Sunday 9 May 2010

Viking Race 2010 - day 2

The first day of the competition presented us with lovely sunshine and of course no wind at Laurac. Actually that's not strictly true, there was a small breeze, it was just in entirely the wrong direction. After the mandatory banter and inevitable land outs the wind suddenly picked up and switched to the correct direction.
Some frantic organisation allowed us to get two rounds in using both slopes. We finished at around eight and in the few hours of flying there were a few incidents.
Surprisingly there were, I guess, around 20+ reflys on the A slope because of timing gear problems, that was a real shame. The landings at the A slope were somewhat sacrificial in the ploughed field where the farmer was growing rocks. We put a net over the field to try and prevent further rocks being unearthed, which was better than nothing but there were still many scars that weren't going to get buffed out! We never quite worked out why the landing zone was directly behind the pits, in the rotor and meaning any overshoots would be potentially very dangerous and costly and any undershoot ended up in the road.
My first flight was bizarre and saw the end of the competition for me. I'll spare the names to save embarrassment, but my launcher – one of the best in the business – had a one in a million moment and in a way neither of us can work out his cap managed to wrap itself around my leading edge. On a bigger hill on a better day it would I guess have been barely noticeable, but on this hill with 44 degrees crosswind it was a different matter. Whilst I still had launch height I tried a few manoeuvres to dislodge it but it was going nowhere. With no height, no speed, no lift and a huge spoiler wrapped around the leading edge the inevitable was inevitable and, somewhat inevitably, I visited the bottom of the hill without so much as ever entering the course. So that's my week over!
The buzzer people came under a lot of scrutiny. I never wait for the beep and as a result I cut once in a while. On my second flight I didn't get the beep but it felt inconsistent compared with the previous turn and walking back to the pits a couple of the Austrian guys said they'd been watching behind the base and part of the model was over and hence it wasn't a cut. A few discussions with the organisers indicated that the buzzer people were waiting for a specific part of the model rather than any part of the model as per the rules. Disappointing.
Results so far are here