500m (in the blue). At the same time we can see some CUs popping up in the sky.
good - boys are finally up after delaying launch time until 12:40 (from original 11:15).
bad - CUs are dissipating fast.
It looks like challenging day!

 Results are here (daily & overall)


08 August 2014

Last day of competition, Saturday Aug 9th

Today is last day and good weather seems to be holding.
Most likely we will have another short task day due to possible rain late afternoon.
Here is the pfd for today

Thermals for 2PM

For 5 PM

And below is a picture of open class glider touching down at the field.
No wonder why grass is greener there!

Tonight we have "good bye" gathering at the filed at 8PM. 


HD Racing Day 9

Tomorrow is last day of the contest
Leaders in our class have good position to keep their position .
Polish experience shows that winners are those who can play at the start line, pilots starting  latest most of the time are the winners.
 Gaggles forms and all like minnows are flying task just avoiding hitting each other.
Today I started as one of the first, but others waited extra 20 to 25 minutes and had much better results. In previous Worlds in Germany, Hungary and Uvalde TX individual pilot had chance to fly by himself and had chance for good results, but not in Leszno.


Dave's Lucky Day 13

Today, I came up with yet another way to blow the day.  After passing the first turnpoint and heading 9 km along the second leg, I couldn't understand why my computers were still navigating me to the first turn as they should automatically change to the next point upon entry into the zone.  Since both computers were saying the same thing, I decided this meant I really had missed the turnpoint zone.  I couldn't remember if the penalty for missing a zone was 50 points or a land-out so I turned around and went back another 9 km.

I now know, it is a 50 point penalty for a miss up to 500 m.  Instead, I gave myself about a 300 point penalty by going back. As you can see in the image below, my miss was very small, I measured it to be 50 m in See You.  

So in retrospect, I should have known about the 50 point penalty and just moved on. Besides the loss of time for flying an extra 18 km for no reason, it also broke my concentration and really pissed me off, so that didn't help for the rest of the flight.  So at the end of the day, I ended up in 1 kt thermals struggling to get home and thus ended a horrible day.

But since feedback should always end on a positive note - at least I wasn't last on the day despite all my errors!

Next day - racing task

After front passed over this morning, we have gorgeous sky with CUs as far as we ca see from the ground.
Prognosis are good on the task's path with no rain, just possible small blue hole.

task for 15 M - racing 361.3 km
task for 18 M - racing 350.0 km

And reality check - from the window of our base location.



07 August 2014

HD Report- Racing Task

 Today we had racing task.
Just before start Cu's were spreading out and I was forced to start as soon gate was opened, couple pilots took risk and waited extra 25 minutes and had better clouds to the first TP
I had good speed to first TP around 145km/h but after TP large gaggle of 15m, open class and 18m arrived in my thermal and hell broke lose.
Every pilot had own idea of centering thermal so end effect thermal was lost .
I didn't have other option as to fly with the group. It is very strange when gaggle flies trough 3m/s lift without turning and then stops in 1.5m/s thermal. Conditions on second leg were some times good, but we had only one good thermal rest of the thermals were weak.
Again we were couple times low, but climbed back . I had to go couple km past last TP to gain extra altitude for final glide which was on the blue without chance to gain altitude in case of miscalculation of final glide.
I hope I will fit in to first page of printed results in this contest :)


Dave's Day 12

So far there have been no days here without some little hiccup in the weather.  Today, that hiccup was the spreading out of the cu creating large blue holes.  Overall, it was a good day because the task kept us in the good areas most of the time.  On the second leg, I probably deviated more than I needed to, but I was with another glider and felt it was better to stay together than to deviate less.

 The third leg was quite good as I met up with a bunch of Open class gliders that had a similar leg, although I did make an error going into the third turnpoint as evidenced by the 90 degree deviation just before the turnpoint.  Once again, I headed for a cu that delivered no lift and wasted the altitude and time to deviate.

The fourth leg was the lowest and weakest as it was crosswind and there were less clouds and no streets to follow.  Just before the last turnpoint, there was a nice cloud with a gaggle climbing and I deviated towards it, climbed, then went into the turnpoint and back to the cloud.  This was again a deviation that I didn't need to make.  I should have first gone to the turnpoint.

