World Championship 2013 Sopot, Bulgaria: Task 3 report

Task three was a 117km race around three turn points to goal. GIN team pilot Adrian Thomas took line honours in fine style. Andre Rainsford recorded an interview with Adrian, who had the following to say about his spectacular performance:

"I had an ok start - it doesn't seem to matter if you get a good start - on the Boomerang as long as you are in touch with the leaders you drift to front. My strategy was to stay with the leaders in the front and above (Yassen calls this bunny management). It was a nightmare task in the shadow and we all got stuck on horrible little hill The first half of the task went well and then it shaded out.

After the start we ran down the mountain and charged out into the flats getting the first turn point and charged back to what looked like a really shady area over the trees. I took a line down the ridgeline near to Hisariya with the lead gaggle. We then pushed in under a decent looking cloud into a patch of sun. We were a group of five getting into the climb which pulled away from the group. We pushed to the turn point and back on full bar leaving the shadow and crossing a small hill into the sun. I had the joy of chasing a group of spotted eagles who showed me the climb before we pushed on, with the lead gaggle. The lag gaggle were a bit further north than my little group of five. Most got sucked into cloud (like 85 pilots or so). We didn't go near that cloud as it was off our course line. I saw people come out of the cloud super high. Up ahead it was really shady and we were on a long long glide to no obvious climb (and again, no obvious climb). Guy Anderson peeled off to the south and other peeled off to the north. Our group got to the little hill close to Banya airfield which looks tiny from the air. It would make a great flying site in England. we just cirlced in nothing while the cloud thinned. When the sun came out the thermal started at the bottom bringing all the pilots together and we had about 60 people who got the climb.

I was quite high in the group with lots of voiciferous Italians in the group. It was all a bit of a mess. We pushed in towards the turnpoint along the ridge. Every now and again it seemed to be convergence but the guys that left got low. Eventually we got high enough to go to the turn point and back again. A group of ten took the strongest climb. At that point KlaudiaB was out in front.

There was an obvious convergence line to the right of the course line. we headed to a little cloud to the south. As I was going towards the cloud, my optimistic instrument said I would make it in with a glide of 12:1 A pilot ahead of me took a climb which I pushed on thorugh gaining one hundred meters in altitude flying in a straight line. I saw Claudia climbing ahead in the convergence. The whole lead gaggle stopped and turned and I proeeded with the normal locked pulleys heading towards Claudia who was low and climbing in the convergence without turning. I just kept the pulleys locked all the way down the convergence line for eighteen kilometers until we got to the goal racing neck and neck with the Bulgarian, Orlin Dimov."

Later in the eventing, Adrian recorded a further interview reflecting on the competition so far and what it's like to fly the Boomerang 9

Adrian Thomas is professor of biomechanics at Oxford university. Adrian contributed to the design of the Boomerang 9 and has been part of the Gin team for the last two years.

Adrian has represented Great Britain at European and World Championships since 1999 and has won the British national championships on two occasions. Like fine red-wine, Adrian appears to be coming into his own as the vintage matures! We hope the next half century serves him as well.


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