The 4+ hours of flying we did yesterday were for naught. One of the rules here is if a task is stopped and no one has made goal, then the task is void. Yesterday, no one from our class had made goal by the time the task was called, so we all will receive a zero for the task.
The winds yesterday were strong enough to cause some very bad turbulence for some pilots. Today the winds were predicted to be the same. Many of us were concerned for our safety if the winds picked up more than predicted. Because of the chance of overdevelopment today, a shorter task of only 83 miles was called. We would run up the valley to the west, then back down the southern valley to the east, back up to the north and then back to goal at Berg.
All the American pilots were happy with the task call. Flying 130+ mile tasks gets old, if done every day. The start time was the same as the first day, 1:45. The thermals were not supposed to start until 1:30 so it could be a struggle to get up and get going. The winds at launch were good and most of the pilots got off the hill in under 20 minutes.
Right after launch I made a big mistake and left the lift I was in and ended up getting stuck in very light lift for way too long. At the start time I was several miles from the starting line and 3000' lower than the lead gliders. It was a mistake that I was never able to make up. Ron must have had similar problems as he was with me at the start. Jim, Bruce and Davis were in great positions at the start.
I tried to follow the local pilots to see what was the best route around the course. It did not take long before I could not see them. Davis was ahead of me the entire time, but most of the time I can not understand what he is saying on the radio. I picked a line which turned out was the line most of the pilots flew. The lift was good with climbs to 13,000+. Davis reported 14,500'.
I caught up to Jim at the second turn point. We flew on a long glide to the third turnpoint, arriving at 6,000'. This does not seem low, but when you are flying 10 to 13 thousand most of the day, it sure looks low. I scratched around for about 60 seconds when I hit a very rough, very strong thermal. It was 1000 fpm+ all the way to 13,500. I had drifted 2 miles past the turn point, but was still at 13,500' when I got the turn point. When I switched the waypoint to goal on my GPS and turned on my final glide computer, it said I had goal by 4,000'. This turned out to be very accurate. It took me 15 minutes to get down and land after crossing goal.
Bruce had a time of 2:07, I believe Davis was about 10 minutes behind Bruce. My time was 2:37. There were at least 35 gliders at goal when I crossed. Jim crossed about 1 minute after me. Ron got very low, I believe less than 3,000' (1,000' agl) by the second turn point. He climbed all the way above 11,000' and almost caught Jim and I. He came in low behind us at the last turnpoint and landed there. I looked at my vario log and the task took only 7 thermals.
The big surprise of the day was when we went to the local dry cleaners to pick up our laundry. Nancy had dropped off Bruce's and our laundry on Monday. When we picked it up they charged us 120 euro, about $160. It was not more than I could fit in one load of our washer back home. Bruce and I just looked at each other slack jawed. We could had purchased new clothes for not much more.
Here are a few items that are different then back in the states. The hotel has no ice machine, beverages are served without ice, unless you ask, and then only two cubes. There are no wash cloths in the bathroom. They do not provide soap or shampoo. Just about every store is closed on Sunday, restaurants and gas stations are the exception. I think I mentioned that there is no tipping.
You can see from my track log that we had many long glides.