(OPENSOARING, 24. oktobra 2018, Adam Woolley, foto: WGC Ostrow)
Renner, Lee, Sommer, Moffat, Striediek, Buchanan. Sebastian Kawa, debateably one of the greatest competition pilots to soar the Earth, with an almost uncountable medal collection to his name.
This title doesn’t come without cost, which I call the “Kawa effect” in my recent day win against him at the Poland 15m WGC, 2018. It was clear & evident to me, later I called the same scenario occurring in the 20m class at the 2018 Czech WGC, Hosín. I got it right & we all heard about it.
It was a special day when the ducks finally lined up to win a day against Sebastian in Poland, over his home turf. The locals tell me they wonder what went wrong when Kawa doesn’t win on any given day, especially a competition.
I’ve thought about this subconsciously pre-comp, but it came evident to me when I was forced to swallow my fear of failure when an opportunity came my way.
Holly sh*t, I’m leading the Kawa gaggle. How on Earth did this happen?
I don’t want to beat Kawa.
You read it right. That went through my mind! If I lead out & get it wrong, the Kawa gaggle/brain will roll me.
I better tuck back in & re-join the train somehow.
I thought about it. True story.
Thankfully I slapped myself, got over my fear of failure, I saw ducks lining up, now is the time to charge with all I’ve got. It worked out. Day win.
The “Kawa Effect”
If you leave before Kawa, you get rolled.
If you leave well after Kawa, you get left behind.
Start with the Kawa gaggle, brain & train, you’re playing the scoring game. You come home with the points. Do this day in, day out, you’ll get a good placing.
As much as I think this frustrates the Master of the modern day skies, I think Sebastian is perhaps the only pilot in the skies that can use his own effect to his advantage. It’s hard to lose when everyone follows.
The Kawa gaggle as I see it helps him win. How?
First of all, before anything else, he’s a brilliant racing pilot, unbelievably fast & with supreme experience & ability!!
Followed by, I think he knows how to use those around him the best; When things get tough, the domestics (without knowing it) fan out & find him a climb; When he starts, he leads, everybody follows, the carnage behind begins, the others are loosing out & getting in each other’s way, all except his team mate & a lucky few who also have clear air in front; his start sets the speed & risk for the day, covering & looking after his points/lead with little risk.
The non-Kawa class enjoys regular start games, less gaggling, more team or individual performances as was seen in the past. Then again, no one could keep up with Renner if they tried, not even Chuck Norris.
P.s. Sebastian, I look forward to our next race. Thanks for all your tips & advice at the FCC. The 2018 season was a real eye opener for me, big experiences gained, slowly starting to figure out the big game tactics. I hope to be your opponent in 2020, not just a number in your class! Game on, are you ready?
P.s. Congratulations to all those who have beaten Sebastian on their own steam, I recall the Schmelzer brothers did it in FIN – awesome.