Young Swiss pilot about to take off. I met her at the Bogong Cup this year - and then again in Laragne!
Sorry for not giving an update for such a long time. I was just so busy that I didn't have the time.
We had two more tasks from Aspres. On Wednesday, a 104 km task was set at first, but they changed it again to a shorter one of 89 km due to the cloud development. The pilots didn't even get to fly that task - the overdevelopment was so severe that the task was stopped before the first start gate opened.
The next day, pilots were sent from Aspres to Sigoyer (to the southeast), Malaup, Longue Dent, back to Sigoyer, to Mison, and finally to Ribiers. We got everyone off the hill within only 40 minutes - best time ever! I drove more or less straight to goal so that I would be able to tell my pilots what the wind was like there. I was waiting there with Regina, Connie and Ecki from the German team when the first pilots came into goal. Landing approaches looked really bumpy and sometimes even scary. We figured we were in the lee of a nearby mountain. Not far from Mison castle about 5 km north of Ribiers, we saw gliders
Now where the hell...
... does the wind come from? South? North? Blowing up from two sides?
struggle with really tough conditions. Sometimes they literally fell out of the sky. There were in fact some bad landings, but fortunately, nobody was seriously hurt.
Finally, the task was stopped because of the developing thunderstorms. Camo had already landed south of Sisteron, so I went to pick him up. Blenki radioed me that he would land on the other side of the valley - good choice, taking the conditions at Ribiers into account. The only one I hadn't heard of for a while was Scott. When I picked up Blenki, he told me that headquarters had rung him already in order to find out where Scott was. I was starting to get worried as we could not get him on the phone either. Finally, Monica gave me a call and told me that Scott had landed safely in Laragne. Apparently he had radioed me that, but it hadn't come through.
On the last day, it happend what all the launch helpers had been scared of: We were up on the low north launch and only had lists for that launch when the organisers decided that we would go up to the high south. The problem is that
Ready to take off, pilot? Come on then!
setup and launch order there are completely different from the low north takeoff. So Boo, Monica and I had to figure something out, and fortunately we did not end up in a catastrophe. Everyone found his setup place, and we got everyone off the hill in the order they were supposed to take off in. Very stressful last day! The 154 km task went north to Bonnet Rouge, then east to St. Jean, after that south to Malijai, and goal was once more the Laragne camp site.
The incredible thing happened. Manfred Ruhmer, who was in the lead, landed short of the first turnpoint. So the game was open again. Finally, Alex Ploner (Italy) won. He and his team leader, Flavio Tebaldi (organiser of the next Worlds in Monte Cucco, Italy, by the way), were in tears of joy. I was so happy for them. Jonny Durand (Australia) came second, Tom Weissenberger (Austria) third. The Italian team won team gold, followed by the Austrians and the French.
On Friday night, there was a big party in Laragne that I did not attend because I was totally exhausted. But of course I went to the closing ceremony the next
... at the Closing Ceremony. He does not fly in these clothes ;-)
day. Again lots of speeches and lots of thank yous. Later on, we went for a swim and had an icecream, and in the evening, we went out for dinner with Heather and Mart.
Sunday morning, we left the camp site at seven a.m. in order to take Monica and Scott to the Grenoble train station from where they caught a train back to Paris. The three girls (Monica, mum and I) were in tears. It will be a while till I see Mon and Scott again! Mum and I drove home and arrived here in the evening.
No time to relax for me. I had to finish preparing a seminar that I would hold the next day in Stuttgart. And I had to get up at six the next morning. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were completely booked with preparing and holding the seminar, organising myself with the other trainers that I share the training with, a bank appointment and some other stuff that I had to do. Today, I spent half of my day with paper work again. But I also did some enjoyable work. And tomorrow, I'll be off for a girls' weekend with my friends
Scott and Claudia
... pilots from Australia and Switzerland
Rebi and Regina at Regina's place. It will be great, and I look forward to that.
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