5pm: Tom Payne watching from Geneva posted a good question:
'How does the scoring work when a task with multiple start gates is stopped with no pilots in goal? If you score it up to the point that it was stopped then pilots who chose a later start gate will have had less time on the course.'
The answer according to the scorers is that the task will be scored on distance only, and to 20 minutes before the task was stopped: so as far as the pilot got at 3.24pm. And yes, that means people who took a later start gate will end up scoring less. The pilots knew it was likely to storm early. They knew the task might be stopped because of storms on course. Savvy ones got up quick and set off on the first start gate. Those playing for tactics by waiting in the air to race through the pack after taking a second start gate will probably have lost out this time.
Comp leader Christian Ciech is in the campsite bar having a bit of a sit-down and an orange juice. He looks pretty knackered to be honest. How was it Christian? 'A little bit windy, around the first turnpoint.' Nothing more. Everyone will just have to wait and see.
4.15pm: Some 20+ pilots have now landed in the goal field after flying straight here once the task was stopped. More coming in. Manfred Ruhmer landed around the number 25 mark, well after Christian Ciech, Attila Bertok and Jonny Durand. What does this mean? Who knows. It could mean he was way back in the field when the task was stopped, or it could mean he went for a bit of a fly after the task was stopped, or he took a later start gate to try and race through the pack ... Results should make interesting reading tonight.
3.45pm: Task stopped at 3.44pm. Rain was reported - via radio - on course by at least one pilot, Gordon Rigg of GB. Big overdevelopment - storm clouds - pretty much everywhere now. Smells like rain here at the goal field. Non-competing pilots who have landed here in the last half an hour are now quickly packing up. No competition pilots in goal.
Explainer: The task today was stopped because storms started to develop near to where the competition pilots were flying. Storms are dangerous to all pilots. Read here what happens when glider pilots get too close to thunder clouds.
3.30pm: The sky looks like this just south of Laragne camping and landing field. Big clouds all around now.
3pm: Launch pictures in this Flickr set
3pm: Bill Moyes, above, of Moyes Gliders is here with his team of Moyes pilots. 'Could do with a bit more flying, but pretty happy with the gliders.'
2.15pm: Took a while but all the pilots are off now. Some biggish-looking cloud development around, but nothing too serious yet. Pilots are out on course now, with the first expected to arrive in goal around 4pm.
Jonny Durand (AUS) launches from the North side of Chabre
1pm: Dust devils on launch, pilots are now taking off from both north and south launches, Manfred Ruhmer (AUT) and Jon Durand (AUS) just went off the north side.
12:35pm: First pilots have launched and are getting high, winds are very light and switchy so launching is a little slow, the sky is looking great with lots of cumulus clouds.
11:40am: A 130km task is called exit circle 20km around B36 then 114 (Villeperdrix), B29,then north to B56(Valdrome), east to B44 and then goal at camping. Launch opens at 12:20, with 4 starts 13:50 14:10 14:30 and 14:50
10.30am: Wind is south east on Chabre just now, which is good. Hopefully a decent breeze will set up and pilots will get off easily today. Twitter posts from launch are here
9.50am: In the meantime, the competition has been on French TV, above. Watch it here. Fantastic in-air footage
9.45am: Yesterday saw us sitting on a west launch in a north wind – not good. The reason this happened, we are told, is because of a strong inversion at 2,300m that kept the north wind trapped below it and blowing past us. The expected local westerly flow never really happened. Chabre was flyable, but tricky to launch – meet director tells us only one in five gliders got off there as well. Tricky everywhere, is the message.
Today’s forecast has been done for both launch sites, and is also tricky (NW flow is the hardest one to fly here):
Winds at 1500m
Aspres at 2pm: NW 8knots, 15 kmh
Chabre at 2pm: WNW 4 knots, 8kmh
Aspres at 5pm: NNW 27kmh
Chabre at 5pm: WNW 23kmh
3000m winds: N, 3kmh – very light
By 6pm: southerly winds at 6pm, coming from storms to the south east.
Local breezes will dominate. Less likelihood of thunderstorms today
Inversion at 2,300m. This trapped northerly flow beneath the inversions yesterday.
Drier, more stable air than yesterday.
Summary for Laragne
12noon: SW at 10 knots, 1-2/8 cu, base at 2,400
3pm: WNW wind, cb at 2,700m,
5pm: Could be big cloud devpt, possible rain showers
High risk of thunderstorms in mountains to the east and north east. Showers over Pic de Bure.
Conclusion: we are going to the top south launch at Chabre with an early briefing of 11.30am.