Thursday, July 28, 2011

Day 9 Photo's

Worlds Day 10 Cancelled

Another day of sitting around as we watch big clouds forming all around us. It seems that it may have been possible to fly as there are pilots free flying around us. It is low base and would have been tricky to set a task in the right area without flying into rain though. Tomorrow is our last day and the forecast is only slightly better than today but Im sure they will send us up the hill to try for one more task.
Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Worlds Day 3 photo's

Worlds day 8 Task 2

Finally we get another task with the chance of storms we set a short 115km course with 4 turnpoints. It was pretty clear that you needed to do the first start in case there was a stopped task from the building clouds around us. the 150 pilots were all launched in less than 1 hr and it seemed that there was at least 130 pilots making the 1st start gate. I had a great start nearly at the top of the group with Alex and Christian leading out just above me. We had a fast run down to the 1st turnpoint which was only 17kms from our start. I pushed hard coming back olong the ridge to the 2nd turnpoint trying to chasedown the Icaro boys. I was flying with Franz and Robert resinger and we were leading the big gaggle down the ridge with Alex and Christian just in front and higher. We got to the 2nd turnpoint and I found a good strong thermal which nearly caught me back up to Alex as he seemed to have forgotten about the turnpoint. He had to go back and get the turnpoint before heading back to launch where we climbedup below Christian. I followed the guys out into the valley under a cloud street toward the 3rd turnpoint. We had lots of shade in front of us and it was clear we needed to get as high as we could before making the glide out to the turnpoint in the shade. I came in below Alex and Christian about 6kms from the turnpoint under the last cloud. Christian was just leaving at cloudbase when I arrived below and Alex started to follow but stopped and kept turning. He stayed in light lift and watched Christian glide off as he whited out in the cloud. If only my camera had not run out of battey I would have been able to film it but I guess it was not meant to be. I left just below cloudbase and headed out into the valley behind them. I was about 2kms from the turnpoint when Alex came back past me still higher with Christian lower infront of him. I knew that this was going to make a huge difference as they were able to get back into the main valley below the gaggle who were climbing. I did the turnpoint just in front of Manfred and Franz and we were now forced to stay on the Gubbio ridge in the shade. We hit a light thermal and circled as we watched Alex and Christian climb out good behind us. We spent the next 20-30mins low waiting for the sun to come out so we could climb back up. Unfortunately for us the sun started back near the turnpoint so the whole gaggle of about 70 gliders behind us managed to get high and glide in above us before the last turnpoint. I did a long glide to goal from about 10 kms before the last turnpoint on a 21:1 glide. I was about 40th around the last turnpoint and decided to go straight line to try and beat some of these guys who had over taken me. I managed to overtake quitea few on the final glide and finished about 1 min 30 seconds behind the 3rd place which was Manfred. Alex crossed the line first 1 second infront of Christian and about 7 mins faster than Manfred. Christian will win the day with the leading bonus and 95 pilots will make goal. There was 60 pilots that finished within 5 mins of each other so the landing field was complete chaos but everyone survived. We were quite lucky to get the task in as there was some big over development around the outside of our courseline. It was a very interesting day and I have never seen such a finish in a hang gliding comp before. The weather for the next day or two does not look good but it seems we will fly again on friday. We now officially have a valid comp so there will be a 2011 World champion.

Moyes dinners and no flying

Photos from task 1

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

World Championships Day 5,6,7

The last 3 days have been cancelled due to rain and wind. It seems the forecst for the rest of the competition is not great and im not sure we will even get to fly again as some people tell me. It is such a shame to have come this whole way for so many pilots and not get the conditions to decide our next World Champion.
We only need one more task to make it an official competition however we all know that 2 days is not enough to found out who is the best pilot. The organisation has been great here and unfortunately you can't choose the weather. Lets wait to see if things change as the last 5 days tick over.

World championships Task 1 Video

Saturday, July 23, 2011

World Championships Day 4

With another windy forecast they decided to send us to another takeoff where the wind would be less in Asissi. It was quite a drive and many of us got lost getting there but once we arrived it was gorgeous.

The wind was not so strong and the launch was huge with plenty of room to setup the 150 gliders. We set a task which would keep us in the valley with big landings as the wind was forecast to get stronger as the day went on.

It was quite a mess on launch trying to get off but eventually all pilots launched safely and were ready for the challenging 121km task. I was not in a great position at the first start gate so I decided to wait for the 2nd start 20 mins later.

I had a great start with Carl, Balazs and quite a few others. There must have been about 100 pilots who took the first start so there were plenty of markers out there in front of us. I had a fast run to the turn point and was only 8km behind the lead gaggle at the turn point.

After the first turn point we had to fly back down the ridge to launch. When I arrived there the lead gaggle was just leaving on the way to the third turn point. This was the hardest part of the task as we had to leave the ridge and fly into the valley into the strong wind with lots of shadow on the ground.

I had almost caught the front guys and was only a few kms behind but lower. Manfred came in above me and all of a sudden I thought wow life is good I have 20 mins on him and everyone else around me.

We glided 8kms to the 3rd turn point arriving somewhat low and then turned tailwind for the hills to get back up. I hit a low save about 800ft off the ground with a few other gliders. The guys that were following us a bit lower all landed so we just drifted in the wind to stay in the air.

I spotted Manfred he had managed to glide more to our right very low and hit a strong climb but I was unable to reach him as I was lower. As I drift in the wind I see many pilots all landing behind me. It turns out that 60 pilots landed just after the 3rd turn point so it was not an easy part of the course.

I spent the next hour trying to battle the 35 kph+ cross-headwind low trying to reach the last turn point which was 10 kms away. I struggled but eventually made it from ridge to ridge fighting the wind. I soared up to get the last turn point as it was on top of the ridge and climbed high enough to make final glide.

I finished just behind Blenky and will place 16th for the day and will be the only one to make goal from the 2nd start gate. Primoz won the day about 5 mins ahead of Alex with Gerd from Germany in 3rd. 22 pilots made goal with many top pilots already landing out taking them out of the comp.

I did not have the best day but I made goal and only lost 150 points to the winner so I am still in the game.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

World Championships Day 2

The competition put on a dinner for us last night in castle close by Sigillo township. The castle was turned into a hotel for people to stay at. We all enjoyed a smorgasboard of light snacks followed by wine from their celler. We thought maybe if we had a big night of partying it would lead to flying the next day.
We woke up to another day of trees blowing over. This was the worse day we have seen for wind since I arrived 1 week ago. After a quick meeting this morning the day was cancelled and the 150 pilots were free to enjoy another day in central Italy.
I went golfing today to try my luck out there in the 40 knts of wind but have decided that I should stick to hang gliding. It was a great golf course situated around a beautiful castle. I am hoping the we will get to fly tomorrow.
Tuesday, July 19, 2011

2011 Worlds Monte Cucco Day 1

Well I am here in Sigillo, Italy ready for the World Championships. There is around 150 pilots here and now we are just waiting for the weather to be good enough to fly. I have managed one quick flight on my new glider a few days ago in the last week. Today we woke up to more wind and after the team leader briefing Day 1 was cancelled.
It seems tomorrow is also going to be even windier than today so
at this point our first flying day will be on thursday. We had an amazing opening ceremony followed by quite a big party night in the small town.
The Aussie team is here and all set ready to combat against the worlds best pilot so stay tuned for some updates as the competition unfolds around us. We will have live tracking so you can follow our tracks online while we fly.
Check out the official website for all of this information Worlds Website 2011