Day 2 Sapiranga

19 January we got up the hill to slightly cross and brisk winds and had to use the southeast launch. They say that's the better launch but they both look like a couple acres of manicured golf green to me.

A task of 115km was called to the west. After a quick ride to cloudbase in front of launch, we headed out in a dense pack. Progress to Novo Hamburgo was quick if low. Thermals there were unremarkable but most pilots made it through.

Around this time, 2 pilots landed at an airport on courseline right under me. They were held captive for a couple hours, and it turns out we were all flying through- or over airspace that is our equivalent of a restricted area. Protests followed but were dropped later.

Just after the town of Novo Hamburgo, an extremely sweet looking cloud had formed and I decided to push a little harder to see if I could shake my bottom of the gaggle position. It worked out and I ended up in front for about half an hour, but unfortunately I couldn't back off a gear and let the gaggle work for me and I ended up low at the turnpoint 30km short of goal after a series of ridiculous decisions.

I was 1000 feet above a bunch of wet rice fields when the lead gaggle rounded the turnpoint just behind and above me and got a climb under a nice cloud that had drifted in from the southeast. If I had known there climb was as shitty as mine, I wouldn't have blazed off at 1500 feet over the wetlands. So my stupid move netted me a landing at a farm just off the highway short of goal. It seemed like an eternity before the gaggle stopped circling and headed off. Almost all made goal after that.

I hadn't recognized the change in the state of thermals after the turnpoint when I should have. I learned later that it is common knowledge for the area I landed in. The pressure was off now as I had thrown the comp so the next days I was able to take some chances that paid off. Day 2 results- http://geocities.yahoo.com.br/ofiaes3/sap09prova4brasil.pdf

All photos by Manuela Sanches

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