The Worlds in Laragne - Task 2

Published: June 26th 2009
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Sky above the landing zoneSky above the landing zoneSky above the landing zone

Big Cb developing, only a few minutes after taking that photo, it started raining.
Yesterday, we flew off Aspres which is about 40 km north of Laragne. Things were pretty exciting because the helpers hadn't had had a chance to check out the setup order before all the pilots arrived. So we had to familiarize ourselves with how they were supposed to set up and give the arriving pilots directions at the same time. But it all worked out alright. A 120 km task was set, via Colombe Rouge and Estoublon (southeast of Laragne) to the Laragne camp site.

Take offs were pretty exciting as the wind got stronger and stronger. So getting the gliders to launch was already difficult. Helpers had to grab the wires in order to prevent the gliders from flipping over. There was no specific launch order, which made it even more difficult for me because I had to keep an eye on all the pilots ready to launch and decide which pilot would be next. I had to tell the other helpers which pilot would be next to launch so that they could do the hang checks.

Finally, all the pilots were in the air and on course. I waited on top of the hill with Monica and
Alex, Scott and ChristianAlex, Scott and ChristianAlex, Scott and Christian

Christian came second yesterday, Alex the day before
Boo because we had the best radio reception there. Then we drove back to the camp site. It was my turn to drive for Scott, Blenki and Camo, Monica stayed at the camp site. I headed further south in order to be between the second turnpoint and goal, where I would again have good radio reception. I picked up Camo about 30 km from goal, Scott and Blenki made goal. It turned out that the day had been slow and difficult. When I got back to the camp site, I found out that Manfred Ruhmer (Austria) had won the day, he came into goal ten minutes before the second pilot, Christian Ciech (Italy), who again was about half an hour in front of the next pilot, Attila Bertok (Hungary). That's a pretty spectacular result. Manfred hadn't flown in a hanggliding comp for quite a while because - as many people say - it had become too boring for him, he was just too good and lacking competitors. Now he's back, and he comes into goal way in front of other pilots. Christian did extremely well, too. Coming into goal 30 minutes before the rest of the field is really good.
Blay & ScottBlay & ScottBlay & Scott

Blay is still sooo young, but doing sooo well.
There were again two German pilots in goal, Lukas Bader and Tim Grabowski. Tim did really well, too. He is only 23 years old, and he had been flying rigid wings for years. This comp season is his first one on a flex wing. Altogether, there were about 60 pilots in goal, half the field, which is really a lot. You can find the results here.

Today, the forecast said that there would be thunderstorms in the afternoon. We went up the Chabre to the north launch. All the pilots set their gliders up, a task was set, but shortly before the launch window would have opened, the day was cancelled. Pilots were allowed to freefly, though, and most of the pilots did. Yvonne, the other launch helpers and I helped them get off the hill.

Now, I'm back at the camp site. Went for a swim, said hi to everyone. For tonight, Vicki invited the Aussie team (including myself) for dinner to the house where the Moyes family is staying. The weather for tomorrow doesn't look too good, so we'll see if it will be a flyable day or not.

Additional photos below
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Driving round here when retireving team members, you always find old castles and villages.

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