At briefing this morning, the Director apologised for the shambles that was yesterday….
The Director set a further briefing at 12:00 because the weather was poor – of course, he was in such a difficult position after the bad decision he made yesterday, that I believe he felt that he had to send us today, even if the weather was worse than yesterday.
A task of 137.4km was set for the Club Class (Start Echo – Spannarboda – Sura – Gunnilbo – Tuna – Arboga). All gliders were on the grid and the first launch set for 14:00. Sure enough, they launched us first and by the time it came to my launch, it was raining heavily – I had no choice but to pull off the grid. It continued to rain as they launched the Standard Class.
I couldn’t get a launch until after the Standard Class had gone, and it wasn’t long after I’d launched that I started. Ahead of us to the North were multiple bands of rain – my worst enemy. I flew to the west with a handful of other gliders, then alongside a huge rain shower. Somewhere at the other end of the rain shower was the first turning point, but it was under a lowering cloud base and heavy rain. After several attempts, I made my way into the turning point and my FLARM kept going off indicating imminent collision as gliders were descending through cloud (which is forbidden) it was very frightening indeed). I managed to work my way round the turning point and back out to the North where I climbed up again and considered my next move. The next turning point was back through the rain shower and I knew I didn’t have enough height to get through the rain and to the better looking weather. I could see other gliders making a run for it, so in I went, but as predicted, there was no lift just incredible sink. I saw a suitable landing field, popped out of the rain and headed on track – but all I could see ahead were forests and lakes.
I turned back towards my chosen field, which was a cut hay field that ran down to the huge lake and was surrounded on two sides by forest. I called GB Team up on my radio to inform them of my position prior to landing. I started the downwind leg in torrential rain and then noticed that the wind had changed through 180 degrees. Do I continue to land with a tailwind up the slope or do I land into wind where at the end of the field, it slopes towards the lake. I had a split second to decide and I chose to land towards the lake – bad decision.
So unfortunately, all they day's efforts were in vain, and that was the end of the competition.