At 3h30 a.m., a glance to the weather maps and the IR satellite indicate a strong southwest wind, more than 100 km/h in the half south. I am afraid that the second big leg of the triangle, the one of 474 km completely above the desert pampa, above an unknown and totally uninhabited area, with only three landable strips, is too difficult with such a headwind. At 4 a.m., I prepare the same task but in the reverse direction, anti-clockwise. These twenty minutes lost to prepare this task and to load the memory cards will cost me a world record among the three that were to play for. The most comical in this history is that I shall actually declare the original task (clockwise) in the two flight recorders (fortunately twice the same mistake), while believing to have loaded the new one (counter clockwise), generating an enormous confusion when crossing the start line, upside-down track twice without hearing the characteristic acoustic signal. It is whereas I understood that we had to turn the task in the opposite direction!
But even more incredible, if I had loaded the new task, we could never have completed the triangle because there was not a breath of wind north of Bariloche in the evening. At such a point that John Williams, who was closing a 2.000 km (British badge N°1), has been forced to start the engine after crossing the finish line 50km North of Bariloche. But we shall know that only in the last twenty minutes of the flight.
In brief, I need to admit that three wake up’s at 3.30 a.m. in five days is too much for me, I don’t have the age of my competitors. You may tell me: but Bruce was there, he is 15 years younger! That’s true, but he did not yet fully recovered from his indisposition, and he is especially allergic to the sector photo page of my 20 year old Zander SR (me as well but the calculation of the wind is so good!) and two wrong crossings were needed to understand the mistake.