Another good day dawned on Monday devoid of rain and a little wind forecast which might help blow away this cursed smog that greats us as the sun rises. Sure enough as the night turned to day we could see the mountains again in the distance. Each day we rise early and the team breakfasts at 6:30 and joins the bus to leave around 7:00am We have discovered that although they often plan to leave on time they have to wait for each team to be complete and onboard before we may leave. The US Team was in excellent spirits as we boarded the bus today because we really felt that we were getting on par with the germans yesterday as the boys scored a spate of 1000’s.
The first task on the menu was announced as Duration Round 5 and after setting up the gear we were flying by 8:30 with the fist group finding conditions just warmed up enough for us to get our 10 mins out over the buildings again to the west. This has become quite a routine for us as the buildings retain yesterdays warmth and release it in the cool of the morning as well the easterly facing walls absorb the maximum energy of the early sun. These buildings are about 400 metres away and the tallest about 6 stories high.
Kyle flew in Group 2 and found himself dangerously low near the road with 5:30 on the clock. We have a road running parallel to the field approx 150 meters to the west. The road has a light pole every 50 meters and power lines strung as well. There is also a row of tall trees along part of this road to the south. Kyle thought he had a bump on the other side of the road as he was returning to the field so he stopped and wrapped.. The FS4 got lower. From my view it was now behind the trees as he circled and calmly tested the air. You could see he had the slightest puff of lift but it wasn’t taking him up. Now he was at desperation point but the model slowly started to climb above the power lines and cleared the trees to claw back up into stronger and stronger air. It was easily the best save so far at the contest. He finished the flight off with a 10:00 – 100 to nail another 1000 and record an epic flight in his and everybodys memories.
Tom was next up and as Tom does he was safe, sure and rock solid in the LZ for another 1000 with a 10:00 – 100. Dave was our third pilot up today and his duration round also was uneventful for our third 1000 of the day with a 9:59 – 100.
Distance round 5 was next up and Kyle in Group 2 was head to head with Andreas Herrig. Rudi King from RSA launched first with Kyle and Andreas quickly behind him. Andreas entered the course and had done 3 laps while Kyle circled in lift just upwind off course entering right before the 4:00 working time left. Kyle was still lower than Andreas both for launch and height but his delay worked in his favor as the lift was now going to be on course for longer in his flight and Kyle set about doing fast laps. In the end he caught the Germans total of 26 but just didn’t have enough gas in the tank to eclipse it for our 4th 1000 of the day.
Tom launched early in his Group and entered the course immediately to the west to fly really well for 24 laps while Martin matched him with 24. This was our 5th 1000 for the day. It was a great run of scores and nearly continued as Dave fought a battle with John Skinner of Australia in Group 5 and finally succumbed one lap down to Johns 21.
Speed Round 5 saw Andreas herrig hit the course high and flew tight for a very nice 15:31. 2nd fastest was a fast improving Andreas Kunz with a 15:48 and third was martin Herrig with 15:82. Kyle had decent air but didn’t have quite the same launch height and his smooth run yielded a 16:58. Dave laid down a good run without going to lng and was rewarded with a 16:59. Thomas also had clean turns for a 17.77.
Speed Round 6 was flown next and this was the first time Kyles tight clean runs (which he has flown all contest,) culminated in a win finally with some decent air. The speed is such a lottery dependent on the available air but this round Kyle cleaned them up with a blistering 14:57 for another 1000 points. This our first 1000 in speed at the Worlds. Dave also flew clean for a 17.96 which was 10th fastest in the round. Tom unfortunately cut at B and finished with a 21.42.
Duration 6 was flown while the Helpers had their break .
In Toms round he went west but inexplicably Andreas Herrig went east to find bad air and soon joined Tom and the others in the west but he was too low and never did find Toms air. This was really the first time where the German team did not appear to be confident and were visibly making mistakes. Andreas landed early for a 7.54 a 95 while Tom took 992 points with a 9:55 a 100. Kyle kept his perfect scores going with another 1000 for a 10.01 – 100 and Dave scored 992 for a 10.00 – 95.
