sreda, 27. april 2011

Bassano task 5, around 90 km

Sorry for late report about the last task, but it was a short struggle back home and to work after the Bassano comp.
On the last day we got to the take off that was in the clouds. Picture normal in Bassano. Organizers made the task again over plateau but this time pilots protested a bit about the height flying over this plato with low cloud base. They cut it down to 90 km more to the flats. Clod base eventually went up to 1400 m which was enough to fly on the flats and on the ridge to Marostica, Asolo and more waypoints that we got to fly previous days.
The last turn point at Marostica was the heaviest one as many landed short of goal. So did I...
About 30 pilots made it to the goal field, I saw it from 4 km and did not dare to glide over Borso del Grappa to get in to the goal field. Sky looked great from Marostica to the goal field with nice clouds, but they just did not work as they looked like.
I landed, packed the caravan and went straight for the price giving ceremony as where our team got second place overall. We did quite a good job flying as a team as we all got good points almost every day. Looking forward for Cucco.
Christian Chiech won the comp in front of Alex Ploner and Robert Reisenger.

Team Slovenia me, Joze Frim, Alan Sattler, missing: Franc Peternel, Primoz Gricar

As soon as we got packed for a way back I noticed there are no lights on the back of the caravan :) It is not safe to drive trough the night with out the lights in the back, also police wouldn`t be happy about it. So we did a bit of witchcraft with the wires to get it work properly. Hour and a half of cable connecting and fuse search :) Uh uh.

I finished the comp at 26th pace, not good not bad... Could be better if.... But we always have an if when we look at the overall results. All in all, good flying, I did almost 20 hours in 5 days. The glider works much better, or we could say, pilot is getting better :)
Laveno in 14 days? Who knows...

nedelja, 24. april 2011

Bassano task 4, 85 km

They where predicting some thunderstorms for today, but organizers told that perception for thunderstorms should be low today.
They set up a task of around 85 km to the west and then back far out to the flats to Caerano. Soon after the start clouds overcast the are to the west so our flying was really slow. When we came back to the Bassano area I choose to go out to the flats already on antena as others followed the ridge and jumped to the flats further to the east.

Cloud street showed good signs of lift but the flats where totally in dark. I flew the cloud street with two nice thermals in between so I caught up with the guys in front at the last turn point. This part was in the sun but very hard to get a proper thermal to attack the point outside in the flats.
The overcast sky was moving also in to this area and got us higher. From here on there was only a 10 km glide to the goal field in Bassano.
About 20 pilots made goal with Ploner winning the task.

Two of three 13.5 GTs in Bassano

I wont say anything for tomorrow as Bassano always surprise us with something new. Let us see.

Bassano task 3, around 65 km

We already woke up to a overcast sky but we knew that in Bassano you fly until it doesn`t rain. Well maybe even if it rains or snow or...
We waited on the take off for some thermal show ups with the jellies who where rubbing the ridge in front of take off. First there was a task set to 100 km, but it was soon clear that we wont make it in time with such a bad lift.

They shortened it to 65 km with flying in the flats. The sky cleared just enough to pump up the pilots for give it a go.
Day was showing its phase already from the beginning. Light thermals, very light thermals if some...
We where charging up just above Bassano. With one hour to spend we cleaned a huge area where we searched for a decent lift that would take us to the height that would put us in a position to attack the first turn point at Marostica.
Some guys went to on the ridge of plato, where cumulus clouds started to evolve and they got the place to start the race at the best position.
We, others struggled from the low heights and where charging up back with 0,2 m/s lifts but in the end I somehow managed to get to the second turn point at Asolo. Flying back was easier with a proper height but the day was ending really fast. I charged the last height above Bassano and went on to Marostica with hope for a last thermal that would get me in to the goal. Well, on this 15 km journey there was none.
I think 9 pilots made it to the goal with Christian Ciech winning the day in front of Primoz and Elio on third place.
Many pilots have landed short so the results have changed a bit. You can find them HERE

Seems like tomorrow we have abig chance of thunderstorms, on Monday even bigger so let us see where will they take us next days.

