Sunday, September 11, 2005
Day 5 & contest complete!
After an exciting, short task in extremely marginal conditions, the first World Sailplane Grand Prix is over. Chip got 5 points today, so he and Tim will end up tied overall with 5 points each. The weather really was quite challenging. The pilots launched with an 1,100 meter tow height (400 meters lower than usual) and with low clouds all around. Before the start, we could see everyone flying in and out of clouds. The first turn was Vinon (site of next year's Club Class World Championship) to the south, and the weather was better there - fast flying under cloudstreets. On the way back, things got tricky. A thunderstorm formed over the airfield. Some pilots went on the east side of the River Durance and some went direct to the next turnpoint on the west side. Most got the second turnpoint. It was very weak into the third turnpoint and most chose to land at Saint Auban. Mario Kiessling (Germany) went south (opposite direction from the turn) and found a big climb. He was able to complete the difficult task and float his way home to win the day. Sebastian Kawa still wins the Championship.
The Salon of Saint Auban continued with flights by the tiny gliders and tiny towplanes, big gliders doing aerobatics, and a beautiful Stearman biplane.