click to go to The Team: click for larger image Brits Abroad: Mark, Abi, Steve, Russell, Nicky, Adrian and Bruce

World Championships Competition Report, 14 to 26 March 2005

Overall Results
14 Bruce Goldsmith
37 Russell Ogden
56 Mark Watts
89 Steve Ham
90 Adrian Thomas
134 Abigail Barr
139 Nicky Moss

Final results (in pdf format): Teams, Overall, Women

Day 1, Task 1: Bruce in goal; click for a larger version TO 00, start 10Km radius around tp 020, tp1 020, tp2 011, Goal 035. Total distance 55.6Km
The first task of the 9th World championship in Governador Valadares in Brazil got underway with a poor weather forecast of clouds, wind and rain. Just as in the Uk the weather men thankfully got it totally wrong!

There was early cloud on take off as is normal for the area, but this soon cleared to show a rising clound base, light winds and good cumulus starting to form. A task was declared of a downwind race to goal of 55.6Km using 2 turnpoints. The window opened a little late at 1.00pm with an airstart at 2.00pm. Bruce Goldsmith, Mark Watts and Russell Ogden were away early finding a climb on the easterly end of the ridge.

They were followed a little later by the rest of the team. The conditions were at times light with small broken thermals but thankfully the team all got away. The race was quite slow with pilots having to find and use every climb. Mark Watts led the way past the 2 turnpoints but was unlucky to miss the last climb landing just 4Km short of goal. Bruce Goldsmith got a good climb and broke away with Swiss Tammeger managing to get ahead on the last glide getting in to goal first and winning the task by 58 seconds! Steve Ham had a slightly more difficult mid section of the task but made good progress and succeeded in getting in to goal in 14th place 12 minutes after Bruce. At this point the day was already starting to get weak making Adrian Thomas fly slow and careful. This paid of with 24th place in goal 41 minutes after Bruce. All in all a great day for the British Team which now stands in 3rd place in the championship.

1 Bruce GoldsmithAirwave Magic Fr (Proto) Goal 1:40:04 999 Points
14 Steve HamGradient Avax Rse Goal 1:51:51 884 Points
24 Adrian ThomasAirwave Magic Fr (Proto) Goal 2:21:06 776 Points
27 Mark Watts Gradient Avax Rse 51.3Km 672 Points
105 Russell Ogden Ozone Proto20.6Km 253 Points
121 Abigail Barr Up Trango 15.0Km 165 Points
126 Nicky Moss Advance Omega 611.8Km 129 Points

The weather forecast for day 2 is better lets hope for a great day!

Day 2, Task 2: TO 00, start 10Km radius around tp 020, tp1 020, tp2 024, tp3 038, Goal 069. Total distance 62.4Km
The day dawned cloudy and looked windy but the cloud lifted and we were presented with a broken sky and a north easterly breeze. The task committee got their act together quickly and we had a window open at 11.50am! with a race start at 12.50. The task was a race to goal of 62.5km involving a slight crosswind leg over the boonies then across the river with a run down the road to goal at Gol Naque.

Bruce was first away with the rest of the team following as the cycles pushed through. Bruce got low out front but found a climb to base and glided over the mountain to get a good start. The rest of the team had an easier start and were off down course. Our guys were pushing in the lead gaggles but conditions at times were difficult. The thermals were small and weak, with Huge gaggles.

Adrian and Steve got caught out at the first turnpoint and had to land. Abigail was next to land after making 43.9km but unfortunately landing right out in the boonies with a long wait until we could get her back. Nicky had a good day landing just 0.7km from the third turnpoint with a distance of 51.6km. Mark flew well and was unlucky to land just 2.2km from goal! Bruce was first Brit in goal in 46th place in goal with Russell in 72nd in goal.
This was a day where hanging back and following paid off for some people but the new scoring system rewards people leading out. The team is in 4th place overall (behind the Swiss, Germans and Austrians).