Distance Rd 6
The US Team was brimming with a new found confidence starting Rd 6 of distance and Dave was first up against Martin Herrig. It was a tight race in so so air to the east over the river and about halfway through young Jason Webber took Martins tails off in a midair leaving him to flap the plane inverted to the other bank. Jason completed his task and Martin was allocated a preflight in a later group. Meanwhile Dave took the 1000 points with a 20 lap score.
As it happened Martin was added to Group three in which I was coaching Alan (one of the very inexperienced Hong Kong pilots). Alan launched first and I took him to the less preferred east side where I had a read and we began making laps. Martin and the others in our group all relaunched after finding horrid air on the first launches and they headed off west. Meanwhile Alan was flying in good lift at Base A in every lap and managed to squeeze 17 laps rather erratically from our air. To our delight the entire rest of the group including Martin bombed out with Martin just making 14 and returning to the field low. This was an exciting result for USA also as we gained even more points than expected on the front runners.
Our delight was short lived though as Tom was skunked in horrid air west of the buildings to finish with just 13 laps to Craig Goodrums 19 in Group 4.
Kyles distance 6 was another classic as he flew deep to the west racing with Andreas Herrig. They were turn for turn until halfway in where Kyle took a turn away and the German a turn toward the field and they separated. On the next lap Kyle felt the air at A was so strong that he stopped lapping and took three wraps at A to gain some great height. Converting this height to speed Kyle raced the course for 1 1/2 minutes to outfly Andreas by one lap with a very exciting 21. The 1000 pointers were once again coming our way and it was our turn to high five each other in celebration.
Round 7 distance was flown right after 6. Kyle was our first pilot up and once again he flew a solid strategy and accumulated 27 laps to Yoshida Masahides (Japan) 18 for consecutive distance 1000s Kyle wAs on a hot streak. David was 2nd up and also showed great strategy with a good read taking him
West and entering the course last and continuing to turn out he stayed out the longest in better air. The interesting thing was once again Dave started with a lower launch and entered the course lower but out maneuvered Martin Herrig to take the 1000 by one lap. Martin tried hard to catch Dave and even had to return to the field beneath the powerlines between the trees. Once again it was an exciting race to the finish with Martin telling me later that we are taking many risks and he cannot as he has just the one plane.
Round 7 speed was next on the agenda with lift on course for the early runners seeing John Skinner of Australia fly a very nice 15.73 with his Fosa. Immediately following John was Andreas Kunz who took advantage of the good air to blaze a 14.53 which would be the fastest time of the round as the air weakened. Kyle waited until there was 60 secs on the clock and launched for a solid time of 17.41 ( the 10th fastest this round) David had a great run going which was going to be in the low 16s until he cut at B for a 20.29. Toms run looked faster than the 16.78 he scored but it was certainly a clean run and made a good score.
Round 8 speed began as soon as round 7 speed was concluded.
Andreas and Martin made the most of the available air as Andreas took the 10000 with a 15:07 and Martin also recovered from his earlier troubles with a very tight 15:59 foe 2nd fastest. The Germans rounded off the top 3 with Michael Seyfang flying a sweet 16:16 run. Kyle was very close behind with his consistent tight turns yielding a 16.18. The czech helper at Base B told me later that Kyles turns have been the tightest all day with less than 2 meters every time. Dave also made a great speed run with a 16:60 and Toms solid 17:31 finished our speed activities for Monday.
Roman finished the day off with a final round of duration as the sun sank low over the buildings.
David was 1st away and put in an uneventful 10:00- 100 for another TeamUSA 1000 points. It was Kyles flight once again that had us biting our nails as he found himself at roof top height to the west with just 7mins on the clock. Prior to launch Kyle and Tom had discussed the possibility of sloping the buildings if necessary and slope them he did for 2minutes. It was heart stopping stuff as the tallest Buildings are a good 250 meters away. Kyle had the FS4 at stall point for what felt like an eternity of S turns just feet above and in front of the tallest apartment block. The 5 to 6 mph breeze was just enough to keep him holding height until finally he said 1 more lap and I’m coming back. We all breathed a sigh of relief as he made it back over the powerlines and shot his landing for a 10.02 – 100. Tom was last to fly for the Team today and his 10:00 – 100 gave us a final 1000 points for what was easily the best day for the US team to date. We now have scored a tally of 19 1000’s and there us plenty more to come. Watch out- USA is coming through!