So, if I understand correctly â€“ there is no problem if the drift comes straight down the line and if you mess up thatâ€™s your fault (no one is holding a gun to your head).
OK, if thatâ€™s the case suppose each flier can secretly choose a permanent (non-rotating) pole on the always-used start line at Lost Hills. The majority would choose poles in the middle third. No one would select a pole in the eastern part, and a few might select poles on the western part, but there is some risk of a westerly drift. Evidently, the line orientation does make a BIG difference.
Iâ€™m not looking upon this as an excuse for not making the team (Iâ€™ve raise this issue well in advance in this thread). Instead, considering the contest/Finals as a whole, were being down/up wind on a line increases/decreases the probability of maxing. In general, the better fliers do take advantage of such information â€“ and why not â€“ itâ€™s a public good for those down line. And, as noted above, a Finals with the drift down the line is really testing fliers skills in piggybacking (even though they might not admit it).
I happen to have suggested rotating the line before the Finals to Jim Parker who rebuffed me saying said it was "not in the program". Buzz Avrill thought it was a great idea, but was barred from implementing one by the Team Selection overview subcommittee on Thursday morning. During the Finals I pointed to Buzz and to Dan Tracey that the drift was coming down the line but Buzz said that our only alternative was to move to the line across â€˜death valleyâ€™. Had I insisted and brought up a formal protest we might have moved, making everyone really unhappy â€“ including me.
(Whether the oversight team selection subcommittee has the authority to micro manage line placements at the Finals is another question. It will definitely be brought up in December.)