Thursday 3rd August: True 'Race to Goal'!

Three pilots dominated the race today, and it truly was a race right around the course.  Manfred Ruhmer (AUT) led from the start, closely followed by Steve Cox (SUI) and Jacques Bott (FRA).  In fact, by keeping an eye on the Live Tracking, gave those of us on the ground a much better view of what was happening in the air than the competitors themselves could see!  First into goal was Steve:  "It was a very exciting race!" he said, looking around the airfield.  "Where's Manfred?".  On hearing the news that he was some kilometers behind, he smiled broadly.  "I had Manfred in my sights for most of the course, but I lost him two turnpoints back at the lake Serre-Poncon."  Conditions were very varied, Steve commented, with some ridge soaring with hardly any wind, and some very strong thermals.

Second into goal was Jacques.  His broad smile evaporated when he found that Steve had arrived before him!  He had beaten Manfred, but he was in second place.  "I think I was lucky today," he said.  "It was very shady over Gap."  In third place came Manfred.  "That was interesting" he said.  "Conditions were good, except for the area around the last two turnpoints - very shady.  I took the route into the higher mountains thinking it would work better, but clearly it didn't!"

The shady area around Gap has already caught out Philippe Bernard (SUI) who has landed out near the city.

And now the Class 5 pilots are on the return leg to goal over the same area, so we will see how they fare.