Today's last race of the Grand Prix Final in Sisteron will be an exciting one, as 7 pilots still have a chance for a place on the podium… Yesterday Tilo Holighaus was happy to find himself on second place after another fun race around some 300 kilometers and four turn points. Tilo posted a long flight report on OLC and on his club`s facebook page. Here is a short translated version of it: After a very good start Tilo decided to try a cloud far away from the course, but this one enabled him to climb high enough to very closely pass along the edge of a restricted area – other pilots had to take a long detour. In the next thermal Tilo was the highest, however at a much lower altitude he spied, Didier Hauss passing the gaggle. Tilo decided to follow him and while watching Didier working on the next ridge, Tilo`s Ventus 2 ax ran into a 7.2 m (15 knots) thermal which he HAD to take; his strongest so far in France!
While Tilo was now on his own and Didier far in front but much lower the two Ventus pilots rounded the first turn point. They then took different decisions, and Tilo flew on the windward side of the Crete de Selles – enjoying the rough and breathtaking views. A mountain convergence above the valley of the Durance helped him only a bit: it was a little off the track and he could not find its best lift. Flying lower and lower Tilo was not sure if he had perhaps for a too long time flown straight? While still doubting his strategy, he hit another 4 m climb later joined by Uli Schwenk and René Vidal. They were both higher… He hurried over to the next turn point, flew back almost the same way he had come, this time higher and faster. Skipping the next two clouds Tilo was surprised to find Uli and René flying much lower and so pushed his Ventus` stick to 220 -240 km/h. Enjoying the high-speed race, he almost caught up with Uli. Then a 90 degree turn to round the third turn point, but looking into the direction of the last turn point the sky was almost black… The next cloud above the Lure mountain helped Tilo to climb to FL 75, the maximum allowed altitude. Uli and Didier did not quite catch the 2 m thermal, and therefore Tilo managed to gain the missing 200 meters altitude on Didier. Now they were three! High enough to fly in snow, which doesn`t affect the glider`s performance as much as rain, they found several other Grand Prix pilots fly below the Ventus-triplet.
By then the race had become quite exciting! Following a ridge line, Uli a little lower than Tilo and Didier some 500 meters in front of the two Germans, they headed towards the finish line. Trying hard to catch the first, Tilo ended up passing the line only seconds behind Didier. Uli came in third. Day 7 of the Grand Prix Final finished with two German pilots on the podium and another Ventus pilot (Giorgio Galetto) on fourth rank. Almost perfect for Mr. Schempp Hirth. Tilo, CHAPEAU! Thank you very much for your great flight reports on OLC. We can feel the excitement and get a good idea of Grand Prix competitions. It would be wonderful if more people started using OLC’s platform to share their experience. Maybe a nice "e-book" to read after a great day? Last but not least, I was a little surprised to find several youngsters of my “northern German flatland club” on your facebook page. I hope they have read your report which might inspire them to work on even harder!