Cet article est issu d'un blog qu'a écrit Mette Agnete à l'occasion de son
championnat du monde à Klix en 2005, en Allemagne. Comme cet article est issu du blog, il faut le lire d'un bas vers le haut!!!
Pilot: Mette / Agnete
Glider: ASW 27b / Std. Libelle WL
Crew: Johnny / HC
Airfield: Klix, Germany
Official website: www.wwgc2005.de
Last up-date: 17.08.2005
I DID IT!
The last day.....they had promised good weather, but we woke up to overcast and low temperatures. Torture.
At the briefing they had made a task and the metman was convinced that a weather window would cleen up the sky around noon. Torture.
The task was a 175km square, Klix - Bronkow - Forst - Rothenburg - Klix, NW- NE - E- Home.
At noon we were towed. I had a very clear strategy: To be defensive. The only thing that could threaten the gold medal was an outlanding, so I wanted to stay with the gaggle and not take any chances.
At first the thermals seemed like walking on thin ice: At first it held, but soon you fell through. The hour we waited before the departure continued like this, and it was very difficult to get in top. The cumulus seemed blurred , more like stratocumulus that had somehow gotten into 1200m.
The czech trio started out rather early about 1245, but they came back low 20 minutes after. ½ an hour later it seemed like the clouds straightend up a bit and the thermals became more regular. At 1320 the gaggle decided to leave and so did I. Further to the North the thermals was much more regular, which eased the nervs in AG's cockpit a bit.
Before the first turnpoint the gaggle increased the level of agression, and I decided to back off. I took 1 m/s from 800 to 1200m app. together with the Germans. It turned out to be a very good decision. The gaggle continued but found nothing and turned the turn point much lower and a long time after us. We went directly to a thermal street North of the track, with Stefanie Mühl in front. When she hit the thermal it looked like she was sucked up, it looked amazing. It gave 4.0 for a while. It was a short time though, with this speed it doesn't take long to climb to 1200m.
The street continued all the way to the second turnpoint, where the Germans left me. I wanted to play safe so I back-tracked a little to a big black cloud. The gaggle caught me, but it was not really important, I just needed a home landing.
The same thing happened at the last turn point, the gaggle increased the level of aggression and I backed off, took a big black cloud some kilometres off course....turned the last turn point.....took over two Germans on the final glide...and landed home. I was certain that the gaggle had gotten home before me, but no......I won the day once again. Amazing. The torture was over.
AG deserved it, it really did....
15m class podium: 1: Me, 2: Yvonne Schwarz (SUI), 3: Annette Klossok (GER), 4: Alena Netusilova (CZ), 5: Valentyna Toporova (UKR).
Standard class podium: 1: Jana Veprekova (CZ), 2:Gillian Spreckley (GB), 3: Sarah Kelman (GB)
The low over Scandinavia continues to send down useless air. The day was cancelled at 2 o'clock. It seems to be the same for tomorrow, but they hope for a small task in the afternoon.
Tomorrow will be judgement time. Don't forget to keep your fingers crossed....
Crazy, crazy day
I am terribly sorry for the late update, but today we landed out. Far out. I mean out where there are problems with the GSM-coverage and where you can walk for a long time without meating anyone.
The flight itself was fascinating, but not unique. We flew along a squall line, that build up south of Berlin. A few of us spotted the chance of passing North round it, and for this we fought for 2 hours. THis brought us a long way into Poland and we struggled to get back into Germany with the 40km/t wind from west, but we did actually get around North of the squall line. This one was however replaced by "ordinary" cb's behind, so eventually we had to land. We followed the last cloud street towards Eisenhüttenstadt, it started in 600m, at the end, app. 10km before the border the cloudbase was in 300m. It was a team flight with the closest competitors, Yvonne Schwarz (Switzerland) and Valentyna Toporova (Ukraine).
The navigation in this altitude leaves much to improvement. I spotted the river and Eisenhüttenstadt, to the west there was a forest. Yes, we could make it back into Germany! This would safe us a lot of trouble on the retrieval, especially for Valentyna. Passed over the river, found a harvested field with a road connected to the city, a bit short but a clear approach. Touchdown and turn on the phone. Welcome to Poland an SMS said.....hmmm, well we were close to the border, maybe the signals could be confused....
