Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sunday 28 June: Task 3: 166km

Some more launch photos are in this Flickr set

8.15pm: Zac Majors (USA), above, in download. He crossed the line third. How was it Zac? 'Awesome out there.' Team mate and Task 1 winner Jeff O'Brien wasn't so lucky today - he didn't make goal. How was it? 'Rough.'

7.45pm: Ciech, above, in to download. He completed the course in 3hr 9min 55 seconds.

Bruce Kavanagh (GB) in to download: 'Incredible day. The second turnpoint was just out of this world.' Everyone liked Pic du Bure today.

Christian Ciech being interviewed in the landing field after his spectacular landing

Manfred Ruhmer in HQ tonight

7.15pm: Switzerland's Christian Voiblet just in downloading his instruments. 'Great task' he says. 'Strong climbs, always safe - the Laragne we like.' Favourite part of the flight? 'The other side of Pic du Bure - the cloud was on the mountain ... we could dolphin fly along the mountain beneath the cloud ... out to the turnpoint and back.'

Christian Ciech (ITA) was first across the line at about 5.30pm. Amazing final glide: landing field spectators thought he was surely in the fields, but his final glide, a metre above the ground, seemed to go on for 300 m or so.

Christian Voiblet (SUI) was second across the line, Zac Majors (USA) third, Manfred Ruhmer (AUT) fourth.

Ruhmer is in download HQ just now. How was it Manfred? 'Beautiful!' He liked the high mountains the best, he say - Pic du Bure and the surrounds.

Three French pilots were in early too: Mario Alonzi, Gianpietro Zin and Antoine Boisselier. Good day for the French.

Estimated 35 in goal so far.

Sorry for lack of updates during the day - Sunday: the blogger went flying.

View Task 3 in a larger map

The task is big enough, pictured above, but not as big as it could have been. Once on launch, it was clear that cloudbase was not high enough early enough to go for the 200km+. Instead we have a none-too-shabby 166km task, launching from Chabre south, flying west to col de la Trappe (B51) near Sederon, then way north to Oubiou (B94), tracking south east to Mont Colombis (B80), returning to Laragne Camping (A10). Launch opens right now. First start gate 14.00. More news as we get it.

Word is the task will be big

Everyone has headed up the hill. Jamie will be tweeting reports from the hill here. Updates will be posted on this page as the task is set etc.

: Forecast summary: Sunny and nice. Good for hang gliding.

Winds at 1500m at 2pm: SW at 10kmh
5pm: increasing slightly and going westerly
3000m at 2pm: 10kmh WNW
3000m at 5pm: Bit more west, at 10kmh

Sounding reports up to 3,000m is very convective: good thermal climbs. Above the inversion is dry.

Sunny, 0-2/8 cumulus. Few patches of thin cirrus. Low risk of isolated showers over north and east high mnts. Valley breezes dominate with poss NW wind strengthening by end of afternoon.

Max temp today 32C. Cloudbase at 2,600 – 2,800m at take off. Rising to 3,000 – 3200m.

Overview for tomorrow: Sunny, moderate NW winds.

Thank you for you attention – have a good flight! Meteo France.

Conclusion: We are heading up to Chabre, and will take off from the top south take off.

Everyone is leaving the hall very fast … looks like it could be a good day.

9.15am: Yesterday was blown out for comp hang gliding, but there was a display of aerobatics by several pilots above the landing field at Laragne. Part of a local 'Fete de l'air' taking place here this weekend. One pilot got it wrong and threw his reserve - video above. He landed ok and was fine. It's the seventh time he's come down under reserve apparently.

9am: Looks like a nice day outside. Light north west at the moment.

Last night was the pizza and paella night for the pilots. We all went to Ribiers, a village nearby and ate pizza and paella at tables set up for us outside in the town square. Of note was Davis Straub of Oz Report fame, who took a direct line, off course, and swooped into the paella pan ahead of the main pack of 100+ pilots, getting back to his seat and goal well before most people had crossed the start gate. Team USA was circling just outside the start cyclinder and managed a quick getaway on the pizza, while Team GB was noticable by their abscence until they made a fast dash-and-grab for the paella. No shows included Team Japan and Austria. One part of Team Australia turned up three hours late demanding food, clearly still on Pacific time. No chance, mate. All up another good night.

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