When I compared my trace to that of today's winner, I flew 350 km to cover the 313 km course and he flew 333 km.  That extra 17 km over 2:45 task length adds up to almost 7 km/hr.  So once again, I need to deviate less, even though it seems like a good idea at the time.

As I topped out the last climb after the turn and started my final glide, the sky towards home was clear of cu from about 35 km east of Leszno to as far as I could see to the west.  I thought, I'm sure glad they set the task in this direction.

Dave's Day 11 - recap

Yesterday, as Jerzy mentioned, very heavy cirrus covered the sky and we had to work with weak thermals and low altitudes.  As you can see from the barograph trace, it was a low day that became even weaker and lower as the cirrus started to block the sun.

I had a few low saves and then just before the second turnpoint, I had a weak climb with a gaggle.  We were averaging less than 2 kts and I elected to leave that thermal and go a few km into the turnpoint and then to a cloud about 1/2 km beyond the zone.  It looked like a good cloud and I expected to get at least 2 kt, but found nothing. From there, after searching under 5 more clouds, I found myself too low and with no other option but to land.

The worst part is, the gaggle made it home.  I looked at one of the traces and that pilot flew back to the same thermal, averaged less than 1 kt and spent 7 minutes climbing in the dying thermal.  However, the moral here is that it is better to get home slowly, than not at all!

Day 12 grid

Weather looks good and we have racing tasks assigned to all classes.

15M - racing task 313 km.
18M - racing task 324 km.

Results (day & overall) can be found at WGC page.

Panoramic grid view, no twins anymore:-(


Day 12

Today's morning looks very promising with dew on the ground and blue sky.
Prognosis are good with possibility of 500km task.
Below you can see thermal chart for today

toptherm for 15 m

And for 18 m class

06 August 2014

Dave's Day 11

Just in from the retrieve (and dinner) at 2230 and going to bed.  I'll try to write up something about the day tomorrow morning.

The day was characterized by lots of cirrus cloud that shot me, and many others down after the second turnpoint.

Day 8 HD Report

The weather was supposed to be good today, but cirrus didn't disappear as forecast, worse in some places it was thick and thermals were very weak.

I couldn't climb higher than 1000m Agl. and had low point around 300m agl with not much options .I picked field and was ready to start the engine when I hit 1m/s and slowly climbed back. I joined group of gliders and we moved slowly forward.

Around 65 km from finish I was able to climb close to the cloud base and flew final glide with two open class gliders.

I regained some points again, but still I'm on the bottom of the list . Five pilots from our class landed out. Three days of racing left.

Hmm, looks like Canadian team is growing!!!

Some team will protest, that for sure!

Wonder what Maria will do.... LOL

PS. this is panoramic picture taken this morning on the grid and stitched from several frames by camera:-)

Day 11

After two days of non-flyable weather we're back in business:-)
Grid time was 11:15. Organizers made few corrections to tasks and pilots received final version on the grid.

15M - Polygon 295.7 KM
18M - Polygon 313.1KM

Here is thermal map for start time.


05 August 2014

Day 10

Today organizers canceled flying and all meeting due to weather condition. We're still under low & heavy clouds Forecast for tomorrow looks way better!

TC perks:-)
Yesterday all Team Captains attended lunch with Mayor of Leszno at city's center square.
As a main dish they served duck with local dumplings. I have to say it was very well prepared!
We chatted about history and future of the region.  By the end everyone received very nice book about region and history of Leszno.

Couple of pictures from lunch

04 August 2014

A good post from the US team blog


Day 9 - Rest Day

After the mass landout yesterday and another rainy forecast for today, the organizers sent out an SMS last night to advise the teams that today would be a rest day.

It felt nice to be able to sleep in until 9 am this morning and re-charge the sleep deficit.  Even Virginia fell asleep last night before dinner and slept for an hour, and that's unusual for her.

I looked at some flight traces this morning to see how some of the pilots in my class were able to get past the storm.  The first thing I saw was that most of them were 15 minutes behind me when they arrived at my decision point to return, so perhaps there was more sun on the ground at that time that encouraged them to push forward.  Their path took them 25 km south of the turnpoint (likely into the sun) and then they had to turn back north towards the turnpoint for a 50 km deviation.  They also ended up about 1500 AGL and climbing in less than 1 kt thermals to sustain.