Then Valentyna landed and Yvonne on the other side of the town.
I tried to phone home, but the signal was very week and communication over SMS was much more efficient and reliable. I started walking into town....I met 3 cars and a horse carriage....why did they all have polish licensplates? What a coincidence...
As I approached town, it was obvious from a long distance that the city limit sign was a big, green, Polish sign and not a small, yellow, German sign....Evevev, we had navigated on the wrong river and we were still on the Polish ground.
I went through town in an attempt to find Yvonne. I met a farmer with his horse and he thought I looked very suspisious walking around in their neighbourhood. I tried with drawings and gestikulation to explain that I was looking for a glider. All of a sudden he understood, that I was looking for an airfield, and he pointed at his head to let me know that I was crazy to think I could find an airfield here. Stupid tourists. I also tried to say that I did not speak Polish, which he understood as Polizja. This was not so good for the conversation, he got all white in the face, and I decided that I'd better dissappear.
My crew found me without problems, the glider was derigged at about 2015 and ready to go home. But of course we couldn't leave Valentyna there.
The Ukrainians had a whole lot more problems at the border than we did. Mykola, Valentyna's crew, had to get off at the border and let a German friend of theirs continue alone, because he as Ukrainian cannot get a visum for Poland. Not really sensible, if you have a visum for Germany, who wants to run away to Poland?.
The roads were small and wet (Johnny complained about the quality, but Valentyna assured him that comparing to Ukraine, the Polish roads were very good), so the Ukrainian van ended up in the side of the road, so we had to push it back up. The time was around 21 and it was getting dark.
We decided to put our Passat in front of the trailer instead of the van, from the asphalt road there was 1 km on a bumpy and soft tractor track to reach our field, but it took a while for us to figure out this brilliant plan. It was dark and it was raining, but the Ventus was in the trailer at 22.
Our problems ended here, MacDonalds was very welcome considering that I had had nothing to eat all day, and we were so fortunate that they accepted Euro.
The Ukrainians however were not so lucky. At the border, where they had left Mykola, the officers refused to let them go through, because track was too narrow for a gliders trailer. Nothing to discuss, they had to go to the next post, some 15km south of the town. But they could not bring Mykola....Polish authorities, you know. So they had to drive south, cross the border, explain howcome an Ukrainian pilot who had never officially entered Poland wanted to leave Poland with an Ukrainian glider that had never officially entered Poland, drive back North to pick up Mykola, drive home, almost run out of fuel, since no gasstations are open at this time of night. They were at home at 2:30.
(This situation had of course been foreseen by the competition direction, and all necessary paper work have been done to make things run smoothely, but bureaucracy is not always so fast, so the system won't be ready until a couple of weeks....)
All this trouble for a flight that gave 0 points, since no pilots were over 100km. The 3 of us made 97 km.
Todays update is a little late....Tonight was the evening where Mette was supposed to go to bed early, so the plan was to go to town and grab something to eat, maybe an icecream for dessert and then be home at 2200. But....instead we spent the entire evening trying to liberate our car from the parkhouse where we had parked. The signs had said that it was closed in the nights, but we realised that in Germany it becomes Night at 20:30. Fortunately it was poosible to phone an emergency service who could help us for the tiny sum of 25 Euro.....They did all this with a smile, which is why we suspect that this is one of their primary income businesses.
But we got home around midnight.
The day seen from the cockpit...
Once again it was forecasted that frontal clouds would come in during the afternoon and finish the thermal around 4 o'clock. The strategy was therefore to depart early.
The tasks were in the same area that we have been flying in all the other days,
but today the Polish airspace was open to use and also some restricted areas close to the airfield were free, leaving a bit more room for the home run from the North.
I made the first departure 5 minutes after the line opened, but quite fast realised that thee weather was collapsing and that I should turn around and wait for a new build up of the thermals. The second departure at 20 minutes later was much, much better and the first two legs went incredibly well. Shortly after 1st turn point I caught up wit YYY, who is number 2 in the ranking, and at 2nd turn point I had set her off. I found the gaggle, knowing that this was good. The spread outs had moved to the East and the way home looked sunny and with fine thermals. The frontal clouds did not show up at all.
