Junior World Gliding Championships 2015 – A Crew Perspective (Final Race in Blue)
Saturday 11 December 2015:
12th Competition Day, 10th Task – 3hr Assigned Area Task in the Blue and the Final Countdown
The air was forecast to remain relatively cool and dry for our final race. A deep blue sky and climbs to about 6000ft would be with us and particularly the pilots the whole day. I readied the glider which took a little longer than usual as I had to replace the gap seals, check the tyre pressures and give the flying machine a more through clean and polish. This being the last task the mood on the grid seemed to be more relaxed than on any of the previous days. Even a footy was kicked around which we had not had previously although the lower temperature might have had something to do with that. Before the first launch all pilots were lined up for a Photo opportunity.
Even the tug pilots did a few – let’s say – unusual manoeuvres after the last launch.
As on the preceding blue days some big gaggles formed and suddenly from the top of three of them toilet rolls started drifting down as long white banners through the centre of the columns of white gliders circling around them, some even trying to cut them. There were rumours that they may have been used before they were thrown out the window… (I knew something must be up when Eric stowed the unusual object in the cockpit…).
Then the monitoring of the radio and waiting for our pilots to finish began. The boys were going to give it their best shot to get James on the podium and Eric into the Top 10. James deliberately started a little behind Joe and Eric but later caught up as they were relaying and marking the best climbs for him.
Then the first finishers came in. It was a very tight race. A stream of 60 gliders arrived at the field, some with only seconds between them. Our boys had a good day. Surely Matt would be the new World Champion in Standard Class. As the scores came in James hovered tied in 3rd place with a German for a long time. In the end he didn’t make it to the podium by only a few points but came 5th. Eric looked like a Top 10 finisher at first but slid down to 12th as the scores were updated. The final results are available on Soaring Spot.
We derigged the gliders after landing and packed everything up.
Many are departing after the Closing Ceremony tomorrow morning. We’ll leave the day after to have time to get all our gear packed and sorted without the rush and wind down a bit before the long drive home. Also, our host family, the Hardings, want to have a get together because so far over the last few weeks we’ve mostly seen each other in passing only and had not much time to just sit together for a while.