Tuesday, January 27, 2009


More great racing - we had 2 superb tasks on Sunday and Monday at a site called Corryong which is 2.5 hours NE of Bright.  Corryong is a little rural town just west of the Snowy Mountains.  There are several free camping sites on the Murray River right on the Victoria/New South Wales border, the river water is cold and deep.

Corryong has some major advantages over Bright - the valley systems are much more open and also sheltered and this mitigates the wind better than Bright and makes for easy XC.  We launch from Mount Elliot, which sits in the middle of the Corryong Valley.  Thanks to the effort of local Warren Appleby, and many others, launch has recently undergone a major improvement - three gliders can now lay out and launch side by side.

This comp is open to serial gliders only, no comp wings are allowed.  This is great as the people that normally fly comp gliders are now on serial wings and it levels the playing field, well at least for the pilots on 2-3's...

Sundays task had a few cruxy sections, the transitions just after the 1st and second turnpoints were tough - after the 2nd TP I got desperately low twice, the second time I was over the flats preparing to land when I bumped into a monster core that didn't want me hitching a ride.  That climb was very strong and put me back into the game.  

Ron and I were in the lead and after climbing over the towers on Mount Mittamatite, I deviated course and flew straight over the high ground in a magic line that allowed me to take the lead.  At the last turnpoint I got race fever, left the TP a little to soon, flew across the valley and hit the foothills a little too low and dirted...

Monday's forecast was even better, but the start of the race proved to be by far the hardest part for me - I struggled to survive from the start, at one point as I flew low over tiny hills to the east of Mt Elliot, I must have spooked a herd of kangaroos because when I did a 180 degree turn and looked down, I saw a pack of over 50 Kangaroos in a dust-raising stampede - bouncing straight towards me, and at first I couldn't comprehend what I saw - it reminded me of the onslaught of ants in the movie Starship troupers - little alien rats rushing towards me hoping to tear me to pieces upon landing....

I was finally able to climb out of the death bowl, and caught up with the main gaggle.  Things were much easier from then on as we stayed together for the rest of the course and only raced the last 10km into goal.  The course was a triangle that went east - I haven't flow that way before so it was quite fun seeing new terrain.  At goal, which was the main LZ, the whole valley was lifting off, huge thermals everywhere you went, I tried to land but gave up and rode one last plume of hot air up just over 3000 meters.

The comp was a complete success - I should mention that scoring was team based, 3 pilots per team, and to make goal, everyone on the team had to get to goal, so we were helping each other out and using our radios much more than usual. 

Big thanks to Geoff Wong and Colin Page for organizing the event, and also to Jim A. for driving a bunch of us up to launch everyday.  Comp results should be here.

More racing schedule for this weekend at the Mystic cup in Bright...

Go Team USA!  (Eric Reed wins Task 1, Brad G. wins Task 2 at the worlds in Valle)


Post a Comment

<< Home