I just finished day 7 of the so-called Condor World Championship. It was a ridge race with a favorable 30 kph wind from the southeast. Preparation was a bit hectic because the map of the preliminary race details was pretty hard to be sure of the turn points. I made my best guess though and created a waypoint file with SeeYou and set the race up in XCSoar. It was a standard class race with a regatta start once again. I usually fly the LS-8-b, 15 meter ship for standard class. Standard class races aren’t very common so I tried a dive for the line at 300 meters above max start altitude and 1 km from the line. This seemed to work fine but I wasn’t able to time it. I’m playing these starts a bit on the safe side so I wouldn’t start my dive any sooner than 10 or 12 seconds before the start opened, anyway.
The preliminary details are available two hours before the start join time so this give ample opportunity to do some experimentation and get things squared away. My biggest worry was that my turn points would be wrong and I would have to re-work the task in XCSoar.
Fifteen minutes before join time, the turn points and most information that you need is made available. To my surprise, the only point I guessed wrong was the finish. I accidentally chose a turnpoint by Aigen airport called Aigen Mil. It only took me a few minutes to jump into the task that I had created in condor again after correcting the finish, saving it and opening the IGC in SeeYou. From there all I had to do was create the one waypoint, save only the one to a new CUP file, copy it to my Gallaxy Note 2 with XCSoar on it, then add the additional CUP file to the “More waypoints” line in the Site Files configuration of XCSoar.
This race started with a winch launch but it was pretty easy to gain altitude at a downwind ridge, downwind of the start line. The ridge wasn’t that high though. I gained about 1600 meters then flew upwind and gained the rest of the altitude I needed in a blue thermal and a really strong thermal under a big Cu. The max start height was 1800 meters so I needed to start 1 km before the line at 2100 meters. The last thermal gave me almost 2500 meters so I flew upwind about 1.5 km from the line, made a ninety degree turn to the right until I was opposite the center of the start, opened up the air brakes to full while making a descending right turn just above stall speed. I was just above 2100 meters at the 1 km to go point with 20 seconds to go. This was cutting it closer than I wanted by a good five seconds but I went for it anyway. As the line approached I looked to be too high so really dove for the line. I didn’t know it at the time, but as I crossed the line my vertical descent was 58 meters/second and the countdown to race start was exactly 0 and I was 6 meters above the maximum start altitude. I guess there must be a little leeway here because my start was good and I was very lucky!
The race was an easy one for the most part. I just wasn’t sure how fast I could fly. I must have been doing everything exactly right though because about half way down the final leg of the task I saw LS (Sandor Laurinyecz) in front of me and several hundred feet below. I couldn’t believe my luck and made the most of the situation by following one of the top competitors in glider simulation competition. I was worried that he would outsmart me and leave me behind but I held my own for a while and finally passed him by a bit. Later he passed me and at one point was 1.1 Km ahead. Not too far before the finish there was a big vertical cliff. I don’t know how I managed it, but I managed to gain more altitude there without losing any distance behind him. Finally, three or four minutes from the finish I was able to pass him. I think we were both worried about last minute terrain obstacles and he was a bit more cautious than I. I raced him to the line at red line and surprisingly he didn’t gain on me. I managed to beat him by 12 seconds! Oddly enough he crashed at the airport. It could be that he was deliberately trying to collide with one of his Hungary team mates.
I couldn’t be happier with my results. The next closes pilot to Sandor and I was about two and a half minutes slower. We were in the first of four time slots though, so there may be quite a few pilots yet to race. Norbert Kiss usually races the first time slot tomorrow (Friday) and he is always a huge threat but I expect to stay in the top five places at the worst.
Note: I was unable to use the Condor2Nav utility with the Austria scenery. It is not in the database that the utility uses for the scenery.