James Nugent, Australia, Club Class
James Nugent, Australia, flew 412.98 km at 117.32 kph in an AAT task taking 3rd place for the day in Club Class. The 932 points he earned were enough to keep him in the top position overall after Race 4.
Thies Bruins, Netherlands took 2nd place, moving him up to 3rd place overall. Rasmus Ørskov, Denmark came first flying 436.44km at 122.15 kph moving him up to 7th place overall.
Stefan Langer, Germany lost his joint top position with Nugent, but he is only 10 points behind him with 3,834 championship points. James' Australian teammate Daniel Summers is not far behind in 6th position with Club Class World Champion Uwe Wahlig in 5th place. With little more that 100 points between the top seven pilots and ten potential race days to go, this competition is far from decided.
See full Club Class results at soaringspot.com
Uys Jonker, South Africa, 15m Class
Uys Jonker, South Africa, won the racing task of 544.51km with a speed of 147.55 kph. Riccardo Brigliadori, Italy, was not far behind with a speed of 147.13 kph. Erik Borgmann, Netherlands came 3rd at 145.27 kph. Current 15m World Champion Sebastian Kawa, Poland was even faster at 149.25 kph. However, he incurred 50 penalty points for starting outside his PEV, putting him in 4th place. Steffen Goettler finished 5th folowed by German teammate Henrik Bieler in 6th place.
The top ten pilots for the day all improved their overall positions including Race 1 winner Jeroen Verkuijl Netherlands now in 10th position, and the Australian duo Adam Woolley and Tobi Geiger who are in contention at 12th and 13th places overall.
Sebastian Kawa is now in overall lead by a thin 12 points ahead of Steffen Goettler, Germany and 35 points ahead of Uys Jonker in 3rd place overall.
See full 15m Class results at soaringspot.com
Makoto Ichkawa, Japan, Standard Class
Simon Schröder, Germany, won the day flying the 422.21km racing task at a respectable speed of 128.40 kph. Philip Jonker, South Africa followed in 2nd place at 126.02 kph and Makoto Ichikawa took 3rd place at 122.86 kph followed by the the two Poles Tomasz Rubaj and Lukasz Blaszczyk then Enrique Levin, Germany.
Australian pilots Greg Beecroft and Bruce Taylor finished together at 119 kph to secure positions 7 and 8 and consolidate their position on the overall table.
Mak Ichikawa retains hit top place overall 63 points ahead of Sjaak Selen, Netherlands with Beecroft holding 3rd, Tom Arscott, Great Britain 4th and Bruce Taylor 5th place.
See full Standard Class results at soaringspot.com
Cloud forming to the east of Narromine in the mid afternoon.
BIG WEATHER DAY
The Narromine region put on a big weather day today. As you can see from the speeds achieved on the racing tasks, days like these are basically excellent soaring days. But if you look at the results in the Club Class where they flew an AAT task you can see the wider story.
As the inland trough approaches the Central West of NSW from the west, it is pulling hot and more humid air from the northern tropics, and soon the eastern tropical regions including the Coral Sea will join the mixed airmass as well. The meeting airmasses are being forced into a tightening band producing conflicting winds, rapid convective uplift, clouds at levels above 10,000ft.
Today the clouds were forecast to reach an inversion top and spread out. More clouds were forecast towards the east over the ranges, with increasing cloud developing in the west.
It was not a uniform sky. The gliders on the racing tasks, that is, point-to-point all flying the same number of kilometres, perhaps had the easier day. The Club Class flying an AAT where they had three circles of varying sizes that they had to fly into, either just touching the circle or flying well into them, meant they had to judge for themselves which route would make the best combination of distance and speed to win the day.
But as mentioned it was not a homogenous sky. In adition there was a clear wave influence above the thermals. This would have made conditions more difficult than they looked as the wave downdrafts, 'crashed' the thermal tops, making the areas of good lift hard to find. This would have puzzled and frustrated some pilots as they found sinking air where they expected strong lift.
We should sympathise with the pilots who had a tough day today, and congradulate the pilots who used the conditions well and finished top of their classes.
Cloud forming to the west of Narromine in the mid afternoon.