Worlds 2013 (Forbes). A report by Primoz Gricar. 2013-02-04

Worlds Forbes 2013

A report by an Aeros Combat GT pilot...

... who likes to eat watermelons.

Last year it has been my first time to Australia, I went there for the preworlds. I liked the climat a lot, friendly people, great fruits and vegetables and also very educational flying. So I have been looking forward to go back there for the worlds.

We have decided, that I will be using my C13.5 GT from preworlds last year, being in Neil Petersen’s possession since and harldy used. I knew it was a great wing so the decision was easy – no transport fuss for me. But for Neil, he drove 15 hours from Brisbane to Newcastle (one way) just to bring to Paris and myself the gliders – and next day he drove back. Thank you Neil!

Since we had come up with some new stuff on the settings of our GT-s, I was adviced to go to Oz earlier to be able to prepare myself and the glider for the challenge to come.

I got a kind invitation from Scott Barret to stay at his place as long as I can, (thank you so much Scott!) there I met with Pedro and his wife Claudia, when Tullio arrived the team was complete. We shared a rental car, organised by Scott and repaired by Pedro. Scott stayed back due to his job obligations.

Our first destination was Manila, there we flew for a few days and then headed for Forbes, where Tullio’s friend Marco would be towing us a week prior to official training. It was a great time, only 5 pilots and a privat Tug. I knew it wouldn’t last long though. Soon world class pilots from other countries started to roll in, so I decided to take a time off until beginning of the comp, my glider being ready.

The changes I have made on the glider all came from Swiss Aeros outpost, managed by Markus Eggimann, who has been, according to Alexander, Aeros manager, the idea generator of Aeros Flex design for the last few years.

According to Markus’s suggestion, I installed a new batten profile (anticipating the possible questions, a Combat 13.5 GT has successfully undergone pitch tests at DHV just before the Worlds), new sprog settings and different LE tension, combined with more precise batten tension. The result was superb climbing and gliding performance, combined with even greater handling in the whole VG range. The glider flew slower at low speeds and faster at hight speeds, it gave more sensitive feedback on full VG, thus being able to fly very slow and still maneuver suscessfully. As to landing, it became even easier.

We were also planning to introduce Markus’s latest project, the high tech full carbon LE, making the glider over 4 kg lighter, but finally we decided that we need a bit more time for testing, so our flying configuration was almost identical to the DHV car tested one. This way we were able to copy the settings from my glider to several GT-s from other pilots. Neil drove again 15 hours to Forbes to be there as technical support for Aeros pilots.

As the competition began, our impressions about the glider’s performance were confirmed. Beginning slowly, I was trying to get the rhythm and fly constantly in front.

I have been adopted into the Swiss team, we had great cooperation on radio throughout the comp. Ester, Franz’s wife took care that we got watermelon after landing and came home every day as early as possible (sometimes – at 00:30 am). It worked quite well untill the task 6, where myself and a few others lacked the information that the task was going to be stopped later in the day, so we made some tactical errors, ending up low after the first turnpoint, struggling over the hilly area in 55 kph wind which was pushing us into Dubbo airspace. This way I ended up with penalty of zero scores for the day, along with a few other unfortunate mates. Furthermore Franz had a severe instrument problem some days in a row, even flying to goal without vario on one day, orientating only on other pilots.

The comp itself was wery well organised, the weather great, it allowed long, exhausting tasks, which were very well designed, especially for vegetarian pilots like Corinna, Jonny and myself, having advantages in durability by this diet. The great fruit and vegetables of Australia alowed me to return to the paddock regenerated and motivated every day.

This has been the most exhausting comp I have ever been to, 9 tasks in a row, with temperature up to 47° C, too little sleep and with some of best flying ever.

Thank you Aeros, Markus and Neil for great material and support! Of all the great Aeros gliders I had been flying, this one was the best, many thanks to Joy and Peter for their wonderful accomodation and support, thanks also to all the kind people who had helped me, and to Australians in general for their extraordinary hospitality. The word “mate” really has the meaning there.

All the best,
Primoz Gricar