I really didn’t want to get up this morning when the Boulanger van horn sounded, I was so tired. I had in fact slept very well (other than dreaming of a mid-air collision that I apparently witnessed during the competition..), but still felt so tired. But the bread is so good…so had to drag myself out of bed.
We put the glider on the grid, row 8 was now the 4th row from the front, so I knew that once the launching started, I would be off in the first wave of take offs. However, as you can see from this photo, the weather didn’t look particularly promising. The Met Man at briefing had described a short gap between fronts early in the day that we might be able to complete a task in, before heavy rain in the evening.
I haven’t mentioned the ‘tugs’ yet. There is an impressive 13 tow planes, or tugs as we call them. Most are Rallyes and I’ve had a couple of tows behind Rallyes at 85+ knots, when the maximum specified aerowtow speed is 81kts, it leads to an interesting and extremely rough tow. The Cirrus does not take water ballast and therefore I’m extremely light; too light in fact for some of the conditions we’ve been having.
At briefing we were set a 1:30 hour Assigned Area Task, basically around the Chateroux prohibited airspace, which would be physically impossible to do in the set time, because we’d actually have to fly further than the task lines in order to fly around the airspace. The Director realised this at the briefing when Dave Draper commented on it to him, and he agreed to set a Task C on the grid, if he needed to ‘fall back’ the task distance.
In the photo below, I wasn’t praying, Michael caught me programming the instruments and it’s easier to do kneeling beside the cockpit.
The Director cancelled the Open Class group who were on the back of the grid, and then shortly afterwards, he cancelled the Libelle Class who were on the grid in front of us. This then put me in number one position on the grid! I’m never too happy when at the very front of the grid, because there always is a bit of a panic when they start launching and you end up rushing. The Director then set a new task, another Assigned Area Task which you can see drawn on my map in the photo below; it all looks rather complicated and that’s because it is. You can also see that I’m wearing gloves; it was really cold today.
The Director delayed the launch two or three more times and then eventually scrubbed the day for everyone that was left on the grid. So it was back to the parking area once more and on with the covers.
This gave me the chance to go for a run. After a quick visit to the shops and a drive around Issoudun to look at the old centre, I quickly changed into my running gear and went for a run around the perimeter of the airfield, which turned out to be 5.3km. So at least I was able to get some kilometres in for the day! Thankfully, there’s no photo of me running (not that I’m aware of anyway).