After all the non-flyable days, the last task just turned everything around. I was finally able to put everything I learned together:
- I was ready early, so was able to launch earlier in the queue instead of at the end of the line.
- I worked every scrap of lift I could find (most times successfully) and even found a thermal for the lead gaggle right before start
- I made confident decisions instead of second-guessing myself
- Instead of trying to do it myself (classic only-child manoeuvre) I stuck with my gaggle, even when it was just 3 of us.
The result? I flew well and ended up being awarded the Canadian Female National Champion title!
Looking back, this was a wonderful event where everything seemed to fall into place, from my boyfriend lending me his fancy-pants gps/vario (which I almost learned how to use) to being super lucky with retrieve and getting picked up within 15 minutes on each of my flights.
Pilots often talk about this sport being 90% mental and I think that played a really big part in me ending up with a trophy. It's something I'm excited to learn more about - mental training, meditation, the whole "soft" skill set of this sport that I see a lot of the top pilots employing.
In the end, it was once again about the people. Pilots were supportive of each other and each time someone launched you would hear "Bon Vol!" (Good Flight!). Here's one of my favourite pictures that symbolizes the essence from the comp: It's my direct "competitor" and I goofing around before task on the last day - the task that would see which of us would be awarded top female. I don't see any tension...do you? :)
This year it was my turn to win but I'm sure next time Julie competes she will fly away with the grand prize.