Today brought good weather, still about 10kt or so of wind in the middle of the day. Pretty good for the soaring task.
Pilots were given 4kg (solo) and 8kg (dual) of fuel (that's about 11 litres) and told to fly for as long as possible. I'm in the team tent
typing this, it's 8.30pm and Philippe Zen has been gone for over 7 hours so far. Good news for the Brits today - Paul and Dawn
Dewhurst flew for 3hrs 34 mins, 1hr 56min and 36secs of prop stopped, which is a personal record. Rob Grimwood and Chris Saysell
managed 2hrs 34mins with a stretch of 50mins of silence, also their best yet. Rob and Chris are on good form, they were 600 points
ahead before today, and they won (or came close second) in the soaring. Dawn Dewhurst and her pilot are also leading, but they are so
laid back about it that they don't know by how much.
David Broom in the single seat fixed wing is also leading, but closely followed by Denis Chevillet in the second MicroBe. He was thermalling
alongside Chevillet, but he can't switch off in flight so naturally got home first. Time to buy an electric start, Dave...
Included is a pic of Rob and Chris's trike. Their weight saving efforts have reached epic proportions, including throwing out anything not
screwed down on the way home from one task, and flying the whole competition without seat cushions. Most uncomfortable, it's enough
to give someone piles... or worse still, a hernia!
I had a good chat with Alain Petit of Arplast props and the designer of the MicroBe. What a fantastic plane, carbon fibre everywhere and
minimalistic elegant design rules. He finds that creating bits out of carbon is both quicker and easier than using aluminium, hence the
picture of the inlet port. Unfortunately I witnessed him crash today, he only spotted electricity wires too late at the end of the soaring
task, he was deadstick and stalled while hopping over them. He landed heavily and broke off the main wheels. I've got a picture of the actual
impact, but in Alain's favour I've declined to publish it. That's not stopped me showing it to everyone here, though!
Zen's now landed, around 8 hours after he took off. That's around 1.5 litres per hour for 8 hours. Jees...
Tomorrow is a speed task, doing a tour of the Chateaux of the Loire valley.