Start of flying was scheduled at 8h30. A light drizzle was not going to stop the organisers of starting round 8. First up was distance, followed by duration and then speed as the final task. A constant westerly wind had the CD close the eastern winch lines, making way for the landing spots.
Our distance tasks were all flown well, with the calling becoming better as we went along. Yes, this was an area that we did not really pay to much attention to in practice.
During the duration the Americans had a midair with Japan quite far from the field. We never saw the damage, but gauging at what we saw both planes must have been a write off.
The speed was similarly uneventful, with us struggling with the launches. Craig tried kiting to get some more spring into the line, but that did not give him any advantage. So, another somewhat disappointing run for Craig. Michelle I thought had a good run, but lost time on the second base B turn. Nigel also struggled withcthe launching, but also had a good smooth run. In effect, what it all boils down to, is launch height! An area that the germans seem to have figured out and using this as their secret weapon, apart from their close to perfect flying.
After the last speed run, the light drizzle, became a more constant heavier drizzle, just in time!
What I thought was a nice touch from Martin Weberschock, he requested all the teams to make a passage at the winch line to give thanks and celebrate the effort of all the Official helpers. So each one was called up by name and then sent through the applause channel. As there were no Mexicans, team South Africa decided to do a mini mexican wave. I wonder if this was captured on the livestream?
Anyway, then the frenzy of packing up began, with the rain dropping down a little harder. At 16h00 we were done and ready to clean up at the hotel.
At 18h00 the Flower Ceremony began, followed by lots of beer and good food. This was also the time to say good bye to old and new friends, in the hope that one would see them again in the near future.
Personally, I found this a well run event and a real eye opener, how the top pilots fly this F1 of gliders. We all had tremendous fun, and I truely hope to be able one day to experience this again.
Unfortunately the team will split up on the Saturday, due to other commitments and time constraints. Only Nigel and his wife Linda will be attending the tour to Dresden. Afterwards they will represent the team at the banquette.
With this I will leave you, hopefully to have stirred some interest, that we will see more F3B pilots here in South Africa in the future.