I made only one mistake on this leg, but unfortunately this was a rather important mistake to make. As I had caught up with the gaggle I became passive and eventually I lost a lot of altitude compared to them. Even YYY came over my head and they could start their final glide a lot sooner than I. I had to do something and therefore I bedded on the power plant at Boxberg on the way home. It gave 3.5 m/s and I took it to 1000m, which is a little too high for 23 km, but sometimes there is also heavy sink around these power plants, so better safe than sorry.
Once again I spent the whole day swearing over being alone, and once again it turned out that my way was not so bad after all.
15m, AAT 1:50h Club, AAT 1:20h
The task were almost identical to those of yesterday except for the change to 10km area instead of beercans. During the briefing which was postponed to 1115 the sky cleared from the frontal system that passed us this morning and the stratocumulus transformed into pretty cumulus. The met man believed however in spread outs and maybe showers during the afternoon.
First launch was at 1330 and the line opened at 14:06. I believed in a perfect departure at about 1430, which was supposed to hav eme home at 1620-1630.
The thermals were strong but I quite soon realised that they were also tricky. Only 30 km from home I was in 500m and had to head directly to the power plant. The gaggle had left right in front of my nose, but I lost visual contact with them, which as usual creates the idea that they have gone far ahead already and are high and well off....
The first leg went like this, the cross wind was tricky. The second leg was almost in direct head wind, and the wind was quite strong, 25-30km/h. When I finally reached the first sector I met the Germans again, a little higher and they turned towards the next sector. Okay, it was not so bad after all. I decided to go a bit more North, where a heavy cloud street passed almost straight from one sector to the next. The small aberdabai with this plan was that it passed directly over the Spree and followed this "valley" all the way. Spree is the river that runs through Eastern Germany and is divided into many small rivers, therefore this region is almost a swump, and usually this is very bad to fly over. If you get low, don't count on the usual thermal generators. But this time it seemed like the best (only?) alternative and it was a very good decision. The entire head wind leg was made under this cloud street.
12 km before the sector the street ended and I had a very long glide in there and back to the clouds further to the South. I got there in 500m, and it was raining and the air was silent......I dumped a bit of water, but found the 0.5 m/s thermal I needed shortly after. When I reached the cloud base I felt almost certain that now it was possible to make it home, although a long way East had to be flown. It was possible, in fact without any problems at all, except for the usual nervousness when approaching the last cloud to gain the final glide altitude. And because it was so easy I was certain that many had come home before me, but no. Once again I had done something right, only the two Czech girls had landed, and since I now their team work is very good, it was not a surprise to discover that they had flown faster. But that doesn't matter. I gambled around the 2nd sector and it seems to have payed off.
Don't mistake the positive spirit in the above for easiness, it was a very difficult weather, with long distance between the thermals and large spread outs that stopped the sunlight in large areas.
Agnete made a rather late departure, because it was difficult to stay flying around the airfield at the time of start, and therefore she was cought too low under the same out spread that I had experienced and together with a whole lot of other club class gliders she had to land some 70 km from here.
The forecast for tomorrow looks good, so we expect flying again. This evening we have an international party, the Germans provide the food, the Czech provide the beer and
The day was cancelled at the briefing at 12 o'clock due to a trough coming in from the SW. So at the briefing we had a lot of time and we got a briefing on the World Sailplane Grand Prix in St. Auban in september and the IGC ideology behind the competition. The delegate from the American Women Gliding Assosiation briefed us on a 90 year birthday in october...a Ukrainian Lady, Olga, who made the worlds first distance record: 830 km, flown in 1938!!! The record was not broken until 1951, and until 1976 it was still standing as a womens record. At this time it was broken by Polish pilot Ada Danskowska...who is a participant here in Klix. She has 5100 hours in 51 years!!! Respect. Besides, after the official website has been updated and the pilots gallery has been published, Agnete and I has found out that we are almost the most inexperienced pilots here. I think the average is about 2000 hours pr. pilot with maximum peak at 5900 hours. But who cares when we can still fly home 1st, 2nd and 3rd places on the day?
