A strong cold front crossed the flying area. Because of that, temperatures dropped a lot and we had only 5°C in the early morning, which is very unusual for summer in Macedonia. That was also the reason why pilots were desperately looking for warmer clothes at the takeoff. Because of the strong north wind (10-25km/h), today’s task was a 90km downwind zigzag with several in and outs of the same turnpoint: 60km entry start, 42km, 52km out, 42km, 52km out, 42km and then to the ESS and goal in the South.
Once in the air we could climb over 2500m, while there was not even one cloud on the course. Because of the fairly strong wind, the conditions were quite turbulent. Soon after the start most pilots tried to head north, in order that they were not pushed too much south. Again it was important to choose the right line; sometimes it was possible to make 200m in straight flight, while other pilots lost 500m. The small hills in the valleys were working nicely and the fastest route connected two times over these hills. It was very difficult to find the best thermals, because clouds did not indicate them. However, we managed somehow to get to the turnpoint for the last time. It was already 17:00 and the thermals got weaker now and pilots stopped pushing. In the end Marco from Italy won, closely followed by Honorin and my bigger group.
Most of the Swiss team were struggeling with today’s conditions. Ema and Yael came in 8min after me, Alfredo also made it, while the youngsters bombed out…
13 August 2016, Michael Sigel
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