As usual in a RBAR, you must expect the unexpected. Today we woke up to a wind shift of 180 degrees which pushed the mercury up over 100 outside and much hotter in the cockpit. The wind was also much different than what we had in training so we had a feeling that it would be a wild day.
From the very first flight in the wild card, the pylons came crashing down as all of the competitors struggled with the wind. For the top 12, I just wanted to fly with confidence and not make any mistakes. Well, I did that, sort of. It was not my best flight all week but I managed to get through without hitting any gates. However, I had two errors which gave me four seconds in penalties. Hannes got a DQ for low flying in the top 12 round which allowed me to get into the Super 8.
I flew the Super 8 again trying not to make mistakes which I did but my time was only mediocre. However, a lot of pilots hit pylons and had otherwise slow times which allowed me to reach the Final 4.
Our luck ran out in the Final 4 as I just could not get the engine started. Even though we have special fans to draw the air out after a flight, there is only about 15 minutes between the Super 8 and the Final 4 round and the engines tend to get heat soaked. With the temp over 100 degrees, my engine simply kept vapor locking and just would not fire. We tried for several minutes to get the engine started but once Paul started his engine (with much difficulty) and taxied out in front of me, I knew our day was over. Bad luck for sure but those are the breaks.
Our team worked hard today which was not easy because it felt like you were working in a wind blown furnace. It was just miserably hot.
Personally, I think Kirby and I are somewhat lucky to be where we are as we know that our planes do not have the horsepower as the new Lycon engines. Thanks to some crazy conditions, we were able to climb the ladder in the race.
We are hoping for our new and hopefully stronger race engines for Perth. If not, we will both be praying for more windy conditions to level the playing field and give our slower equipment a chance.
Thanks to everyone for all of your support through e-mails. Keep em coming.
OK, so I am off to the gym to get rid of some frustration!!!!