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Worlds Wrap Up

Sopot Sunset


After coming to something like a high level competition I find it is hard just to sit back and say ‘yes I had fun’, there is always a ‘but’ or ‘if’ in there somewhere. I think its good to look at the positive and negative sides of these events both from a sporting and personal perspective. Here are a few things I have taken from my first world championship experience:

– Sopot is an amazing place for xc and competition when its on.

– I am able to keep up with most of the pilots at this level, I can adapt my flying style to suit competition, from pushing/racing on the first task to gaggle flying on the last few.

– Flying with 140+ of the worlds best pilots has been an incredible experience and great to photograph.

– Hanging with the Aussie Team has been great, getting to know everyone’s personal, competition, and general approach to flying.

-Preparation of small things, losing a task due to not understanding my instruments, especially ones that I have flown with for years was just a matter of being ill prepared and not entirely present in my headspace for this competition.

– Gaggle flying, leeching, and hanging back is rife in this type of competition. There is just no incentive to lead, push out or try a different line. Its the game you have to play at this type of comp and i’m not sure it corresponds to good flying, I find it incredibly frustrating.

– Cloud flying and cheating is widespread and accepted by many.

– The certification system and implementation of rules means that the whole certified glider level/safe playing field is a grey area.

– One launch competition venue reduced our chances greatly of flying, almost halving the taskable days.

Overall I am very disappointed with my results at this competition and leave feeling quite empty and unsure of what I achieved. I am so appreciative to all of you who sent me messages of support and thank you so much. I enjoyed my time in Bulgaria, all the people I met were really nice and it was an interesting place to visit. I am flying home in a few days time and looking forward being back.


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Worlds Day 12: Wind and Wave

Wind and Wave

Waking up to multiple lenticular clouds over the mountains is never a great sign for flying, in fact it pretty much signified the end of the comp. The team had a nice extended breakfast chatting about our experiences, what we thought of the competition and what the future of Australian’s competing overseas could be.

There could be the chance of flying on one of the northern facing ridges later or heading to a swimming hole to relax. Its going to be a hot windy day while waiting for the prize giving tonight at 8pm.

Here are the Competition Results.

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Worlds Day 11: Backpain and More Backwind

View from Skyview

Yesterday on the hike up to launch from the top of the chair I hurt my back, a sciatic nerve pinch that I have had a couple of times before. Waking up this morning I was in agony and am now on painkillers in order to have some degree of comfort. So for me the forecast of stronger north wind was not too much of a blow to take today.

After nearly twenty four hours notice of a complaint and an email from Niviuk, the organisers have decided to check all the Icepeak 6’s in the top 75 to make sure the risers comply with certification. I am really not sure of the reasoning here, to catch the stupid? I mean, if you had non certified risers on your glider, 24 hours notice, less 20 min changing time, it still gives you 23:40 free time. Gareth informed us that even though they were checking risers, they didn’t actually know what they were looking for. What is the point of having rules like this if they are not enforced effectively?

It is hot here, windy in the valley, base is incredibly high. The other guys have gone up to Beklemeto Pass where they might get a fly. I am lying in bed in pain, wishing I was in my own (non existent) bed in my own (non existent) home. Word on the street is there is not much chance to fly a task tomorrow.