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2008 XC-Open Manilla

Competition results  
pdfOpen Class 1 Fred Gungl - AUS (Gin Boomerang 5)
  2 Hans Bausenwein - DEU (Gin Boomerang 5)
  3 Stefan Vyparina - SVK (Axis Mercury)
pdfWomen Viv Williams - AUS (Gin Boomerang 5)
pdfSerial Class Olejnik, Grzegorz POL Up Trango 3
pdfSport Class Anderson, Cedar AUS Swing Astral 5
pdfFun Class Vischer, Claus DEU Nova Mentor

Meet Director: Godfrey Wenness / Competition Scorer: Matthew Rosser, Andreas Rieck

Saturday, 16-Feb-2008    

A nice XC day was had by many today. Similar day to yesterday. Last Task time was 5.30pm and it was straight open distance. Many pilots did PB's as the flatlands to the northwest put on a fantastic cloud street that went to the horizon.

The lead group on the scoring all stalked each other for most of the day to make sure they didn't lose their position. The final top 5 results will be interesting.

I won the day at 151kms on my 3 1/2 year old Omega 7 proto, Andre Gilles (France) was 2nd on his Boomer 4 at 147kms. Mark Watts (UK) 143kms, Viv Williams (Aus, Boomer 5) 141kms was 4th and best woman on the day !

Many pilots flew on as it was looking easy for 250kms+. Kari Castle (USA) just reported she did 227kms on the tandem by sunset. Solo's going for it would have done close to 300kms.

Godfrey Wenness (Sat Feb 16, 2008 12:13 pm)

After a great Chinese buffet dinner at HQ the tension was high as the final Task 6 results really mixed up the rankings in many classes. No one in the 150 strong crowd knew the results until they were announced.

Open Class was won by multiple Australian Champion and veteran XC pilot Fred Gungl in a tightly contested affair with XCO series organiser Hans Bausenwein second. The Vyparina brothers flew well all week and came 3rd and 4th with Mark Watts (UK) close behind in 5th.

In Serial Class it was a super tight Polish vs Swiss XC race every day and we still don't know the rankings for 1 & 2 as Grzegorz Olejnik flew into the sunset for a PB and didn't get back to Manilla until 3am ! Either way the top 2 Serial racers are in 6th and 7th overall, a great finish amongst the Open Class proto's.

Over 40 pilots (nearly 1/2 of the field) flew personal best XC distances during the week ranging from 40-50kms in Fun class to over 200kms for others and those who flew beyond the last official task time. Most of the last 4 days had 1.5hrs of XC flying still left at the last task time meaning the max "official" XCO distances you see in the results were around 60-100kms less than what the day potentially had possible.

Godfrey Wenness (Sun Feb 17, 2008 1:24 am)

Friday, 15-Feb-2008    
Another similar XC day to the previous two, but with not as much heavy (vertical) Cu development, an extra inversion to deal with, and more SE in the wind.

The extra inversion at 2400m capped the Cu's creating more spread and larger sink area's and generally weaker climbs. A few interesting lines of mid level instability streamed across the region from east to west tempting pilots with long streets of Cu's, but they slowly dissipated to blue further west making for important tactical decsions.

Despite Cu's forming over launch from 10am onwards, getting away from Borah East launch early was tricky again on a low initial base and 0.6degC inversion just under hill height creating scrappy wandering lift. Once again the first 2 glide sequences claimed many within the first 20kms. Some pilots flew WNW towards Narrabri and others flew NW via the Horton Valley towards Moree.

At 10pm - yes its late... meaning I actually managed to get away and not land 10kms down wind like the last 3 days Very Happy ... we have flights of around 160-170kms. I haven't heard from the Slovak boys yet but looking at the conditions in the flatlands where everyone ended up, it may have had another 20-30kms in it if they had a faster run than the rest in the mid sections.

Tomorrow (Saturday) is the last day of the event and the weather is looking good for another (similar) XC day. The day will have a last task time of 5.30pm as opposed to the usual 7pm in order to get results and prizes out that evening.

Currently Series organiser Hans Bausenwein is having a great week and is leading the event on his best 4 tasks so far.

Thursday, 14-Feb-2008    
Similar day to yesterday with slow tricky climbs at the beginning, lots of bomb outs and re-flys. SW-SE winds, early base at 1500m rising to 2000m later with well developed Cu's and some minor streeting.

The first gaggles away at around midday managed to hang in the air drifting until the day and clouds started really developing. A small inversion at 700m-1100m (0.4deg C) made scratching tricky and the low cloud base meant that each glide and direction decision was critical. A few blue holes and areas of over shadowing from spread Cu's added to the difficulty later in the afternoon. Most lead pilots flew north along the highway to Bingara and beyond, though some elected to try the flatlands of Horton Valley after the 40kms mark.

At 7.30pm we have reports of many pilots flying between 100-200kms. The Slovakians (maybe Stefan Vyparina) and one New Caledonian pilot (Stephan Guilbert) flew around 200kms. Some other top pilots still have not checked in yet with their distances and maybe even further.

One lady pilot from Canada (Veronica Dubak) hurt her ankle on launch and was immediately attended to by the on-site Paramedic.

More results in the morning once all pilots have been scored. From tomorrow's Task 5 onwards pilots can drop their worst scores as the event is totalled with their best 4 days of the week.

Wednesday, 13-Feb-2008    

... sky is clearing up. Next Briefing on Top of Mt. Borah at 12:00 local time.

Despite only 24hrs since moderate rainfalls the day showed good instability, well developed Cu's and consistent moderate wind (SW-SE). Those who went early after the 12.00 briefing found a low cloud base (1500m) and often scratchy drifting climbs with blue holes.

