Just back from the Welsh Open Eurotour 2007. This an event I have been visiting regularly since 1999 I believe. Last year I did not attend because the Viking Race was so close.
This time I had Bjørn Tore Hagen with me. We flew in to London and Alex McMeekin picked us up and we drove straight to Wales and the Bwlch (yes, try to pronounce that if you can!)
This year it was a 3 day event and 50 competitors showed up. Lots of withdrawals but who cares, the size of 50 pilots is very good.
Friday started out with low clouds and rain and we waited for 3 hours before we managed to get in 1 round at Mickeys slope before the wind turned so much that we could fly anymore.
Next day the forecast was light winds and we could fly on "Back of the Wrecker". This is a fairly good slope and with 5-7 m/s wind we did 4 rounds. I got lucky and pulled out a 37 second flight in round 5. I did not have any bad air so I had fairly good times in all my rounds so far and was the overnight leader. BTH and Alex also did well with 7th. and 4th. place before the last day.
Long before we started the comp. we formed the TGT team and we were all agreeing that this year we should try to make the podium in the team event. This team effort made us all work for the team and trying to avoid mistakes as they would effect not only yourself but also the team. Before the last day we were doing well and was in the lead.
The last the the forecast was good but with much higher wind from the south west. So again back to Mickeys and again waiting for the clouds to lift. Finally it did and we started in 15-20m/s wind. Many people set PB's and fastest time came from Jarda (CZ) flying his Ascot to perfection with a 32,7 second round.
Unfortunately the wind increased and the organizer could nothing else than to stop the flying until the wind came down under the max allowed wind speed of 25m/s. That did not happened so we only got this single round on Sunday. I stayed in the top, Alex moved to 3rd place and BT moved down to 9th place after some bad air in the last round. But the team The Gnome Team stayed in top and won the team competition with a good margin.
Many thanks to the Welsh organizers who did another good event. I hope we all learned a few things when it comes to setting up the safety area. I also hope that the Viking Race committee soon can take a look on the current rules and perhaps make some suggestions in the future rules so organizers can have a manual on how to do it.
Look here for my pictures (not so good as there was something wrong with the camera)
For results take a look at Kevin's web page: http://www.knewt.com/ Also check out RC-Soar's http://www.rc-soar.com/gallery/2007/wo/index.php