For the first time this championship week we woke to a good breeze from the west of approx 10 mph and a forecast saying we could expect a cooler day in the low 80’s.,
Overnight we discussed the rule 184.108.40.206 (d) regarding the use of a different model after a midair. In relation to Tom’s situation (where although his model was damaged beyond repair with a shattered subspar,) he went on to win and take the 1000. Although we did not want to take a reflight the rule required that we do, if we wish to use a different model for the remainder of the round. It was decided that we would request a reflight and it was granted to be flown after the 11th group. First group up in the second half of Round 6 distance included David so he launched initially and went to the SE side but others were stroking laps on the other side o the course so after one unproductive lap David came back, relaunched and entered the course with the others at 3:57 on the working time. David’s decision to launch into the marked lift yielded him a winning position as he stroked laps above everybody else and timed each lap to match the winning total of 22 laps laid down a minute earlier by the Australian Mike Rae. Another 1000 in distance was a great start to this the second last day of competition.
Darrell was up next in Group 7 and although he flew in the same air as the eventual winner Joakim Stahl with 23, he was left one lap short with 10 secs on the clock. He probably flew a little fast early in the round but it was once again very close.
The last group flown in Rd 6 was the reflight Group including Tom. He was to fly with Stonavski (who he midaired with yesterday,) Gauthie and Berhardt Flixider who were impeded with line crosses.
Tom looked good to start with but some of his downwind Base B turns may have been a little long and it was evident it would be a struggle to make his final lap for a matching lap score for the 1000. It was a really sad moment when his model settled onto the runway less than halfway back to B and we were one short of the 1000 we had earned yesterday with a broken model.
Duration Rd 6 was next and again Tom was up in the first group.
Tom was never really in any trouble although most of his flight was spent gradually descending or maintaining rather than climbing out as the lift available was quite soft. His landing as always was impeccable and the 10:00 – 100 was duly recorded.
Dave was our next pilot up in Grp 3 and he spent the first 5 minutes giving himself a challenge in the remainder as he sink lower and lower to eventually get it together at about 100 feet as he worked to center a bubble traveling downwind fast. After a few uncomfortable turns half a circle up and half down he finally centered for a memorable save and make the time. His 100 landing was perfectly on time to score another 1000.
Darrell was last up in group 5 and he also spent the first 4 or 5 minutes subjecting himself to the need of a save to get his 10 minutes. When all else had failed he came overhead and followed the feed downwind to finally hook up with John Skinner in gentle lift at about 100 feet. Darrell clawed his way skyward and made the time but was just a second late for a 10:01 – 100.
The completion I Round 6 would be speed so this gave us time to take the 1.22 line off two of the winches and swap for 1.12 as the early wind was starting to lay down.
Darrell was the 20th pilot to fly in the reverse order and the fastest before him was Danielle Amici with 16:61. Darrell needed a great run but the air was horrid and though he flew really tight and a pretty run it needed a rocket booster on the last leg and he scored a 17:08. Not a great time but certainly as much as could be squeezed out of the air he was served up.
Next up was Tom and the best time up to that point was in the 15’s. Tom launched quickly at the beginning of his working time, was happy with his launch and entered the course. His piloting was spot on and we held our breath as we watched him turn tight on B the first time and then return again with great speed for another tight turn. No cuts and we let out a cheer as we saw a new fast time of 14.74.
It was a triumphant and beaming Tom that returned past the scoreboard where I took his photo.
Dave was just a few pilots later and as his four minutes of working time ticked away, the tension rose. Finally with just 1:20 on the clock he gave the Ok for Darrell to launch. Dave was fully loaded with ballast and the launch was acceptable. He pulled onto the course a little earlier than usual conserving extra height. His first turn B was long and I think I heard the buzzer as he turned rather than after. His A turn and 2nd B turn were much tighter and his time flashed up as 14.75. Another wonderful moment for the team as we had posted the two fastest times on the board with just the two Herrig brothers and Thomas Dylla to go. As expected Martin and Andreas flew almost perfectly in the conditions to both record new fast times with Martin making 14:15 an Andreas 14:23. Thomas Dylla managed a 15:10 and John Skinner of Australia was actually last to fly as a result of a signal malfunction earlier and he flew his loaded Fosa Lift very fast to also post a 14:68. This completed a wonderful speed round for USA moving us up into a solid third position behind Germany and Austria at the end of round 6.
We started Round 7 with duration and Tom did the thing he does best and comfortably completed his task for another 10:00 – 100. This means Toms drop in duration is currently 998.5. A fantastic effort. Darrel flew second and found air downwind to work it it out very deep and return for a 10:01 – 95.
The conditions made none of these flights gimmes as with at least 10 to 12 mph and often overcast the lift was soft, hard to find and moving fast.
David flew last and he also immediately went downwind and following the vectors soon found air to get his time easily. The landing was a little hairy with a wing hitting the ground and the midel bouncing back but he scored a 10:01 – 95.
Speed was the next task but there was a long delay due to malfunction of the scoreboard and signal system. When it was finally working again Round 7 of speed got under way. Darrell was ready for a good run if he got the right air and in fact he posted a great time of 16:60 to consolidate the team position. Toms run was tight enough to register a 15:67 and David followed with a very nice 15:36 which was at that point the 3rd fastest. Andreas Herrig ended up once again making something out of nothing and flew tight for the only sub 15 in the round. His 14.69 was a full .5 second faster than the second time set earlier by Jiri Baudis. Though we didn’t have spectacular times we certainly did consolidate our 3rd position in the championship with just one speed round to fly.
CD Armin Hortitz called Rd 7 distance next and we began with Tom in Group 3 against Gerhard Flixider (our main opponent) as he represents the Austrian team. Tom matched him with 22 laps to take another granny for the US Team. Darrell’s group had a line break and he couldn’t launch so he was moved to Group 9 which matched him against Thomas Dylla. It was a tough round as Darrell flew nice turns but was always behind on the count to he Herman and finished a disappointing two laps shy on 19 to his 21.
David’s distance didn’t go any better as he stroked laps below Andreas Herrig but two laps up on him. It was evident at 2:00 minutes in that Herrig had the height to win and when Dave came in to harsher air the game was once again lost by 2 laps – 21 to Andreas 23. This wasn’t how we wanted to finish the day and we probably ate into our advantage over 4 th place withdraw these two distance losses. With just one round to go tomorrow we must concentrate on not going back further by hitting 1000’s in distance.
We will begin flying at 8:30 in the morning and we are ready for a podium finish.