From the briefing this morning it was supposed to give a weather window of 3 hours where we could fly from 12 to 15, due to some frontal clouds that would come in from the SW. At 12 o'clock the thermals still wasn't strong enough and the start was delayed. The last one took off in the 15m class at 13:57, the start gate would open at 14:17...leaving 43 minutes for the 190 km task?????
At 14:16 we were 11 gliders of 13 possible in the same thermal just around the startpoint. The strategy was clearly to leave right away and see how far we could make it. Only the two czech girls waited 10 minutes.
My personal strategy was to stay with the others. Blue thermals or not, I was not going to do any experiments...at least not on the first leg. Then mayby later on...
The first leg was weak and we had to use the power plant thermal at Spremberg to transit. Islands of cirrus was circulating in the task area and sometimes we had quite long glides from sunbeam to sunbeam. It was possible to see areas of convection with small clouds on top, but usually they disappeared when we got there. The thermals were not bad though, sometimes 1 m/s, sometimes 2.
After the first turnpoint I decided that I'd better start to take some responsability if I was not to walk in the foot steps all the way home. At first this seemed like a really bad idea, I skipped a thermal, which those behind me took, and I thought it was all gone. Even the Czechs passed by me, they must have flown really well on the first leg, because they caught up with all of us.
But according to Sporting Code section 2 it is allowed to find a little bit of luck sometimes and my luck came just south of Cottbus. Out of nowhere I hit 2.5 m/s, which later condensed above me and I took over the Germans and took all the right decisions the rest of the way home, leaving the others behind.
Only one pilot (Swiss Yvonne Schwarz) had chosen to do something completely on her own, at the first turn point, where we me with the club class and flew in one, very large gaggle, she had decided to leave and go North all by herself, and for some reason that had payed off, she got home all alone 10 minutes before me and the rest of the gang.
I was rather surprised to discover that the Czech girls had not come home before me, they came home 10 minutes after, which means that the final score is very close between us. For me it was a 3rd on the day, with 1 point to number 2, and 2nd overall.
The weather lasted almost 2 hours longer than expected, but it was almost last call. Those who had more trouble on the task had a really hard time getting into final glide altitude, but all except 1 (club class) made it home in the end.
Poor, poor performance!
What is it that make the day after a success so difficult? I don't know, but it happens time and time again. This morning everything was prepared in good time, everything was perfect. We had a good forecast, promising 1500m cloud base with risk of drying out here and there.
The tasks were not frightning:
Club 248 km 15m 332 km
The startline for me opened at 13:15 and it was the plan to leave at 13:30, leaving 3:30 hours for flying before the thermals would shut of at 17 o'clock (the met man said that thermal would end at 18, but we all know that in Germany the sun is shut off at 17). Before start I could not get in top, I found no real thermals only "randomly ascending air", so not until 13:49 I found myself in a proper position for a start. This was 7 minutes after the Germans, which I did not consider to be a problem. For a long time I could keep visual contact with them, so everything looked to be business as usual. The cloud base however did not go above 1100m at this time and the clouds were tricky.
The entire first leg I was low, but kept on pushing forward, business as usual.
The problem came app. 30km before the first turn point, and I belive that this is the reason for the entire catastrophy. I kept on pusing forward in between 600 and 800m, which means that it is not affordable to miss one or two thermals. The thermals became tricky (at least I found them tricky:-) and I spent a lot of time to centre thermals that I had to give up shortly after. One glider after another passed over my head, how in the world did they manage to get up there?
Second leg, in directly head wind, went incredibly well considering the poor performance on the first 80 km. After a little search and one good 2.5m/s thermal I could fly for more than 80 km straight ahead, maintaining 1000m of altitude. When I turned the second turn point a lot of gliders were circling just to the south of my track, YES, I got them....no, the gliders straightend out and continued....towards the North! It was a bunch of competitors from the German Nationals in Lüsse....evevev.
Anyway, I had a good flow, so nothing could disturb me. The tiny fact that the time was past 16 o'clock I tried to ignore. It meant that I should fly the last 125 km in 45 minutes to be home in due time....
Afterwards I had a few good thermals, but it was more often the case that I had to take 0.5 m/s to keep my head above 600m. Further it seems from the tracks that I chose a track more westerly than the rest, which was a really bad move. I ended up in 500m in what felt like dead air and the cu above me did not seem to work. Finaly I spot a K7 some kilometres a away, and although it was much higher than I was, it is my last chance for a qualified search for a thermal. And I got it. 1 m/s so I get back in 1000m; but it took an awfully long time.