Many landed around the notorious sink hole called Tarpoly (15kms) and most managed to get back to Borah and refly an hour later. Launch was closed soon after as the wind picked up to average 30km/h.

Later in the day climbs became more consistent, cloud base rose to just under 2000m, some streeting occurred and the wind assisted flying speeds significantly.

LATEST news : At 8pm we know that series organiser Hans Bausenwein on his new Boomerang 508 flew over 184kms and many flew over 100kms.

On a more serious note, UK pilot Innes Powell had a hard landing on his FR3 and was helicoptered to Tamworth Hospital with spinal injuries. 2 pilots also landed in tree's on course and are OK.

Tuesday, 12-Feb-2008    

XCO Day 4 - Cancelled due to rain.

The NW jetstream brought upper level moisture which mixed with the moist surface easterly to create a long thin line of rain stretching from Moree to Manilla. Its fine sunny just 100kms to the south.

The day was cancelled at the 10am Morning briefing. Pilots will be treated a mid week BBQ at HQ tonight.

Wednesday's outlook is for a slow but XC'able day with reminant showers over the main range to the east. The rest of the week has fine weather forecast as a large ridging high pressure moves in.

Monday, 11-Feb-2008    

XCO Day 3 : Task 2

The high cloud was still present all day flowing in from the north west with the jet stream, though this time there were a few more gaps than Day 2. No real inversions and winds generally from the SE-NE.

The task was again open distance via 3 CYO (Choose Your Own) TP's. Launch timing at Borah was critical and again many visited the bomb outs if they chanced a take off into the shadows, though it was unstable enough for climbs to exist even in shadowed areas.

The tactical decision to head over the back was also tricky and many dozens in the first 2 gaggles landed at 10-20kms. Most of these went back for a re-fly and those lucky enough to get away in a good sun cycle were rewarded with a nice XC at the end of the day. Climbs up to 4m/s were seen and cloud base at the occassional Cu was around 2300m.

At the time of writing there are no results yet for T2, though many pilots (amazingly) flew around 100kms on a day which looked like 30kms would be good. Seems that everyone was getting used to drifting in light climbs, not letting go of thermals and looking for a good route via the sunny patches.

Sunday, 10-Feb-2008    

Winds in 3 directions at different levels, 2 inversions and gradually increasing mid level cirrus fields made for a very tricky day for all pilots.

Some Cu's drifting in from the east promised good XC'able conditions. Mt. Borah East launch was cycling enough for everyone to launch but the over shadowing resulted in many needing to re-fly.

Timing was everything and those that did best carefully observed the sunny patches and flew zig-zag style to stay up. Some pilots managed to break into the big inversion (1700-2600m 2°C) to reach 2100m.

In sunny areas climbs averaging 4m/s were reported - a shame this was not consistent. The 3 choose your own TP's system worked well to allow the tactically smart ones to gain extra km's.

Only 14 pilots flew beyond 30kms - exactly the amount needed to validate the task (15% of pilots signed on for the day need to fly beyond 30kms).

The full results are delayed due to a software problem with those who "self-downloaded" their flights via the web. They will be availabe on the xco.org web site late on Monday night.

The day winner was Rolf von Arx (Switzerland, Advance Serial Class Team) who piloted his serial Omega 7 over 48kms. Some other pilots flew beyond the 40km mark as well, many landed around 25-35kms when the over shadowing became too heavy... including me 

Godfrey Wenness

Saturday, 09-Feb-2008    

The morning looked promising with light winds and early Cu's , but their ragged tops indicated what was to come. Pilots arrived at Mt Borah to be greeted by the strong mid level winds rapidly mixing down. The Moree balloon trace at 11am showed 30-37 knots (55-70km/h) above 1500m.

At midday pilots were told they could head down and relax at home or in town while waiting for a day update by SMS 3pm. The XCO format is flexible so a XC task even at 5pm still provides a good challenge for up to 50-70kms until the end task time of 7pm.

The winds did not ease and great Cu's filled the whole sky as the SMS announced the day was cancelled. Some nice evening soaring is still possible at the time of writing this.

XCO - Practise day + Rego - Fri 8th Feb

Many pilots took the opportunity to do some local flights as the area dried out from the wednesday night storms. Some residual larger development on the main range to the east and the north stopped any big distance flights, though some managed to be in the air for over 4hrs on the day.

Registration was at the RSL Club HQ where a free welcome drink and a $10 all you can Chinese smorgasboard kept everyone in good cheer. There are exactly 100 pilots from 23 nations entered making the XCO event by far the best attended event in Australia this season.



The 3rd Manilla XC-Open (FAI CAT-2 event) will be 
from FEB-09-2008 to FEB-16-2008 (8 competition days).

Thanks for making this competition possible to:

  • Manilla Sky-Sailors Club
  • Godfrey Wenness
  • HGFA (NAC for this event)

Manilla entry fee - what is included:
* The MSS Club fee is included in our entry fee,
* Rides from the 3 bomb outs (east; short east, west retrieve) to take off
  with the 3 Mt. Borah Bashers are included during competition
* A competition T-Shirt is included
* A paramedic at take off is included
* A welcome party is included
* A price giving party is included
* All scoring, FAI fees for cat.2
* Daily reports on the website
* SMS teammessage Service (in case of task stop or other important info)
* Safety team (in the air and on the ground as well as in the HQ) equipped
  with multiple radio stations plus mobile SMS team message service
  (for eventual task stop or other important announcements).
* Daily weather and task briefings by the best expert for the area (Godfrey)
* Free WLAN at the head quarter

... And hopefully 8 good XC-days again!

What you have to pay extra for flying in Australia
(independent from flying in the 2008 Manilla XC-Open) is:

HGFA temporary membership for Australian insurance.

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