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Task Reports and Pictures


Chief Task Setter : Godfrey Wenness (Event Organiser)

Pilot Task Committee : Craig Collings (AUS), Steve Ham (UK) and Kari Castle (USA).

Pilot Safety Committee : Brian Webb (AUS), David Worthington (DNK), and Adrian Thomas (UK)


A short summary and pictures of the daily race task is below.

Photographers include : Niel Bright (Aus), Godfrey Wenness (Aus) , Roger Lilford (Aus), Paul Matthews (Aus), Martin Scheel/azoom.ch (Switz), Stefan Mast (GER), Mark Leavesly (UK), Robert Chappel (Aus), June Underwood (Aus).


Mini Videos of each Task and the DVD promo have been loaded on to YouTube.

You can find them by going to www.YouTube.com  and then search >> Manilla 2007 <<    or for the direct link which will take you away from this web site click here


Day 1 : Sunday 25th Feb : Day Cancelled

The day started with blue skies but the high humidity confirmed the forecast of showers and thunderstorms developing later. A short task was set with a launch window open at 1.15pm. By 1.00pm it was clear that the clouds were rapidly developing and the task was put on “hold”. At 1.15pm the situation was determined to be deteriorating and the day was cancelled.

some more images of the practise days and opening...

      


Day 2 : Monday 26th Feb : Day Cancelled 

The forecast was for rain showers and afternoon thunderstorms similar to Sunday except that it was evident in the morning that showers were already moving through the region. A final briefing at Manilla HQ was called at 12.00pm at which point it was obvious there was no realistic chance to head up to Mt Borah and consider task. The day was cancelled.


Day 3, Task 1 : Tuesday 27th Feb 2007 : 46.6kms Elapsed time race to goal 


At the 9am Team leaders briefing the skies over Manilla in the morning looked just as grey and potentially stormy as the previous 2 days, but in the west there was evidence of sunshine. A re-brief was called at 11.30am in case the situation changed enough to run a task. There was a small chance and pilots then headed up to Mt Borah for a 12.45pm Task Briefing. The winds were light NE down low and light-moderate west up high. The conditions on Borah North looked tricky with large shadow areas and the wind techs which didn’t bomb out showing slow climbs. A short task with 1 turn point at Halls Creek was set to allow for the late start and to keep pilots away from potential overdevelopment. The goal was at Manilla sports fields. 


Half of the field started from the North launch in light thermals and the rest decided to try from the West launch. The elapsed time format was used in order to reduce the congestion in the light over shadowed conditions, and also to provide fairness in the very bomb-able situation.  


Most pilots managed to slowly climb to the 1700m base and then began a tactics game to see what gaggle they would leave in. The conditions on course looked good early but the clouds started to decay after 3pm leaving most of the course blue later. A gaggle containing many of the top pilots played cat and mouse in the start gate area for 1.5hrs before leaving, only to find they had left it too late. None of them made goal before the 6.30pm deadline.


In total 45 pilots made goal and the fastest was German pilot Robert Bernat in 1hr 42mins. 

    


   


Pix : Task Briefing ... Pre-start concentration of Anja Kroll (SWI) ... Borah North Launch ... Start gate flying ... Winner of Task 1 Robert Bernat (GER) arriving at goal (he uses a high tech aerodynamic harness pod).


Day 4 : Wednesday 28th Feb : Day Cancelled 

A huge 250kms wide storm line swept through the region overnight and left lingering cells and high moisture. Even though it was a nice looking day close to Manilla, the storms clouds were still developing nearby, and winds were unpredictable and strong. The day was held at HQ until 12.30pm to see if the blue hole and more stable weather would get bigger like the day before. Conditions didn't get better and the day was cancelled.


Day 5 : Thursday 1st March : Day Cancelled

It rained in Manilla like nothing the locals have seen for over 10 years. Storms with tropical downpours causing flash flooding developed in the afternoon. The day was cancelled at the 12.30pm Team Leaders Briefing.


Day 6 : Task 2 : Friday 2nd March : 60.7kms Race to Goal with 3 Start Gates.

