The results from yesterday were very interesting. Our very own Bruce Barmakian placed third for the day! No one made goal so there was only 485 points to be had for first place, but Bruce slayed his dragon at the first turnpoint and made it past turn point three. Felix Ruhle won the day, getting four of the turnpoints. About 40% of the pilots landed by the first turn point. With my poor result yesterday I dropped 4 places in the overall standings. I am back on page two.
There is talk that today will be the last day of flying due to a weather system that is supposed to move into the area. Today was clear and sunny when we got up. There are clouds forming on the mountain tops. I hope we can get a good day of flying today. There is talk of light lift today.
The task called was a 132 mile triangle of sorts. There were three turnpoints. Start time was 1:15 with the launch window opening at 11:45. None of the swifts wanted to go early like they usually do. By 12:00 the line for launch was long. I launched at 12:10. We had about 11 miles to get to the start circle. The cloud base was really low for what we have seen in the past, only 8,000' or so. I watched Manfred cut across the valley. 15 or 20 rigids followed, so I crossed as well. In fact all of the USA pilots crossed except for Bruce.
I think we all were in a good position for the start. I was with Alex Ploner for two thermals, then he left me behind. I was staying with the second gaggle (the slow pilots) all the way to the second turnpoint. Ron, Jim, Davis and I flew together from the first turnpoint to the second turnpoint. Bruce took the long way to the first turnpoint and was about 6 miles behind us. After the second turnpoint I missed a thermal and slowly worked myself to the ground. Ron got higher and flew another 9 miles past me. Jim got stuck on the north side of the valley we were in and landed 1/4 mile short of Ron. Davis landed short of the second turnpoint.
All this time we had not heard from Bruce. He took the valley to the south of the one we had trouble with and passed us all. He kept working everything he could and he eventually made goal. He was in the air for almost seven and a half hours. Only about 14 pilots made goal today. Bruce is coming on strong. Maybe the buttermilk he drank last night helped .
The weatherman said that the front passing through tomorrow will not prevent us from flying. We will see.
This is the view from where I landed. The bridge is a railroad bridge. I am not sure what the structure to the right is. The valley I landed in was beautiful as are all of the valleys we have seen. There is a large river running through this valley and as a result, there are many water sports companies. I have yet to see anyone fishing in any of the streams or rivers. We have been told fishing here is very restricted.