46Bruce GoldsmithAirwave Magic Fr (Proto)Goal 02:03:05835 Points
72Russell OgdenOzone ProtoGoal 02:11:12782 Points
82Mark WattsGradient Avax Rse60.3Km485 Points
100Nicky MossAdvance Omega 651.6Km355 Points
107Abigail BarrUp Trango43.9Km281 Points
111Adrian ThomasAirwave Magic Fr (Proto)23.3Km192 Points
114 Steve HamGradient Avax Rse22.8Km188 Points

Day 3, Task3: TO 00, start 13Km radius around tp 021, tp1 021, tp2 015, tp3 020 Goal 019. Total distance 52Km
The third day came with a nice blue sky and lighter NE winds.
The task was changed a few times but then settles in a 52 km race to goal via 3 turn points taking the pilots into the boonies, then back to the main road, out to an antenna and back to the goal field on the main road! The launch window opened at 12:45hrs and saw the team take off almost straight away. Good climbs in front of take off made for big well-spread gaggles taking everyone to cloud base and along the track towards the virtual start gate. The race started again one hour after launch at 13:45hrs and the whole field flew to the 1st turn point. The crosswind leg back to the main road proved a little more challenging as thermals got fewer and far between. Steve just made it beyond the 2nd turn point before he went down and Mark and Russell followed a few kilometres further. Bruce made it almost to the antenna, which placed him 12th. There were only 5 pilots in goal and the point spread not very large. The task was won by the Brazilian Frank Thomas Brown. The results placed Bruce now in 4th place overall but a Czech pilot in goal meant that we dropped into 5th team place. However, it was an excellent effort by everybody and we were going to celebrate it!

12 Bruce GoldsmithAirwave Magic Fr (Proto) 47.4 Km820 Points
32 Russell Ogden Ozone Proto42.5 Km743 Points
38 Mark Watts Gradient Avax Rse 40.1 Km686 Points
77 Steve HamGradient Avax Rse 37.6 Km627 Points
89 Abigail Barr Up Trango 36.7 Km576 Points
102 Adrian ThomasAirwave Magic Fr (Proto) 36.1 Km542 Points
110 Nicky Moss Advance Omega 634.8 Km454 Points

Day 4, Task4: TO 00, start 5Km radius around tp 016, tp1 016, tp2 05, tp3 017,Goal 03. Total distance 58.4
Another day and a blue sky, light NE winds and a higher cloud base. After the team meal last night we were highly motivated to get into goal again and particularly Mark was now under strict instructions! The Task was set to be a 58.2km race to goal zigzag around the mountain. The end of speed section and goal was a field full of ticks, so there was some motivation for the pilots to fly on that little further into the La Paz landing field in town where the Press and the public were waiting. It was quite a spectacle for them too as most of the course could indeed be observed from there.

The launch window opened at 11:50hrs and Bruce, Mark and Russell took off in quick succession, followed by the rest of the team. The pilots found the thermals again to be quite slow and big gaggles caused a few minor incidents, like touching wingtips. The race started at 12:50hrs and everybody was high at cloud base, but then Abigail did not get any other climbs and landed far too soon after the1st turn point and only 16.5 km. Both Adrian and Nicky got back to the mountain Ibituruna and the 2nd turn point but unfortunately could not climb out from there again. Bruce, Mark and Russell were still flying in the lead gaggle and Steve in the one following to the 3rd turn point at Alpercata. From there the course brought them back to Ibituruna again and across the river. Steve got caught out and grounded on the way back but Bruce and Mark got a good climb back up the mountain and raced into goal landing with the cheering crowds - having finished the Speed section 8th and 14th. Russel got caught up by the second gaggle but made it to goal 43rd and only 15 minutes after the winner – Christian Tamegger. This was a fantastic result for the team, although still 5thoverall, only 30 points behind the 4th and 128 points behind the 3rd team. It also kept Bruce in 4th place overall.

8 Bruce GoldsmithAirwave Magic Fr (Proto) Goal 02:22:13946 Points
13 Mark Watts Gradient Avax Rse Goal 02:22:37934 Points
43 Russell Ogden Ozone ProtoGoal 02:35:54808 Points
94 Steve HamGradient Avax Rse 51.9 Km394 Points
117 Nicky Moss Advance Omega 629.0 Km209 Points
124 Adrian ThomasAirwave Magic Fr (Proto) 27.3 Km194 Points
139 Abigail Barr Up Trango 16.5 Km96 Points

Day 5, Task 5: TO 00, start 2Km radius around 009, tp1 009, tp2 029, goal at Gol Tarumirim 030. Total distance 60.9 Km.
Again the day dawned promising but the weather forecast was for changing winds, high cirrus cover, low cloud base and weak thermals. Also thermal activity was expected to cease at 3.30pm.
With this in mind it was difficult to understand the task committee's decision to set a task out into the sticks with only one dirt road in the area. Just to make it really interesting for the final leg into goal, there were no land out options for the last 7Km!

