Thursday 2 June: Report by Craig Morgan
Good news and Bad.
Let’s start with the bad. So – the comp is over. We have some weather moving through now and for tomorrow so the organisation have pulled the pin and the end of comp party is to be held tonight.
But the good news is – our winner is Mark Watts. He is suitably cool about the result, however, as ice flows through his veins. It’s a great result for him though and goes to show he is back to his best. Not only this but it moves him into ‘pole’ for the championships, gives him automatic selection into any PWC he chooses next season and opens his WPRS (world point ranking system) account for this season with some valuable points. British team selection for any Cat 1 comps (Worlds and Europeans ) is decided by a pilot’s best WPRS points tally for four competitions. All in all a very acceptable outcome for Mark.
Bruce Goldsmith joined us late last night and crashed out in Hayman’s old bed. I didn’t have the heart to tell him what the big man had been up to in that pit for the five preceding nights. But hey … Bruce was intrigued by the video of the guy crashing on takeoff. He viewed it over and over with the discerning eye of a designer and test pilot, hmm-ing and uh-huh-ing. In the end he concluded that the glider had collapsed and recovered but then stalled. The pilot reacted perfectly as in a text book release of brakes but the glider proceeded to cravat, turn, hit some funky air (maybe a dusty or just pulsing turbulence) spin and crash. He couldn’t see any pilot error and remarked that the pilot did everything right which surprised him as generally the pilot’s reactions to an incident only tend to worsen the situation, but not in this case. Anyway – thanks for your considered opinion Brucie.
What about the gliders? Well the R11s have raised the bar, there’s no doubt about it. Modest increases in performance but an increase none the less. I know what I’d be flying if I was good enough. However, Ozone’s hardnosed business approach to supporting the British squad has left many of us hand to mouth journeymen pilots with little or no option but to fly embarrassingly outdated hand-me-down gliders fit only to make up the numbers, cast aside as we are in the relentless pursuit of material wealth.
These days I feel as though it would be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven – wouldn’t you agree?
The brekkie table gossip this morning centred around the strong contingent of British pilots entered into the forthcoming Turkish PWC. But before that there is the small matter of deciding a world championships in Piedrahita, Spain. Good luck to ou British team this year of Russ Ogden, Jamie Messenger (who next weekend marries his beautiful princess Bella Reibling in a fairytale Castle in the Bavarian Alps) and Mr Solar Power himself, Neil ‘the shadow’ Roberts. An arduous two weeks of hot, dry long task racing will surely be won by the man that makes goal every day and avoids the merciless and unpredictable high plain sink holes.
That’s about it for this one folks. If I’m invited back I’ll maybe give you my reflections of the goings on from the top level Turkish PWC in six weeks’ time. Now I’ll be off back to my kiddies , wifie, and my normal life of trying to eke out a living.
Bye for now,