Preparations full on in Chile
The airfield at Vitacura is a scene of great activity on the last day before the start of the 8th FAI/SGP event.
The pilots are making last minute refinements to their sailplanes and flying a practice race to hone their techniques for the races.
Practising the start is particularly important as it can be quite technical and provides plenty of opportunity for point losing penalties. Timing the flight from the area of best energy and altitude to arrive at the start line just at the correct time and altitude is quite tricky and pilots must have a good understanding of their machines capabilities.
The start may be remote from the airfield and the start line opening and race instructions are made by the director from an aircraft flying above the start zone. This allows excellent communication and ensures the conditions are suitable for the race.
The preparations were marred yesterday (Thursday) by an accident to one of the competitors Klaus Kalmbach flying a JS1 sailplane. Klaus unfortunately hit a tree when low on the mountains near to Santiago. Klaus has received some strain to his back which will require further evaluation but otherwise was not badly hurt. A timely message to all pilots of the importance to manage the risk and their own margins of error.
One of the competition favourites Carlos Rocca from Chile has unfortunately had to withdraw at the last moment from the contest due to personal reasons. The local wild card position of Carlos is being taken by Andres Errazuriz Beeche from Chile flying a Ventus 2 sailplane.
We are all looking forward to a great race on the first racing day tomorrow.
Following the races
The SGP media team will publish on the www.sgp.aero event site interviews with the pilots and highlights of each days racing as well as photos and videos of the action around Santiago during the final.
The first race is on Saturday 13th January 2018. To follow live race coverage results and pilot interviews go to the event web site at http://www.sgp.aero/finals2017
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