Forecast for Tuesday was more of the same but hotter with temps in the low 90’s. This day we had no low cloud and flying began as per schedule at 8:00am sharp. We began with the final three groups of distance from Round 2. David was the only USA pilot who hadn’t flown and he was up in the third group in fairly heavy air. David worked out deep to the North and in hindsight probably went too far as the air improved closer in and Dave had to finish the last two laps at angles to get home. He finished up short of the winner’s 21 by one lap with a 20.
Round 3 distance was next which put Darrell up in the first group he flew against World Champ Andreas Herrig and joined him out wide to the North of the field where they raced laps back and forth but Herrig moved out two laps while Darrell moved in two laps with 1 min 20 to go and from that point on Herrig had the better air and maintained a greater speed (possibly flying more ballast) to finish with 20 versus Darrell’s16.
David was next up and he had booming air once again just north of the field and race tracked the air (with Polze the Austrian) doing a fabulous job flying accurately, tight and fast to accumulate 27 racing laps with Polze but cut the turn at base A in the final seconds to finish one short of the Austrian. It was a real let down for him and the team as he did everything right for the 1000 points but missed out at the death. The final distance flight for us was Tom Kiesling against Bernhard Flixider of Austria, Craig Goodrum of RSA, Danielle Amici of Italy and Thomas Dylla of Germany. A bird thermalling on course was soon joined by Craig Goodrim who proceeded to add altitude as he drifted along the North part of the course. Thomas had also launched and began making a few turns before deciding to come back and relaunch. This time he flew due North before entering the course in the heart of the lift band and began making fast laps with Craig Goodrum who we found later had been having problems with the signal system. Toms strategy to continue to follow the lift paid off handsomely and he soon found himself in the lead of the entire group. The final result saw Tom make 25 laps to Flixider and Dylla each with 23. Craig made 19 and got a reflight for the Base A signal bungle while Dylla also protested a Base A signal problem and was awarded a reflight too. In the rush to relaunch to get to better air Danielle Amici broke his plane on the landing and couldn’t get back airborne getting a zero. The 1000 for Tom was really great but it was still frustrating that one of the pilots at the front of the pack had escaped Toms licking.
Round 3 speed was the next event announced and once again Armin decided to run them in the reverse order of ranking. This gave us a nice break to have lunch while the lower ranked pilots flew their runs. Amici of Italy had repaired the nose of his model after the distance mishap but the zero had put him well down the order and when he flew speed he ran out of air molecules with the repaired plane and grassed it on the final lap at very high speed to completely wreck the model. His subsequent zero in duration gave him three zeros for the round.
Darrell flew Rd 3 speed first and picked some great air to make a blistering and tight run yielding a 15.7. Unfortunately both the Base B judges gave him the buzzer when they should not have because they called the CD after his run to say it was actually a cut and deny Darrell his great time. Very disappointing!
David flew long with his base B turns to record a 17.24 while Tom followed suit with a 17.33 also flying a long course.
Duration was the final task of round three and it began with a frontal system gradually encroaching over the field damping the suns enthusiasm and making the 10 minutes less of a gimme.
Darrell was in the first group and he floated it out without making any thermal turns to register a nice 9:59 – 100. David was next and he may have wiggled the sticks a little more than Darrell as he finished a few seconds short of perfect with a 9:48 – 95. Tom showed us all how it is done with a perfect 10:00 – 100. That concluded Round 3 with a 1000 and improved everybody’s spirits.
The overcast sky had obscured the sun sufficiently long enough for the thermal activity to almost cease. Though some of the thermal rounds were flown in somewhat buoyant air, many were short on time or very low as they approached their ten minutes. Similar air remained as we began Rd 4 with distance and most groups were having trouble getting past the teens with scores in the 14 to 20 range.
Darrell was first up in group 4 and he was flying superbly matching Jens Buchert of Germany turn for turn until with about 60 seconds to go with 16 laps up his model stopped on the Base A turn as it hit the trees to the South.
The course has trees on both sides about 150 yards on each side of the course and they encroach at least 10 meters into the airspace where the imaginary plane for Base A is – so once the models are low enough for contact the Base A turn requires a climb over the trees or you must be inside the trees to miss them. Darrell thought he had cleared the trees as he made the turn but in fact he flew into the back of one right on the edge of the forest. The model was stuck about 40 feet up and after the distance round was over for us we obtained a long extension ladder to get it down. Tom Kiesling is a much better climber than you could imagine and he climbed past the ladder up the tree six feet and grabbed the plane. Worried that it would fall down Darrell shinnied up the ladder too and luckily he did because Tom eventually dislodged the Fosa only to see it slip from his grasp and begin a fall. Darrell positioned below him made the catch look easy and the model was saved. It suffered significant leading edge damage and Glauco was put to work making some fast field repairs so Darrell could fly it a few minutes later in the Round 4 of duration. It was a strange distance round because Darrell was one of three pilots who made contact with a ground based object all in the last minute of the group. The Japanese misjudged the distance their plane was out and thought they were clear of the trees and slammed straight into the face of the forest about halfway up seconds before Darrell. The Russian junior pilot did exactly the same thing a few seconds later and then Darrell did his landing in the top of the conifers. Meanwhile Jens Buchert was on his way back over the sunflowers trying to complete one last lap and ploughed into the crop.
Rd 4 began as the sun was going low behind the thick cloud that had edged across three parts of the sky. The result was very darkened skies for the two duration groups (including Darrell’s) that were flown before we broke down for the day.
Darrell made a nice 9:59 – 100 with his repaired model sporting Red Bull patches on both wings and that was it for a very long day.
Back to the hotel for another very late dinner and bed.
CU tomorrow for some more excitement from Hoyerswerda.