Likewise the remaining 80 km home are flown from 0.5m/s to 0.5 m/s beneath cumuli that dies whenever I arrive there. Slow, slow slow...but it was too late for real thermals. 35 km out I can see no more clouds in front of me, and I had to start the final glide from 980m. That is a glide angle of app 1:35, although in tail wind, I don't believe that it can be done, because the air felt uncoorporative, with large areas of heavy sink although no corresponding heavy climb. On 15 km I hit the best thermal of the day. A tiny Cu popped in front of me and gave 2.5 m/s. I took a few rounds, probably a couple too much, but the finish was secured.
The worst thing about today was the walk to the logger office. At least 3 times I was stopped by well-meaning people who wanted to tell me what I did wrong in my mental preparation and my stategy, since I could not repeat the performance of yesterday. You should not have made a late start. You should not had flown so agressively. You should always be carefull on the day after a success. With all due respect, Sirs, there was nothing wrong with the late start, nothing wrong with the level of agression and I wasn't careless...I believe I lost today because I was too careful!
My total ranking today was no. 11, and I fell down to no. 4 in the total.
Johnny and HC had the best intentions of bringing you live updates from the day, but today had many small tasks, so the informations became rather short and not really live. It is on experimental basis, we really want to inform you, but we are only the four of us to fix it all....the experimental basis continues tomorrow.
After a little waiting on the grid we were sent of at 13:45 on AAT tasks
15m (2:30h) Club (2:00h)
My strategy was not to loose anything on the first day, so I went for an early departure so that I wouldn't run out of time when the thermals finished, which was expected to be around 5-5:30. The Germans left app. 5 minutes after the opening of the start line and I found it a good idea so I went with them. We parted after a few clouds and I never saw them again. The first leg towards the North went as wished for and I chose to go to the far end of the sector because the clouds looked reliable. The second leg was in direct head wind and I was much more tricky than I had expected. The clouds from this angle looked flawed and unreliable and several times I was below 700m, not comfortable really. On this leg I met a lot of gliders from Lüsse, where they fly the German nationals in 18m, open and doubleseater classes, but still I had seen only very few of "my own kind".
When I finally reached the last sector the clouds kept on cheating me, but when I turned nose home it all worked out much better. And all of a sudden gliders materialised themselves everywhere in all altitudes. I was down in 500m, but there were gliders lower than me, and they did not catch the the good thermal I got to 1500m...the only moment today based on luck. I flew homewards expecting the lot to be right behind me, but they did not come along. I started my final glide 50 km out and landed as the first on the airfield. Next came a standard class glider (Veprekova from Czech Republic), but it took more than 15minutes before the next came.
Only one came home in the club class, and unfortunately Agnete landed out. It was a rather soft field, so all 3 of us went to pick her up.
Sunday in Germany means that people goes out to see things, and today they went to see a gliding airfield. THere must have been more than 500 people here and the organisers have done a great job in entertaining them, tombolas, paper flyer competition for kids, loud speaker updates of everything happening on the field and live comments to the arrivals. When I delivered my logger I was dragged on stage to give a first comment on todays performance, and many other things they have done.
Johnny and HC will try the next couple of days to give some live info on the events here, tasks in the morning, comments on the weather, departures, our remarks on the radio, to the extend that time allows....because they have also promised my mother that the car will have had a complete service when we get home and to cook for us every evening, so they are definitely busy!
Yesterday afternoon Johnny and HC arrived in the Cessena just as planned. Agnete flew a local flight just to check the instruments and I went to town to find a chiropractician. The weather was, like the day before, forecasted to be very stable in the beginning followed by a heavy overdevelopment. It did became rather warm, but it did not break through to clouds as it had done yesterday.
We had a welcome party with all the necessary speaches and politesses, but also with a theatrical introduction to the region of Oberlausitz and its culture and history. We had been wondering why all signs on the road and in the towns were written in both German and something we thought was Polish, due to the proximity to the Polish border, but we learned that the region is bilingual due to a Sorb minority immigrating to Saxony 300 years ago.