A slow day lay ahead of pilots as the storms and rain finally stopped and blue skies returned. After a big party night a 60.7kms task with 3 start gates was set. From Mt Borah it was 15kms to the north to the Tarpoly TP, then back south along the range past take off to a TP south of Manilla, a short run to a TP east of Manilla then goal in town. Pilots were using all 4 Borah launches and after a long period of waiting in the shadows for some thermals and no pilots wishing to go, a few saw some sun felt a light puff of wind up the face and went for it. Very soon all pilots were in the air and climbing slowly to the 2000m base.

It was a case of carefully planning the route to follow the ridges where the best thermals would be and then take whatever was available once the over the flatlands around Manilla to TP2. The slower pilots found themselves running out of thermals at the end of the day and many couldn't gain enough height in the last climb to make goal.

26 pilots made goal and, in a first for a World Championships, 2 female pilots are in the top 5 !!!! The top 5 were also well ahead of the next group by 13minutes - quite amazing for this level of pilots. In the overall results after 2 tasks Petra is in 2nd place.

  

 

Pix : Charles (FRA) waiting in the shadows on the east launch ... after big rains the climbs were slow ... Petra (CZE) and Louise (DEN) - big smiles, they are in the top 5 for the day

Day 7 : Saturday 3rd March : Day Cancelled
The forecast was for light and variable winds but a front passing through the south was stronger than expected and resulted in strong northerlies through the region. Nice clouds all day...but no flying possible until late in the afternoon. The day was cancelled at the 12.30pm Team Leaders briefing. Most pilots spent the day at the pool avoiding the 37deg heat.


Day 8 : Task 3 : Sunday 4th : 57kms - Mt Borah to Tamworth : Race to Goal via 3 TP's.
The forecast was for isolated thunderstorms and variable winds ... another hard day for task setting. The winds on the Moree balloon flight showed some light NE-NW under 2000m but moderate SE-SW above . A 57kms race task to Tamwoth City goal (in the middle of the Tamworth CTA !) was set via the special event airspace corridor. There were a few good Cu's early but after Manilla it was mostly blue conditions and light climbs to around 2000m. A wall of Cu-Nimbs sat 150kms to the south all day long and kept pilots carefully watching the sky ahead. A large crowd watched as 13 pilots made goal and 15-20 were just short. The top 3 places were separated by only 19 seconds ! Petra was 3rd - she will now be leading the event after 3 tasks - simply sensational !

   

   

  

Pics : Light conditions on the West launch ... Goal in Tamworth ... Andy Hediger (ARG) arrives ... Adrian Thomas (UK) also in after a hard slow day (these pics by Robert Chappel). In flight pics : On course with our Air Marshall Mark Leavesly (UK)

1. Christian Maurer (SWI) : 3.22.23

2. Tomas Brauner (CZE) : 3.22.29

3. Petra Slivova (CZE) : 3.22.42

Day 9 : Monday 5th March : Day Cancelled
Just when the weather looked a little more promising for the week, mother nature decided once again to send storms through the region. There was a small chance based on the cloud, wind and rain patterns in the morning that a gap in the weather might appear after midday. Teams were asked to be at Mt Borah at 1.30pm for a re-brief just in case. A large storm cell that quickly developed in the south at lunch time was on its way. The day was cancelled at 2pm.

The event is already valid as it has reached 1500points (Total winners scores). There a 4 potential flying days left.


Day 10 : Tuesday 6th March : Day Cancelled
The rains left us alone ... instead the winds arrived and blew at 30-50km/h all day. Nice skies but too strong for a race. The usually amazing late summer flying weather is no where to be seen - it is the reason why the event is being held at this time of year as it has proven to be very reliable for the past 14years ! The recent breakdown of El Nino and subsequent drought breaking rains have turned everything upside down. 

An impromptu soccer match was played between Sth America and Eastern/Northern europe on the east launch area ... 1:0 to the euro's ! The day was cancelled at 3.30pm.


Day 11 : Task 4 : Wednesday 7th March : 60.6 kms Elapsed Time Race with multiple start gates : Mt Borah > Bann Baa
The day started with moderate winds and a layer of mid level cloud blocking the sun. It looked bad to the untrained observor but there was hope that a gap in the clouds shown on the late morning satellite photo would arrive from the west. Luckily it did and the winds dropped enough for a straight line task to Baan Baa 60kms to the west.

