April 8th - Task 1 report and results

A perfect start for the 2007 World Cup !

After a great opening ceremony, the competition starts with 80 happy pilots in goal.

122 pilots are taking part to the first 2007 World Cup in Ibaraki, 90 minutes north of Tokyo. It is the second World Cup happening in this countryside area with some little mountains surrounded by flatlands. As usual the pilots are impressed by the local organization. Everybody is receiving a "Mountain Dax" computer bag and a competition t-shirt. The welcome party includes free drinks, japanese food and a show with japanese drums, theater and songs. It is so good that some pilots don't stop the party before late in the night ! We promised Torsten Siegel and the czech pilots not to give the names of these partying people, so we won't tell you who they were !
After a morning bath in hot springs and a safety briefing, everybody is ready (or almost ready !) for a first 61km race proposed by the meet director Sadao Hangai. The take-off is not so big but the efficient team and the priority system allow everybody to be airborne within 30 mn without queuing and fighting. The task starts with 4 turnpoints in the mountain. These first 30km can be seen from take-off where local pilots enjoy the show. The Valic brothers are leading with local heroes Ogisawa and Ayumu. The cloudbase is, as expected, around 1100m with some magic thermals going higher. From 4th turnpoint, Mount Tzukuba, Aljaz Valic and Christian Maurer are first to enter the flatlands followed by the rest of the slovenian dream team and the experienced swiss pilot Joël Debons. With the sun, the flatlands are working very well. The first gaggle stays in front and make goal without loosing any time (60km in 1:36 for Aljaz !) followed by 80 pilots ! Keiko Hiraki is the first woman, reaching goal 23 seconds before Ewa Wiesnierska. The "just married" Petra Slivova (ex Krausova) is third. Thanks to the "speedy" Valic brothers the Mac Para team wins the task to the satisfaction of Peter Recek, the Mac Para designer, who is supporting his team in Japan.
Similar conditions are expected tomorrow and should improve during the week. Some pilots will probably have a good rest. The second night should be quieter than the first one !