The front has gone through, and yesterday evening the conditions were perfect, and fortunately they have continued on today.
Today's task is all about speed. Competitors have 2.5 hours to fly to as many waypoints as possible. Their time starts, and then
they are given a map with 25 Chateaux marked on it. They have to plan their route, then hand in a prediction sheet to marshalls before setting off,
this method of starting is known as a Le Mans start. Afterwards Simon Baker told me he'd spent far too long on the ground - 13 minutes!
He chose to visit 16 chateaux within the remaining 2 hours and 17 minutes, which he did, scoring very high points. Will this
make a difference? He was 5th overnight, can he make up the gap?
Other team members performed brilliantly too, David Broom cleaned up with top points, it looks as though his silver medal is
in the bag. The Dewhursts are also looking good for gold, as are Rob and Chris in the Tanarg. But we've been here before, the last days are usually riddled
with protests as competitors try to eek out points which have become vital to their success. You can't trust the scores at this point, you have to wait
until they are made official, after all protests have been considered.
The task ended with a landing over a 1m high tape, and stopping distances were recorded. Len Tanner and Malcolm Finch took this task a bit too seriously - Len
positively dumped their Skyranger in from about 20 feet, which collapsed the nosewheel. They carried on until the nosewheel again touched the ground, at which
point the plane went over onto its back. Len and Malcolm were fine, they exited the plane quickly and marshalls helped move it off the landing box. It wasn't
all bad though, the marshalls insisted on recording the distance in which they came to a halt, and Len and Malcolm managed to get the second shortest!
This marked the end of the flying part of the competition, and it showed. The airfield put on a huge barbeque, and for the first time all week competitors
let their hair down and partied. And what a party!
The protests are now flying in thick and fast, Rob Keene and I are having to wade through the genuine scoring errors and the downright silly practical protests,
in the hope that we can get the scores out on time, and the medal ceremony can go ahead. Watch this space for results.
One of the pictures is David Hadley holding the team Pig's Ear Award, given to the worst flying of the day. Hadders won it for consistently landing 4cm before the
precision landing box - every time - scoring zero. He passed it on to Owain for the outlanding after the soaring task, then Len and Malcolm cleaned up with the
somersaulting Skyranger. Oh well, at least they did it on the very last task.