20 June 2007

Finally flying!

After several days of waiting today meeting director Mads Syndegaard set the first task of the Nordics: via one turnpoint to Avila. Throughout the morning the sky was almost completely covered with low clouds, but the winds were finally only moderate and most importantly more west than southwest. After lunch at launch and a short clear briefing at 1 the start window opened at 13:45 and soon the sly was filled with 140 happy paraglider pilots!
I myself started early and soon worked my way up to a bit above launch and for a short while was on top of the stack together with teammate Make. Soon that spot attracted many other gliders but the thermal was dying out. So moved to the east a bit but there had great trouble staying up and after a short while landed halfway down next to the road. Unfortunately my wing landed in a thorny bush, it took me an hour to clear the lines carefully. Then quickly packed up and started walking to launch. Luckily got a ride from the non-competing Norwegian pilots and soon was in the air again. This second time manged to soar along the ridge, at times gaining some more height from thermals. Before I started the valley crossing to the first turnpoint wanted to gain some more height, but soon noticed that the windspeed had increased and I was almost being blown over the back. So flew out to the front but could just not quite make the glide at this shallow slope. My harness slided over the low bush and something got stuck. Due to the headwind my ground speed was almost zero so I could put my legs down and effectively toplanded. Then launched again and now flew straight out. A cloudband could be seen and a flew to it, encountering a line of weakish lift perpendicular to the wind direction, perhaps an indication of wave activity? I continued along the line which at times drifted eastwards, toward the turnpoint. Meanwhile the winds seemed to increase ever more, at times I managed only 4 km/h against the wind. But soon made the turnpoint and then turned downwind in the direction of the goal. Again found some lift lines and occasionally a thermal, but it was too difficult to track those. Near the antenna in the pass air became more turbulent, as I'd expected. By now there were clear signs of wave in the air (see picture) and my aim was to cross the antennas high and then land somewhere high to avoid rotor, and before the closure of the reporting time. After 1:23 of airtime it was good to be safe and sound at the ground. Of course a bit disappointed about missing the task (due to re-launch and toplanding), but very happy for being tenious and for having flown 2 hours in total. Here my track for Google Earth.
The pilots are now all downloading their tracks and the score will be available later, but Jouni was one of the few to make goal! Ari landed approx. 4 km short, the others Finnish pilots did not fare as well.

1 comment:

Robert said...

The results are now available at the Nordics web site at: http://www.nordic-open.eu/component/option,com_docman/Itemid,35/task,doc_download/gid,13/

The Finns placed at:
4 Jouni
11 Ari
41 Make
47 Antti
62 Javis
74 Mladen
76 Kasperi
99 Jari
114 Kari
116 Esa
122 Taina
127 Robert