After task 2 was cancelled due to poor weather, Day 3 of the PWC in Serbia heralded hot conditions and the country’s longest ever competition task, 112km. Simon Mettetal and Meryl Delferrière won, with Simon’s sister Constance second-placed woman.
Ruth Jessop reports from Kopaonik:
Blue skies and a forecast of no rain greeted the pilots on launch this morning. An ambitious 112km task was set taking the competitors to the four corners of the compass, out in front of launch.
However, it turned out to be not quite as easy as expected. The thermals were broken. There was a risk of getting blown back along the course line if they stopped to climb, thanks to the persistent southerly wind in the northern half of the course.
A crafty shortcut after turnpoint three put Simon Mettetal in a strong position which he consolidated with a brave push out onto the plateau just before the last turnpoint. A breathtaking push for goal confirmed his love for his Niviuk Icepeak X-One glider. There were tense moments fifteen minutes later as the following lead gaggle loomed into sight of goal, low in sinky air, with a crosswind.
It was a very hot day in all senses of the word. Even at 3,000m it was roasting, and for the pilots who made it, the goal field was a veritable furnace.
Victor Sibirtsev summed up today: “A challenging task which was very interesting to fly. There were several levels of inversions with different wind directions between them. You had to work hard to find strong thermals. You really had to understand how the topography worked. Well done to the pilot committee for setting a task which fitted the day’s conditions exactly and was the longest ever completed in Serbia”.
The first 41 pilots made goal, and thus all flew the same distance, and gained the same distance points. Today’s winner is therefore the one with a combination of the best speed points and lead-out points.
Top 3 speed point winners:
Simon Mettetal, 04:03:39 (average speed of 26.4 km/h)
Thomas Gury, 04:03:55
Aleksandar Gacevski, 04:04:24
Top 3 leading-point baggers:
Simon Mettetal, 147.7
Thomas Gury, 146.4
Aleksandar Gacevski, 145.1
Top 3 overall
1st, Simon Mettetal
2nd, Thomas Gury
3rd, Aleksandar Gacevski
Top 3 women
1st, Meryl Delferrière
2nd, Constance Mettetal
3rd, Marcella Uchoa
Best newcomer: Denis Pogolsha
Top 3 teams
All the results are available here