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PWC Bright, Australia

February 26, 2018

The first stop of the 2018 PWC in Bright, Australia, wrapped up after four very imaginative tasks, good organization and excellent task setting.

The overall winner was OZONE R&D Team pilot, Honorin Hamard (FRA) followed by Maxime Bellemin (FRA) in second, and Cody Mittanck (USA) in third. In the women’s category, Méryl Delferriere (FRA) got the first place followed by Midori Nakanome (JPN) and Wooyoung Jang (KOR) respectively.

The team winner was The OZONE Team. Nine out of the top ten pilots flew Enzo 3s.

Ozone Team Pilot, Cody Mittanck takes us for a ride into the land down under with his unique report:

“Australia is a place of extremes and contradictions.  It’s massive, yet there’s barely any people here.  It’s soil is old and exhausted, it’s mountains worn down and geological inert, yet it’s teeming with a diversity of life found no where else on the planet (most of those species are highly poisonous by the way).  In the comp briefing they told us in a sardonic tone “if you are bitten by a snake you will likely die, but don’t panic that will only make it worse.”  I never saw any snakes but I did get really low during a task, scraping a shallow bowl just over the top of the gum trees, desperately trying to stay off the ground when two weird alien creatures hopped out from the bush.  For a split second I thought I was hallucinating until I remembered I’m in Australia and even though the kangaroo is some wierd and highly unlikely creature it is as ubiquitous here as our mule deer are back home.  

Before coming out here I looked back at previous comps held in Bright.  The average number of taskable days seemed to be around 4 out of 7.  During this PWC we hit that mark but I think even the locals would agree the weather was not typical.  There was a cyclone spinning off the southwestern coast bringing above average moisture and wind into the area.  The first task we flew from Gundowring.  A continuous ridge that faces westerly into the strong synoptic winds.  I had flown that ridge 3 times in the preceding Bright Open and it was full on rodeo conditions.  On one of those particularly rowdy days we had 4 pilots end up in trees, 3 of them under reserve, but this didn’t deter the PWC gaggle.  It flew even faster than usual in the turbulent lift.  It’s quite the sensation to be thermalling and going up at 5 mps when immediately adjacent pilots trying to turn in the same thermal are going down at 5 mps.  

The weather cooperated perfectly for the second task.  Tall, fast, and no wind.  High clouds moved into the area for the later half of the week and if it wasn’t for the uncanny abilities of the task committee and meet director to get us in the air at the perfect time and on the perfect line, we wouldn’t have flown.  As it turned out these were 1000 point days that included sections of full-bar racing along with technical transitions and shaded low saves.  All in all a successful and challenging comp.”

For full results visit PWCA.org

Cheers and congrats from all the OZONE Team.