The evening was hosted by Maria Michalk, member of the German parliment, who besides wanting to collect votes for the upcoming election, has a special to the airsport here at Klix and therefore has been a strong support in the preparation of these championships and its exposure in the media.
A heavy squall line passed us around midnight, we had been warned and therefore everything was secured, tents, gliders, cars, Cessena, but still it was difficult to sleep, not due to the lightning, thunder, rain or wind, but due to caring for all those things. We did not really know the extend of a German squall line beforehand, and especially the Cessena was all alone out there.
And it did go wrong. Not for us, but for the Piper Cup that was parked next to the Cessena. It was turned over on its back and is most probably totally destroyed, althoug it was secured by wires and stuff. Really sad indeed.
The official opening was today. At 8:45 the busses left for a ceremony at the open air theatre in Bautzen. We were blessed with fine sunshine for this untraditional, but refreshing opening, with theatre besides all the traditional speaches and good wishes. Afterwards we got a guided tour around the city where we learned even more about the very interesting and absolutely non-trivial history of the city and the region.
We came home around 3 o'clock, and it was almost too hot to do anything useful, but we had to get to work, we needed to raise the antenna and to put colour markings on the gliders, wash Johnny's clothes, which came directly from 2 weeks of rain at the Sun Air Cup (=dirty) and I still have not made my map....which is the clue word for terminating todays report.
Training day again, forecast of very warm weather, up to 37 degrees C. The soaring conditions were at first very stable, they launched the gliders lined up on the grid at about 2 o'clock and it was very difficult to stay flying, the blue thermals were weak up to 800m. Most of the gliders landed again more or less volonteerely and derigged. An hour later the temperature rose a couple of degrees and the thermal broke through to 2000 meter with clouds. Some of few gliders still flying, my self included, started on the task, which was really fun for the first 50 km, but them it dried out towards the 2nd turnpoint, which was to the west and we had to quit and turn around. My reason for this was that I did not have a crew to pick me up from an outlanding, I don't know the excuses of the others:)
Our third day of training. So far the weather has not been impressive, but it has been possible to fly 3 days with cloud bases from 800-1500m, all though it was only locally. Today it was possible to move a little farther to the South East, so today I have been checking out the Czech (haha) and Polish border lines.
Klix gliding airfield is situated some 15km North of the town of Bautzen in the Eastern part of Germany, close to the borders of both Poland and the Czech Republic. The airfield is hughes, almost as wide as it is long and it is surrounded by agricultural fields and a little bit of forrest. To the South, towards Czechia and South West towards Dresden the terrain raises in small hills, in all other directions it is as flat as it can be. To the North is the area of the Spree river, which is rich in small lakes and small rivers.
The farmers have started the harvest a long time ago allready, so there are plenty of large outlanding fields everywhere...except just near the airfield. The towing route passes over only non-harvested fields, hopefully that will change the following days, and the last field when approaching from the East is corn...high corn.
The club here, Aeroteam Klix, organises every year the Pokal der Alte Langöhren, a very popular handicapped competition, and held last year the German Feminine Nationals, which was also a Pre-World contest, and as far as I can tell from the stories of Agnete and the Australian girls, which were all here, it was a great success.
So the short introduction of the Danish pilots competing here:
Agnete Olesen, 35 years of age, master of science in civil engineering. 1100 hours of gliding and this is only her 2nd competition abroad. She participated in the German Womens Nationals last year with a total ranking as number 13 of 29.
She flies her own Std. Libelle, BC, that she this winter almost alone upgraded with winglets, ferings and new gel-coat on the wings.
Our crewmembers arrive on friday or saturday, depending on the weather, H.C. is coming to help Agnete. H.C. (which is short for Hans Christian) is licensed pilot flying in Billund Gliding Club, he is 25 years old and a student in building constructions.
Me, Mette Pedersen, 28 years of age, read about merits elsewhere on this site. 1100 hours of gliding and as usual flying ASW 27 in the racing class. My better half, Johnny, will be here to crew and to be team captain. Johnny is just about 30 and is a professionel pilot. I hate to say it but he knows an awful lot about flying in general and always has a good answer to my questions.
The competition starts on Sunday, we have an official opening on Saturday and until then there is training.