World Cup 2014 Serra da Estrela, Portugal Task 4.1

The world cup has arrived in the rustic town of Celorico da Beira in Portugal for the penultimate event on the 2014 calendar. True to form a terrible weather forecast accompanied our arrival.

It was an anxious couple of days for Ha "Hachi" Chikyong who had to wait for his glider after the airline left it somewhere in Italy. Luckily the glider arrived the evening before the contest started.

The forecast was not good which resulted in a fair amount of pessimism before the mandatory morning briefing. It was therefore a pleasant surprise to fly after were arrived at the Azinha launch. The task committee hurriedly set a task for an early start in order to get us away from the mountain to avoid the increasing wind and thunderstorm threat. The race started at 13H15 and comprised of an East-North dog-leg of sixty six kilometres in the flat lands. The field was surprisingly disciplined at the start mostly avoiding the white room as the clouds began to build. We all went on course in a tight-knit bunch which fractured into multiple factions within ten minutes. Four main groups were spread all over the sky with some at cloudbase, others struggling lower down, and dozens of loners and stragglers dotted around in three dimensions. The disarray was probably the result of the fretful early thermals that had not consolidated yet. The lead group flew a bow to the east of the course-line presumably following the clouds. The day improved with time which provided for some fast and furious racing as the gaggles converged toward the finish-line in the latter half of the race. The day was a huge success with many content pilots.

As always GIN pilots were well represented throughout the day finishing strongly with Frans Erlacher, Richard Gallon, Luis Gomez, Semih Sayir and Andre Rainsford all finishing in the top twenty, led by Andre who took second place by a minute or so behind the task winner.

We are all hopeful that the weather will clear up after two rest days due to thunderstorms.

Task results:


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