Aug 3 – Nardt Open

The Nardt Open is a 2 day Pre Contest we are all competing in prior to the Worlds.
With an early start at 5:30am we were ready and raring to go at the pilots meeting 7:45am. Armin Hortitz provided all the details re safety and announced that we would be in for a long day with our first flight at 8:00am and our last at 8:30pm. The team started off great In the first task of distance with every pilot winning the 1000 points by matching their opponents in air that was producing arou d 20 laps. Glauco and Don showed how it was done also by doing the same. I wasn’t quite so good losing by one lap. Dons distance flight was truly memorable as he and another aircraft intersected paths and don spiraled a couple of turns while the other model ploughed on through. What was amazing was that Don recovered and went on to win the round with 16 laps.
We went on with Rd 1 speed next and Thomas started off with a crisp 16:22 followed by Darrell flying safely for a 16.29. My time was in the low 20’s while Goauco flew an 18. David was next up and he also flew a safe course to register a 16.60. Dave had taken a few cuts in practice and it was great to see him start off this contest with a solid run.
Duration was the next task and by now the temps were in the high 90’s and many competitors went topless as is the European way! There is no doubt that the base workers here are some of the best in the world ( and the best looking too!) They have made few mistakes and are very attentive to the task even though their chatter would indicate otherwise.
Duration was flown uneventfully in conditions where making 10 minutes was not a challenge and it seemed that lift was everywhere. Occasionally a small eagle would join us and storks also made lazy turns upward amongst the models. Once duration was over it was back to speed in the reverse order of the contest position. This was our first look at where the Team sat after round1. With the scores tight at the top of 97 pilots scored, Tom was highest in 3rd place with Darrell in 7th and David in12th. The best of the helpers was Glauco in 46th, Gordon in 58th and Don in 65th.
Round 2 speed began in extremely hot conditions but we finally had a small breeze and as the speed round went on there were heavier loads being launched and speeds were faster than the morning session. The Team pilots all flew 15’s with Tom making 15:30, Darrell 15:33 and David 15:37 in safe but sure runs.
Armin Hortitz announced we would begin Rd 2 distance and we would fly till 8:30pm.
We managed to fly 18 groups of which Tom was In the final group. The late afternoon air was bouyant over the mowed area where the hay had been baled earlier in the day and most groups were won flying in that area. The winning scores were between 18 and 25 laps and speed management was critical. With a 5 to 7 mph on the ground but blowing probably around 15 aloft across the course.
Darrell was first up and his first launch went right over the sunflowers where appeared to be producing nice air. It was not a good decision so he returned for a relaunch. There was just enough time to make it on course but the launch was rushed and Darrell popped off to the left. The third launch he was too heavy for the line size – got a horrible launch and only made it on to the course with just over 3:00 minutes to fly. He copped a pounding by 7 laps. It was really a bummer as Darrell’s and the Teams performance so far had been very steady without this sort of compounding error.
David was up next and having won every distance flight he has contested since arriving in Germany he didn’t disappoint winning his group by one lap until the final 2 secs when he inexplicably landed on the turnarounds for a 300 point penalty.
Tom’s flight was less eventful but going a little early saw no markers to assist with corrections, made 22 laps and eventually lost by one lap to Christian Fiedler -23.
It was a pity we finished less positive than we started but the lessons learned will be applied tomorrow and during the worlds.
The sun had sunk below the horizon by the time we were packing up and we were all sure glad to get into a cold shower at the hotel .
Looking forward to a much cooler day tomorrow with forecast overcast skies and potential for a little rain.
Cu all then