Two pilots that were with me when I turned ended up landing in a field 10 km further along course, so the chances are, I would have been with them had I kept going.

Many of the pilots are flying motor gliders and like Jerzy, many of them ran out of fuel before they were able to get back to Leszno.  So the engine, shortened their retrieve, but in this case did not prevent it.  I suspect, that it also allowed them to make the decision to push further towards the turnpoint with the thought that they could then motor home.

03 August 2014

Day 8 HD Landed Out

Today I had opportunity to adjust CG and finally I was able thermal as I like.
The weather was developing very fast and we could see thunderstorms building up on the  course. It was very dangerous flight as we flew just on the edge of thunderstorms with lighting  very close. to us .
After claiming first TP I flew on the back edge of thunderstorm, but not much lift and I was forced to start engine. Then I had to fly between two thunderstorm cells with lighting between them and in the rain.

I used up all my fuel and continued flight in the rain then  I landed  in farmer's field just 30km from Leszno.

Retrieve trip took 3 hours, if I would land at the place where I started engine retrieve would take more than six hours.

When we arrived at the airfield 80% of the gliders were still in the farmer.s fields.
I finished around 11place which is my best results in this contest and  I improved my over all position by couple spots.

Dave's Day 8

Today, I had pretty much an ideal start and a great run along the first leg with a couple of other gliders.  Part way down the leg, I was able to get ahead of them by finding and centering a good thermal.  Then, all hell broke loose.  There was a wall of rain to the east as shown by the black line on my route below.  I connected with the storm and was able to run along the shelf a long way, but 50 degrees off course.

There was sun in the ground, well to the south, so I thought I would be able to get to the end of the storm and then turn left towards the turnpoint.  When I arrived at the end of the storm, the sky was completely overcast behind the storm and there was another 55 km remaining to the first turnpoint (blue square at the bottom right of the picture - first leg 172 km).  I was at 4500 ft and 1300 ft below glide to get to the turnpoint.

At that point, I decided that a return back to Leszno would be much better than being 170 km from home, sitting in a field as thunderstorms rolled through.  As I was flying, I had already seen 3 lighting bolts within 10 km.  The roads in Poland are all two-lane back roads and 200 km would probably take close to 4 hours one way and make for a very long retrieve and a very late night.

On both the route and barograph, I have added yellow lines to indicate the 5 lines of rain that I had to traverse on my way back home.  In some ways, it was a very interesting flight home as I was able to run under the shelf of all 5 thunderstorms and climb while flying straight ahead.  My last climb on the way home averaged 7.6 kts and just got me home.  At 10 km from Leszno, the computer said I was 79 ft below glide slope.

As I was heading home, I kept in contact with Jarek at Canada Base and he informed me that the airport was reporting 35 kt winds and some gusts up to 40 kts.  Fortunately, it was not raining when I arrived at Leszno and I was able to land immediately.

It will be interesting to see what time some of the other pilots started, because the French team pilots in my class flew 220 km, so they were able to get around the first turnpoint and part way along the second leg.  Even though I abandoned the task, I still made it further along the course than some other pilots, so I am comfortable with my decision and happy to not be out standing in my field.

Here is the satellite shot from 1530 local time, just before I landed.

Here is the radar map from 1615, about 30 minutes after I landed.  The approximate task is shown with blue lines.

rapid change in weather condition

What was supposed to be nice day turned in to blowing wind, full overcast, thunderstorms and rain in the matter of 2h.
Dave was able to turn back and reach Leszno, Jerzy seems to be still in the air working his way to second turnpoint. At this moment wind at the filed is gusting to 40 and radar shows full overcast between Jerzy's position and airport.


Storks where right... to certain extent!

Organizers posted the following tasks
 15M - Polygon with two turn points, distance 355.9 KM
 18M - Polygon with two turn points, distance 331.8 KM

weather wise boys should be seeing up to 2400 m cloud base at 2-3PM local.

Sun AM report

Morning weather report for the day
thermals - none, Storks still in the nest
sky - blue... hopefully some "white" will shows soon
wind - Storks facing South. i would trust them:-)

According to "others" - here is how the day is shaping out.