We had spectacular thunderstorms this morning with lightning striking right up on the hill where we are staying. It seems they picked exactly the right day for a rest day, although since about 3 o'clock this afternoon it's been sunny and warm.
Going into the last three days of the competition, Gerolf has a solid lead – about 200 points on Tom Weissenberger in second. I had a chance to chat with Gerolf on launch yesterday and get a little insight into what is driving him these days. His last major win was in Croatia at the Pre-Euros in 2005. Right around that same time he won the French Nationals in Laragne (2005) and the British Nationals also in Laragne (2006). But, he’s not had a great run since then.
So I asked what he thought it was that was giving him such a good run this time around. Not only is he leading overall, but he has won three out of seven tasks here. At 50, what suddenly starts to kick in, I wondered? Patience, I was told, is that answer. I have to say, that made me laugh more than a little bit. I don’t think anyone would say Gerolf is known for his patience. But Gerolf recons that is exactly what it is. For perhaps the first time in his flying career, he has learned to slow down. Maybe that comes with age? He thinks so. Between this new-found patience and having a solid start on the first tasks, he’s in a great spot mentally. He went on to explain that winning a few in the beginning certainly puts you in the right state of mind for backing off and letting the others rush themselves into the ground. Blay, for example, is a fantastic new young pilot. But all of his energy and enthusiasm has translated – this week at least - into pushing much too hard and ending up on the deck.
Gerolf sounds rather surprised with his success this week, adding “Is this serious? It’s like magic!” Maybe it's all the recognition he's getting from all the "freaking bloggers" here ;-)