And so… despite dire warnings issued by Nicky, the charismatic, serious yet amicable meet director… the cloud-flying monster rears its ugly head.
The day held great promise; the start put some of the promise in doubt; the big crossing from the eastern turn point to the western turn point wreaked havoc on the field; the clouds provided good rides up to base…and far beyond for some...
The far turn point, deeply in shadow, proved to be the nemesis of nearly ¾ of the field including our podium hopeful Russell Achterberg. The fortune of the other South African pilots changed dramatically and frequently and caused much alarm (..another one down), excitement, tears (and another one down), relief, more tears (and another one bites the dusts…) and more relief in the team van…
Nevil and Stef found each other en route to the third turn point and got the low save that boosted them up, up, up…into the front of the field… and saw them romping home within minutes of the lead. The rest of the team took the ride of shame home in the loser’s bus.
|Yes... some of our team mates are still up there...|
|The gaggle of survivors - still needing to get TP3, climbing above Domlyan|
This was World Championships at its very best and absolute worst. The inevitable protests, complaints, war stories and tales of woe are being exchanged at South Africa House currently…with the insufferably euphoric goal individuals rubbing the noses of the “losers” in the rural Bulgarian dust.
But seriously, Nevil delivered the goods on the most trying of day and we're also over-the-moon for Stef with his infectious enthusiasm, even more so as he had not had the best start to the World Champs.
Khobi, Chris and Andre are stoic in their defeat, and nothing can temper the spirit of the South African team after a round of comfort tequila.
Jan and the ladies in the van were constantly present and attentive supplying valuable information to their underperforming protégés, exhibiting the cool, calm and collected disposition one could generally label as priceless.
|Team manager Jan, keeping an eye on the remaining teamsters|
We suspect the results will represent a massive upheaval (yet again), putting everyone back in the game that may have had no chance at the beginning of the event.
To our friends and followers back home and abroad, thank you all your unconditional and fervent support - today was disappointing but it's not over till the fat lady sings...
If only Freddie was around to serenade us through these highs and lows with his four octave range:
‘… another one bites the dust…’
‘…we’ll keep on fighting till the end…’
‘… we are the champions my friend..’
‘… I want to ride my bicycle…’
“Hasta la vista babies!”
(please check our facebook page for more photographs from today!)
|Andre being interviewed for World Championships TV...|