2017 PWC in Guayaquil, Ecuador: Task 1

Michael Sigel reports from the first task of the World Cup in Ecuador.

"When we arrived on take off at 10am in the morning, the sky was totally overcast like the previous days. But as this seemed to be quite normal for this area, the task committee announced a 60km zig-zag task to the north of Guayaquil. The window opened around 12pm, while the airstart was at 1pm. It was quite strange to fly, as the thermals were good, but the cloud base was only at 1100m. In addition, we had a lot of haze today and even if the pilots were only 2km to 3km away. The race started well, but pilots were flying quite slow, as it was difficult to spot cumulus clouds ahead due to the bad visibility. Also it was not easy to find good thermals: sometimes they were strong and up to 4m/s, while most of them were weaker. This was definitely a game changer, as it was possible to get away form the group or catch up a lot if you found a good cycle. Some other pilots lost a lot of time by missing the good thermals and had to take the 2m/s thermals. In the second half of the race, the cirrus cloud increased and most of us thought that it is now a game of survival to win today’s race. However, all-day leader Manuel Quinanilla showed us how it is done and kept pushing. Surprisingly the thermals kept being acceptably good and the leading group tried to follow the pace of Manuel. However, he did not make any mistakes and finished todays task with a 3 minute lead on the others. Torsten and Michael finished both in the top 15, which means that the GIN team is lurking in 3rd place."

Photos: Michael and Soheil


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