Yesterday was the last day of the comp. After flying seven of the last eight days I was pretty pounded--I've flown over 35 hours and more than 900K for the week. But I got all fired up on launch when Gin showed up with a van full of new Boomerang 5 gliders, yeah! By the time I had mine sorted I was a bit late off of launch, and spent the first half of the flight trying to figure a new glider out. I was slow until about the half-way point of the day, when I realized I needed a better result than one of my other tasks and went out hard--it's a good thing I did, as one pilot made it out around 125K by the four p.m. task end time. I wound up at 110.5, good enough for a decent score. The results weren't done last night until 11:30, but did well enough to end up in eighth. The scores are incredibly tight from second to 20th or so. On task seven, where I thought the lead gaggle had gone down, they hadn't--they just went well off the course line but more with the wind, that was enough to put them around 20K up on me. The power of the gaggle is strong... I'm happy with who I flew, but in retrospect I was just plain wrong about them going down early. I stayed on the course line, but they must have been able to hammer it less cross-wind. I'm still happy with my decisions through this comp in terms of safety and reading the sky, but I have some things to learn about using the gaggle. I'm fired up for the worlds now, game on!
This was an interesting comp as it started out as pure open distance, then turned into gaggles racing along a course line. I think the open distance format has good validity, but pilots must take responsibility for their own decisions in the air regarding safety. One part of the sky may be insane and the other 300+ degrees from launch fine, so the organizer can't cancel the day because one direction is bad. It turns out that day one wasn't all that important in terms of scoring because we had so many other valid days, but it forced the organizers and jury to make this more of a "normal" comp. I hope Hans and Andreas can come up with a solution ton some competitors feeling the organizers must cancel days where the field is doing something stupid... The open XC comp idea is great, I'd do it again. This has been the best week of flying I've ever had, truly amazing good fun and educational.
The Boom 5 is a very good glider--more stable, faster, very easy to fly. I didn't fold it up once yesterday even when I went into chase mode and started hammering to make time up on the course in very strong conditions. It doesn't turn as well as the 4, or I haven't figured out how to make it turn as well, but everything else is great. Gin is working on the trim a bit to improve turning, the glider is again a big leap forward in performance and stability. Paragliders just keep getting better, amazing.
Today is a rest day, time to catch up on email, sort gliders, fix things etc. Looking forward to NOT flying, that's a nice feeling to have.