Everything went well at the start with weak but useable thermals, Very soon after the start the day started to get difficult with long glides between weak climbs. It soon became obvious that there would be no one in goal. The largest part of the Field landed around turn point 2, some pilots had to put down in some very tight spaces indeed! The first accident of the competition occurred at this turn point with Italian pilot Marco Littame unfortunately hitting power lines on landing approach in a tight valley. He suffered a broken pelvis and arm but is stable. The helicopter rescued him within 20 minutes of the accident.

The day was not the best for the UK team. The task scored 917 points and the spread of points in the area around turnpoint 2 meant that a very small distance cost a lot of points. Our best scoring pilot on the day was Bruce with 54th place at 44.1Km; a pilot landing 6km further gained 100 points!

The Team Standing has slipped to 8th but the points difference between us and the 4 teams above us is small. In this area with these conditions it only takes 1 less than perfect decision to put a pilot on the ground. It has happened to almost every pilot here at least once. I believe that we were a little unlucky on this day but I am convinced we will climb back up the standings in the next tasks.

54Bruce Goldsmith44.1km742 points
92Mark Watts32.8km452 points
92Adrian Thomas32.7km452 points
100Abigail Barr31.8km437 points
117Steve Ham27.8km347 points
117Russel Ogden27.8km347 points
137Nicky Moss7.9km127 points

Day 6:

The Weather forecast was for total cirrus cover and 80% lower cloud cover with no useable thermal activity. At the team leader meeting a number of us tried to get the organisers to declare it a rest day, especially as the official rest day (Monday) had the best weather forecast of the competition so far. Unfortunately we were not successful and the organisers decided we should go up the hill and attempt to task.

A task was set but with cloudbase already on the mountain at take off and descending fast the day was cancelled (what a surprise) some of the pilots flew down through gaps in the cloud until the cloud cover got too thick. 1 pilot, Len from America decided to do some acro over the official landing field, unfortunately he got it wrong and had to deploy his reserve parachute which failed to open. Len fell from probably 60m and landed in the middle of a number of buildings on a corrugated iron roof suspended between 2 walls. He got up and walked away with his worst injury being 2 scratches on his leg. We think he gets the title of Mr lucky for this competition.

Day 7, Rest day.
As forecasted the rest day dawned with sunny skies, light winds and nice cumulus. The team decided to go practice in the afternoon and we all flew off the mountain with the plan to land on the main road to make the retrieve easier. An enjoyable day was had by all. I must mention our retrieve driver Mauro. The guy has been great. Nothing is to much trouble for him and all the other teams envy us.

Day 8, Task 6: TO 00, goal at Gol Porquinos 035. Total distance 53.1 Km.
The day started with heavy cloud cover and a forecast of average thermal activity,stopping early at 3:30 pm, easterly winds and high cirrus clouds coming in early. Everybody was a little down hearted considering that the rest day was such good flying weather. However on this occaision the weather men were wrong. A task was set with an elapsed time speed run of 53.1km from take off directly to goal at Goal Porquino. 10 mins before window opened there was very little lift and the wind dummies were struggling. The team decided that with the forecast it was still better to go early to take advantage of the departure points and the leading bonus points. Mark and Bruce were first away closely followed by the rest of the team. After a difficult first climb just behind take off and cloud base 60m above the hill, Mark and Steve lead out on the first glide. The conditions became even worse with light rain around the first village of Era Nova. And every bit of lift however poor had to be used to maintain. At this point further down the track it appeared that the sky was breaking up. Mark continued to lead out with the rest of the boys meeting up about 20kms down the track and taking a climb up to an improving base. Abigail unfortunately got caught in the shaded, rainy area and landed out beyond Era Nova. Nicky was feeling unwell at launch but after some attention from the doctors was able to make a late start just before window close. With such light conditions and no gaggle to help she did a good job of getting to the second village of Aplpercata. Abigail joined me in the team bus to help relay information to the guys in the air in tru Brit team spirit. After the next glide which mark again led out, Bruce and Adrian were unlucky to get in the next climb to low and were not able to get back up. Most of the climbs were both weak and small. This left Mark, Russell and Steve still running. At this point the sky really started to open up and the climbs started to improve a little. What at first seemed to be an impossible task was looking like it was going to work. The guys continued to work well together and remained in the lead 2 gaggles with mark leading out on each occaision. The conditions although improving were painfully slow and the pilots were often having to fly back up the track aftAir Shot, click for a larger imageer a glide to get climbs.

