Sunday, August 29, 2010

The great folk at the British Nationals

Me and my team mate Ron, enjoying the easy launch at Aspre on what was to be the last task.Malcom Brown (3nd), Dave Mathews (1st), Pedro (3rd). Results will be around here at some point. Winner of the Kingpost class and top placing female Kathryn with Pete Coad, Honourable Meet Director and British team coach I beleive.
Dave Mathews winner and new British Champion. That trophy has some history!
Parting shot from the camping goal field. Fun times :)And now it is time to short pack my glider and be a tourist for 10 days with my girl Tracey.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Uh oh

Well yesterday was cancelled on account of a strong west wind. And the wind today is up in the 40mph range... People are blaming Mr Al, who is spoiling all our plans, which reminds me of this clever clip
It looks that might be it for the British nationals. It has been a really fun competition meeting lots of new faces. I am really impressed by how well this meet has been run.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Three Tasks so far Two days left

Task1 was quite a challenge, and late in the afternoon, no-one was able to make it to goal through the stable valley air. I flew low over some very interesting french villages built into the geography of the area. Managed 3rd for the day.Task 2 I got high over launch, breaking through the inversion, and did one 360 on course that amounted to nothing.
I did get to fly low over Sisteron castle though (more on that soon). I landed shortly after, and an hour later watched 12 gliders fly over me.
Todays task, 3 or 4 ? Seemed impossible with 3 different wind directions at different altitudes that always seemed to be a headwind. The 120km flight started from Apres which was very pretty and took us over some more splendid French towns nestled in the rocks. About 12 of us got into goal today eventually. I took 5th for the day I think.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Birtish Nationals at Laragne

Arriving Laragne for the British Nationals.A casual Saturday at Laragne. The sport is alive and well here :)
I just flew around after launching a bit late (4pm). Got a feel for launch and the surroundings.
And take a few pictures of course, This is Chabre launch. pilots were taking off both sides, at the same time !!
Later on it was ridge soarable on the NW side. Look at the long shadow !

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Great little hike.

Well maybe not so little since it was 4 hours and I rode most of it on a bike... But great none the less ;) It starts by this castle up in a secluded col above Lac Castillon. Interestingly it looks across at a new age religious camp, called La Baume which I have not explored yet.The first part was fascinating, the soil was rich and plants and trees absolutely vibrant. I found out later it was a deserted village that had all kinds of fruit trees and herb gardens on the hillside. Quite Enchanting ! The trail winds its way north-east up the lake above St. Julian. Looking toward St Andre.
I stashed the bike in the bushs and hiked up the spine to the top. Awesome views.
I would have liked to have gone around th rim but that would have put be back in the dark.

Another fly around St Andre

Its about time I mounted this camera on my wing. I need to justify bringing it!
It certainly wasn't a special day, lift went maybe 800ft over launch. Of course it is usually nice to get out and stretch the wings :)
Although last wednesday was pretty scarey when I was on glide and 50mph I got turned 2x270's without any notice at all. Zykes !! I actually went and found a giant landing field (Thorame Basse) and landed there soon after.This low day I just cruised around in the fishbowl. Taking in the sights. Pictures seem better when closer to the terrain anyway...
I can almost see my parents house from here :)
I landed next to where my Dad landed in La Meure. Thanks for driving us Mum.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

2010 Pre Mondiale Delta Plano

1st Manfred Ruhmer
2nd Jonny Durand
3rd Mario Alonzi
Organizers and staff.
The US team. 10th through 5th places. Overall Results :
It was a fun time. Next up : the dutch nationals. However not being able to find a ride to Slovenia or back to France after the comp, I decided to head back with my parents and try to fly the French Nationals in Sederon.


On another stormy day, we took off to Assisi, a religious center, of which San Francisco is a "sister city".I have developed a fascination with doors here. This one appears to be carved out of one solid peice of wood! It resides in the Basillica of Chiesa Nuova.
This is one of the oldest buildings in Assisi, Minerva's Temple from the Roman era.
Round the back of Basillica of San Francesco is the Convent. There are many halls and layers to the cathedral, 4 storeys down rests the saint in his tomb.
At the top of the town, Rocca Maggiore castle looks across the valley.
A highlight for me was walking through this never ending rock corridor.And upon reaching the end of it ascending a stone spiral staircase to this great view.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Monte Cucco Last day

What a great call the Task the final day of the pre-worlds was.
We Launched just as cloudbase was high enough. Ran to the south watching the rain on launch, skirted the rain upwind of the turnpoint as we returned. The ground dried as we returned north, lift was good and the out and return was smoked by Jeff OB! It would have been the only task that could have worked. Great call. And great flying Jeff. The previous (Task3) day was great too. Zac took that day! 4 tasks 2 US task wins. Thats great going when you are competing with Manfred, Jonny, Alex, Carl, Mario and many others. The centre of the start cyclinder was right over this modern day castle. Many including me were very low here. The course was an out and return to the south(from the north launch), then a half moon back in the same-ish direction. Many including me misjudged the ground winds on the final leg. Many landed just short in some not so friendly terrain, I squeaked it in over one set of power lines and under another just making it 100m into the goal cylinder. Phew, not a pretty landing but safe enough and 9th for the day :)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Around Gubbio

Internet access was a challenge in Italy. So I am catching up here after the fact. The weather this summer has been less reliable than typical, we had 4 tasks out of 8 days, which allowed for seeing some of the spectactular sights around.Gubbio is quite close by, and was actually on route of task1. We got to see it from the air and ground.
The city has an unmistakable Italian feel.

Gubbio and the surrounding area is quite médiéval, with narrow walkways and tunnels here and there. Fortified stone city walls. At the top of the mountain behind town, there is a monastory. Good views back toward Monte Cucco from there.

Pre-Worlds 2010 Monte Cucco

Being here is a dream come true. A dream I never gave much credit until last year. Getting here was an ordeal I am slowly begining to comprehend. But is an experience of a lifetime, it really is amazing to fly with so many really talented pilots. 130 in total I think. There are many amazing sites from the air the Gubbio that we visited a couple of days before. Some terrestrial pictures to follow. We have had 2 good flying days so far. Very testing courses in my opinion but I am a relative newby here.
This is Costaccairo, a village still on my to-do list. Our campsite is quite close by.
The mountain to the right was the final turnpoint on yesterdays task. Quite deep in tiger country, and just over the back is a huge monastory. No pictures because I was in a 1200fpm ripper 200ft off the spine!
Task 1 was tricky for me as I was a bit rusty and messed up the start. I had to go back after 13km and start properly, there I met the Jeffs, Zippy and Alex, who pretty much left me behind immediately. I seemed to make some different decisions and catch them at the turnpoint only to get dropped off again. Again I found them at the next turnpoint, and so on. The run to the far waypoint was under some airspace which is difficult to navigate with everything else that is going on (the gaggle flying, the no-mans land crossings and waypoint navigation) With all this many got zeros for the day... Here was the task : Results are here : You have to dig a little for the results in the tabs.