Multiple start gates at 15mins intervals were used. Most of the 150 pilots launched from the Borah East within the first 30 minutes and flew around deciding which start gate might offer the best conditions on course. Cloud base was around 2200m and climbs were up to 3m/s on average. For some of the later ones the course would be slow struggle as over shadowing increased. The leader after 3 tasks - Petra Slivova (CZE) - had a bad run and landed after only 10kms dashing her chance to win the event overall.

Goal was a sea of happy smiling faces - 26 of them to be exact. Pictures below ...

    

   

Provisional Results (at 10.50pm AEST)

1 67 HELGESEN, Ronny (Gin Boomerang) NOR 02:08:41

2 51 TAMEGGER, Christian (Gin Boomerang) AUT  02:02:46

3 78 DONINI, Luca (Gradient Avax SR7) ITA 02:10:10

 

4 16 AEBI, Andy (Advance Omega) CHE 02:03:03

 

5 64 JUNG, Seyong (Gin Boomerang 4) KOR 02:11:00

The MOST exciting finish possible ....

Day 13 : Task 5 : Friday 9th March : 53.8kms Elapsed Time Race to Goal with 4 start gates - Mt Borah > Gulf Creek

The heavy rains of Thursday gave way to low fog and a misty morning - a sign that the rains are over. The forecast indicated isolated showers. At Mt Borah the cloud base was low and it looked like a task was impossible until the wind dummies slowly climbed out. An elapsed time race with start gates format was chosen to ensure more safety at launch with less congestion and fairness in the bomb-able conditions. The task was a straight line race 53kms to the north.

Most pilots were in the air and struggling to get height within the first 30mins of launch window open (12.40pm). Slowly the groups headed off up the range to take the start gate and get on course. Some threatening rain clouds were sitting near goal and for a short time it looked like the task would need to be cancelled. They passed but still some large dark clouds lingered and the tension was high as to whether the task could continue. 56 pilots made goal in an exciting end to the event.

The last task was a nail biting finish between Goldsmith and Caron. Only a few points separated them before the race. Caron got into goal at 4.17pm with Goldsmith nowhere to be seen - he thought he'd won the title. Meanwhile Bruce got stuck on a small hill patiently waiting for a thermal a mere 100m above the ground and watched as pilots around him landed. This was the make it or break it point for the Championship.

After nearly 30mins of struggling to stay in the air and only seconds from landing at any moment, he managed to take a small climb back up and scraped into goal as the 4th last pilot to make it. Jean-marc's face went from quiet jubilation to a sense of the title perhaps slipping away. He was 6 minutes ahead of Bruce and also had his own troubles on the way. Neither knew who had won until the race was scored.

In the end it came down to just 17 points between the 2 pilots after 5 race days worth 4178pts to the winner. Bruce had won by the narrowest of margins and denied the frenchman and his nation their first ever World Title. The difference when put into perspective was barely 1km of distance out of the 385kms they had flown - just a few minutes of over 14hrs hours of racing. Both pilots were the only ones to have made goal in each task.

The Womens rankings were also a tense affair. Coincidently exactly the same 17 points separated the eventual Champion, Czech sensation Petra Slivova and Aussie Viv Williams in the final rankings as was the case for the overalls !

Petra was leading the overall event after 3 tasks but completly bombed task 4. Despite this she had what everyone considered safe buffer to the rest of the women and only needed to fly consistently on the last day to easily take the title. In what can only be described as an equally nail biting finish to the Womens rankings, Petra decked it early on course and unbeknown to Viv, she was now on course to become Womens World Champion... if only she got into goal in good time.

A few slow climbs put paid to Viv's chances - she got to goal but in the end needed to be approx 90 second faster to take out the title. Viv has made Australian paragliding history and is the first ever Australian pilot to stand on the podium in a World Championships.

    

Pics : Last Task Briefing ... Steve Cox (SWI) thrusts off the west launch ... Mt Borah gaggle waiting for a climb ... Josh Cohn (USA) over the line

   

  

Pics : Coming in to Goal at Gulf Creek

  


The Presentation Night : Friday 9th March 2007 ... 10.00pm - 5.00am

Over 2000 people gathered for the street party and to cheer on the winners. An aboriginal elder played didgeridoo before the official speeches by Cheryl Randall (Town Festival Committee Charperson), John Aldridge (FAI) and Godfrey Wenness (Event organiser).

  

  

Congratulations Bruce - You've done it !

Cheers !