At 10km out from goal the gaggles started to close up and the pilots were working to get every inch of height before making the final glide. Mark at this point was a little head of Russell and Steve. Mark went on final glide with a group of pilots but was unlucky to get line with bad sink. Mark was first Brit in goal but unfortunately was overtaken by 12 other pilots on the final glide. Russell was next in goal for Britain about 1 minute after Mark. The next few pilots either scraped in or landed just short so Steve decided to gain a little more height to make sure and came in to goal about 5 mins after Russell. A great result for the Team with 3 pilots in goal! With it being a speed run we all had to wait until 9:00pm to get the actual results. Congratulations to the Team on a great effort in difficult conditions.

There maybe some changes to these scores on Thursday as the scoring officials are investigating both cloud flying and airspace violations (none of our people involved but some of the pilots above them)

25 Mark Watts Goal748 Points
26 Russel OgdenGoal 742 Points
41 Steve HamGoal 654 Points
78 Adrian Thomas23.6km295 Points
79 Bruce Goldsmith23.5km294 Points
88 Nicky Moss16.1km 237 Points
106 Abigail Barr 9.2km156 Points

Day 9, Task 7; TO 00, tp1 011, tp2 026, goal at 027. Total distance 66 Km.
The Weather forecast was good with a light north easterly wind, 1900m cloud base and good thermal strength. A similar length of task was chosen as the other days due to the thermal activity being expected to die out from 3:30pm. The task was a 66Km race to goal via 2 turn points. Turn point 1 (011 Sobralia), across the river to Turn point 2 (026 Antigo gol) and goal (027 Gol Posto Falcao) back by the road. The window was opened at 11:30 with a race start at 12:30. Bruce was our first pilot away right at window open time closely followed by Russell and Mark and within 15 minutes all our pilots were away. In the air the conditions proved to be much better than expected with a nice cloud street stretching to the first turn point. The guys were going that fast that I could barely keep up in the minibus underneath them. Nicky landed at turnpoint 1 finding it very difficult suffering from a virus infection. The next leg was cross wind over terrain with no roads! The lead gaggles were able to cross this without to much difficulty with then a short race in to goal. Abigail landed just short of the last turnpoint with the conditions getting weaker all the time. All five of the boys got into goal led by Adrian and Russell and followed by Bruce, Mark and Steve within 6 Minutes. However the number of pilots in goal increased the point spread so we’re still lying in 7th Team place ahead of the French.

26 Adrian ThomasGoal 02:04:08 908 point
28 Russell Ogden Goal 02:04:35 900 point
41 Bruce GoldsmithGoal 02:06:04 874 point
64 Mark Watts Goal 02:09:18 836 point
67 Steve HamGoal 02:10:38 821 point
115 Abigail Barr 59.0 Km 321 point
135 Nicky Moss 43.8 Km 182 point

Day 10, Task 8; TO 00, tp1 016, tp2 006, tp3 058, tp4 045, goal at 001. Total distance 76.4 Km
Another excellent day with light NE winds and 1700m cloud base was forecast. The sunny and very hot take off was soon covered with colourful gliders and wind dummies were very happily thermaling about. The race task was set around the mountain again with turn points 016 (Sao Geraldo), back over the mountain (006 Aeromodelismo), out north to (058 Gol Posto Cherokee) and east to (045 Gol Posto Perim Prf). The goal was Torre Embratel(001), a tower on the foothills of the mountain and again was meant to encourage pilots to land in Feira da Paz in town for the spectators and press. Total race distance 76.4 Km and the window opened at 11:40hrs with a race start at 12:30hrs. The whole team was off very quickly again and climbing away in the gaggles, ready to race along the cloud streets at start opening time. However the weather forecast hadn’t quite predicted the feeble winds changing directions and making the task much more technical. Steve was very unlucky to get grounded at the first turn point and then assisted the retrieve. The rest of the team successfully came back to the mountain and crossed the river towards the 3rd turn point. Mark got very low at this point and could not get back up. Abigail and Nicky both landed just before the third turn point. That left Bruce, Adrian and Russell in the race and we were very hopeful when we saw them cross back over to the mountain and the goal line, but unfortunately the goal line was on top of the hill and neither Adrian nor Russell made it back up there in catabatic winds. So Bruce saved the british pride gaining some extra height and crossing the goal line 12th. This task however made history – it was won by a woman - the Czech Petra Krausova!

