Jul 28 – Kulmbach Open – Day 2

2nd day of 2 Day World Cup contest the team competed at prior to traveling to Nardt Germany.
Day two started with a little light rain as we left the hotel at 6:00am. The rain quickly dissipated but the overcast skies persisted until around noon before the day really heated up back into the 90’s again like Saturday.
We started the day with Round 3 of distance starting out with Glauco grabbing another great 1000 for a 20 lap effort. I was second up and but for some turns which were too wide and not flying square to the course I may have also got a 1000. I finished up a lap short of the winning 21 and know I have much to practice. David flew great in his distance round and well may have won with a little more speed during the 2nd minute but he matched the winners 24 for the 1000 finishing up less than 2 secs short of the winning lap. Darrell followed with exactly the same result for 24 laps and 1000. The air was bouyant but there was no real thermal conditions this early with an overcast sky and it was really a matter of launch and then speed management. Tom’s flight was similar to Daves where he matched the winners 22 laps and finished up crossing the line 3 seconds too late for the winning 23rd lap. Don was last to fly and fell short of the winning 17 laps by two laps in air which was now less bouyant and more difficult. The wind was variable at less than 5mph mostly from the SE but was beginning to swing as the ground warmed up a little and the warmth began to move air around.
Rd 3 of Duration was next and under still overcast skies groups of 10 pilots followed each other to the sloping area off to the south and the first few groups all easily made their time in the friendly air without taking any turns. Glauco did a fine job with a 10:02 – 95 followed by myself with a 10:01 – 100 in air which was simply enough just mooching around. Two groups later when David flew it wasn’t to be so easy as he found himself in trouble at 6 minutes and finally succumbed to be second last to land in his group with an 8:06 – 100. Darrell followed and he also found the air light and not enough to make his time finishing up with a disappointing 7:37 – 100. Tom flew his duration round as Tom does with no question about finding enough energy and his 9:59 – 100 yielded another 1000 points. Don was last to fly and he gallantly flew his Pike to a 9:32 – 95 in tough air. With Round 3 now complete except for speed the CD announced that we would be flying two rounds of speed in the reverse contest placement order to complete the contest.
The launching conditions were quite difficult as the wind was swinging from the left to behind and back in just a few minutes as the energy now being imparted to the earth began to reverse the light prevailing wind as small thermals drifted across the field. Sometimes pilots would hook left and some would hook right as the conditions constantly changed. This is the very reason the team chose to fly in this contest as we get very little opportunity to fly and practice in such light European conditions in the USA with wind generally playing a much stronger role.
Darrell did a terrific job with his 16:98 but every launch gave each pilot a different problem with the wind changing direction a lot. Glauco managed a 20 second launch from a horrible launch while I again flew erratically to post a 22:27. Don was solid with a 20:29 but Tom showed us all how its done with a 15:68. David just didn’t get the call in what must have been very close at Base B and had to bunt to get the bell costing him a good time with a 20:59. The round was won by Australian John Skinner who flew a hot 14:25.
The final event of the contest was called as Rd 4 of speed got underway once again in reverse order of placement. Darrell made a pretty good time for the conditions with 18:21. Glauco’s time was 22:70, mine was 20.59 and Don’s was 23.52. Tom made 19:21 and David finished up with the best time of the team at 17:99. These times all sound slow but Davids was 8th fastest and only Andreas Herrig and Thomas Dylla (both of Germany) managed to break 17 seconds in air that was very very slow and difficult to launch high enough in. Some pilots including David flew the lightest they have ever flown a speed task in their life in an effort to get a decent launch. Tom flew around behind the turnaround to try to turn a downwind into a headwind but there was simply not enough wind to make it work and a relaunch to try again saw exactly the same result. His 3rd launch with a simple hook yielded his final 19.21 result.

The Kulmbach open was finally over and what a fantastic experience it was. It started with 80 pilots and 71 completed the contest where three complete rounds were flown plus one extra speed. It is pretty incredible to see this many pilots organized and flying a multi task event but Andreas Kunz the CD ran it like clockwork with very little downtime and constant rounds being flown. Final result saw Andreas Herrig win the event.
In the end David slipped a little to 8th which is still a fabulous effort in tough launching conditions which we are not used to in USA.
Tom Kiesling continued to improve his position every flight today to move up to a final place of 18th at the end
Gordon stayed pretty steady to complete the contest in 32nd place with some great coaching in the final two speed rounds from David Klien.
Don Sciegel flew a great contest with an awesome 17 second speed run yesterday and finished up in 35th. Glauco improved to 45th and Darrell finished up 50th mostly due to a speed run of 30 secs on Day 1 which included 2 cuts and a safety penalty. (Hard to recover from that.) Darrell wasn’t the only one as Jan Kahouts would have finished third but for a safety and Martin Webershock the same – as they both erred on day 1.

We are driving to Nardt tomorrow to begin practicing at the world champs field.

Click Here to see the complete Pilots list and final scores.