27 January 2009

A hill to far

On today's second task of the Paragliding Worlds the organizers decided to make things a bit more difficult. This as on day 1 a whoppy 109 pilots made it to the goal. So a task of 91,7 km was set including a tricky leg from Lapila to Aguila and from there back to the antennas and then over the plateau followed by a final valley crossing to goal.
In the (early!) morning Team Leader briefing the organizers got permission from the FAI delegates to use the proven launch procedure where during the first 10 minutes anybody could launch and after that period the launching would be by current standing in the championship.
I myself, and teammate Jouni used this opportunity to launch early as we wanted the ensure a good position at the start, a 6 km exit cylinder from launch. I had to clear a knot after launching but then quickly got up and was the first pilot to establish a nice holding position above the wall just at the edge of the cylinder. Before long that area was of course crowded with almost all 148 participants, plus the marshalls and media tandems. There were also clouds and everybody was trying to avoid bumping into each other and from flying into the clouds, while at the same time trying to stay high and close under those clouds.
At start time the whole armade glided towards the first turnpoint. Quite some pilots had managed to get higher between the clouds and soon formed a leading gaggle. I was not so high and wasted some time trying to get higher after a few km. Such a fairly small gap quickly resulted in me flying far behind the lead all of the course. Especially the second half of the leg to Aguila took me a long time. I then flew all alone back to Piano, where I catched up some pilots. Then it was a bit slower again to the antennas, where I found a last good thermal. I glided towards Gordo but didn't quite get there and had to land 10 km short, after more than 5 hours of flying. Much later met with Ari and Jouni who had made goal, but in the end of a second group. The leading group had split on the way back with one group taking a more direct route which turned out faster than the route over the mountains. Results are not in yet, but it is believed that at least 80 pilots made goal, so we can expect an even longer task tomorrow.

3 comments:

MS said...

Kiitti taas mielenkiintoisesta raportista! Täältä saa lisäksi ne kiinnostavat tulostiedot paljon nopeammin kuin mistään muualta... :)

MS said...

Niin, ja tietysti tsemiä jatkoon koko porukalle!

Jussi said...

Tsemppiä Robert sinne skaboihin täältä Otaniemestä!