12 Bruce GoldsmithGoal 02:06:04 882 point
42 Adrian Thomas74.8 Km727 point
49 Russell Ogden 74.6 Km723 point
104 Mark Watts 41.7 Km333 point
114 Abigail Barr 39.4 Km298 point
118 Nicky Moss 36.6 Km256 point
137 Steve Ham12.6 Km96 point

Day 11 Task 9;
TO 00, start 10Km radius around 018, tp1 018, tp2 016, tp3 009, goal at 003. Total distance 53.1 Km
The forecast for today was for light winds good thermals but the day dying off quickly due to an approaching frontal system bringing a lot of high cirrus. A task was set of 53.1 km with a start at 12:30 10km from turn point (018) Antenna Alpercata. The to (016) Sao Geraldo then back across the mountain to (009) the bridge and then into goal at (003) Carrapato. Again the organisers hoped that the field would be able to make Goal and then land in Feira Da Paz in town for the media and public. Take off conditions were tricky with very light winds and constant direction changes this made for many failed launches and delayed many pilots take offs. The last pilot launched only 14 minutes before the start gate opened! If you got away early the run to the first turn point was straight forward but later on in was more difficult. Many pilots got low at turn point 1 but most managed to get up. Bruce, Mark, Steve and Russell were in the lead gaggles Adrian was a little further back after A low save at Turnpoint1. Abigail and Nicky both hard a hard time getting the first turn point to were a little further back again. After turn point 2 the leaders raced back over the mountain to the final turn point. At this time the cirrus had started to approach from the south west and was starting to overtake the tail of the field. Bruce was first to go on glide in the leading group with mark close on his heels. The glide to goal was very difficult with a sinking air mass on the line in. At one time Bruce though he may not make it but in fact crossed the line in 5th place 1.5m above it!! Mark arrived in 9th place only 49 seconds behind Bruce. Russell was next in 32nd place 4 minutes later. Steve was really unlucky on his final glide and landed 1.5km short of goal in Jungle! Next along was Adrian who was just managing to stay ahead of the Cirrus and Knowing that time now was not as important, Took every climb to ensure arriving in goal. He crossed the line in 91st place with plenty of height and landed in Feira Da Paz. Abigail and Nicky were not so lucky with cirrus overtaking them on their glide to the last turn point forcing them to land at the foot of the mountain. A great day for the team with 4 in goal and 2 in the top ten. This task also broke a record with it being the first World Championships to have more than 8 tasks.

The Team is still in 7th place overall and extending our lead over France and Closing the Gap to Brazil.

5th Bruce GoldsmithGoal 1:29:29966 point
9th Mark Watts Goal 1:50:18945 point
32nd Russell Ogden Goal 1:53:59869 point
91st Adrian ThomasGoal 2:31:26572 point
105th Steve Ham51.6 Km402 point
129th Abigail Barr 39.9 Km236 point
130th Nicky Moss 39.7 Km233 point

Day 12, Task 10; TO 00, tp1 046, tp2 00, goal at 002. Total distance 54.6 Km
The Day started with a poor forecast of Low cloud base, increasing cloud, weak thermals and a risk of storms. But considering how wrong the weather had been so far it was decided to go up the mountain and try. A Task was set and then reset with approaching cloudbase and sheets of rain visible in the distance. The take off window opened at 1225hrs and the course was finalized to an out and return race to goal from Take off out to turn point (046) and then back to take off (000) with goal Fiera da Paz (002) a total distance of 54.6Km.

The smaller South launch needed to be used and pilots were queing and ready to go when the task got postponed again for approaching cloudbase. We thought it might now be time for the organization to cancel the day but the window was reopened 10 minutes later and the race began. The climbs were weak to begin with and the gaggles struggled to get around to the north side of the mountain where cloud base was appreciably higher. There was 2 choices of route, one taking pilots north of the river on the turn point side the other staying south. To begin with the south side appeared to be the better line but that soon changed as a large storm cell of to the south started to shadow the ground. By the time the leaders were at turn point 1 all the ground was in shadow and That was the end of the day. Only about 35 Pilots managed to get the turn point and then glide to the ground. Some pilots found the conditions near the ground challenging with 30Km winds at ground level but all landed safely. Russel Ogden was first Brit with 751 points in 27th place.

27 Russell Ogden 751
47 Steve Ham675
84 Bruce Goldsmith426
106 Adrian Thomas348
134 Mark Watts 199
137 Abigail Barr 196
139 Nicky Moss 131

It seemed a pity to end on such a poor task after 9 good ones but I guess that’s paragliding. With Christian Tamegger landing early he lost his overall lead Giving Steve Cox the World championship with Tamegger 2nd and Wyss 3rd. in the Teams Swiss took first place followed by Germany and then the Checks.

We achieved a creditable 7th place overall finishing ahead of the French. And just behind the host nation Brazil. Well done Team.

report by Calvo