Landing just before Bassano

petek, 22. april 2011

Bassano task 2, 126 km

Second day, shorter tast but quite more interesting. They sent us to the back of the Bassano ridge where we got to get a small touch of Dolomites flying.

We flew of on the ridge where 48 km entry start cilinder was waiting for us. Much easier air then yesterday until we got the Dolomites ridge. Flying over the huge valley was the first challenge as we did not get too much high on the last mountains that are followed by the Bassano ridge. I found a nice solution with one guy where we thermaled up in a nice thermal already in the flats before we got to the bombing ridge. Really strong and turbulent thermals. One guy broke an upright in the air and went down with the chute. He is ok.

From here on we only hold our selves to the base bar and flew over the mountain ridge to Levico landing. Compeo was a smart guy today telling me that I have a goal in my pocket 20 km before but I saw many people still thermaling in the same height as I was but 10 km in front. I took it easily and yes in the end Compeo was right.. Well you got to do one goal in the beginning of the season to regain the confidence in electronics. Next time, tommorow :)

Manfred made a nice move when he just raced the ridge low, while most of us stayed and thermaled up after the valley crossing. He got way in front and also won the day.

Looking at the weather forecast it seems we got our two days, now on it is more questionable as some showers are predicted. We will see.

Panoramio with Nokia N8

Bassano first task 138 km

The first task was set to 138 km following the main ridge to the west and then to the east coming back to the flats for the last turn point before landing at Borso Del Grappa.
The day was with out clouds but we knew that the task will be set to a bit bigger pace as it was previous races since I am here from 2008.

I started with the first to avoid the first crowded air and get the proper height before start the flight to the start cilinder. Nice lift, quite rough from time to time as you can imagine it with at least 200 pilots in the air at the same time. Especially tourist who don`t know which side we turn this day so you need to push all jelly fishes to get the proper thermals.

We started quite late at 14:10, flying to the west was with out any specialities, it got all much slower when we got the eastern ridge where the shade was already on the south side of the hills. First two groups did pass it back to the flats with the height, I got my self low and the day was not strong enough anymore to gain the height for the last turn point. Seems like Elio won the race ahead of Primoz, for the 3rd one I don`t know. More about statistics tomorrow when we get to know the results.

We had a dinner today at pizza place where our camp is. I was so late back in the camp after retriving Alan so there was only a bit of pasta left for the late pilots.

All in all quite a though day with missed timing for the task. Tomorrow we go on.

sreda, 20. april 2011

Deja vu (Bassano 2008 - 2011)

I felt like it happened again, well I also saw it happening. First 40 km from my house where equipped with strange noise from rear wheel. I am so familiar with this noises and feelings that I knew right away that there are problems ahead of me :)
Well, Ford service on the way in Slovenia solved the problem, so I hope this year we will come over this days without car problems like in 2008 where we got stuck in Thiene in subzero temperatures, tired after howling day where we where up to 3000m.
Taken with Nokia N8

Seems like we should have a really good weather in next days. People where telling about getting to 2700 m in the flats later in the day. It is nice to see all the faces again after winter. And it is nice to be in Bassano at 25 °c and not in subzero like in 2008 where I woke up to a falling snow.

It looks much nicer like this...
Taken with Nokia N8

Fail of the day
For the first time I had to sign in all of my data, from my birth date to my adress and my passport or ID number, just to use payed Wirelles :) Unbelivable

torek, 19. april 2011

Looking good!

This years Monte Grappa Trophy is going to be one of the hottest and with best weather forecast since I am competing at this comp. If you are traveling to Bassano you might check this web site to see what is waiting for us.


There are for sure better sites to see, but I know this one works for Nova Gorica as well and works quite well.

One more day...

ponedeljek, 11. april 2011

Bassano, the beginning

One week more until my first competition this season. Busy Bassano skies with 130 hang glider pilots and 150 paragliding pilots. They can raise the entry fee, they can make the same price for Jellies and for us and yet they will have looots of pilots at the comp.
It should be the second race in Europe for 2011 season but strong wind cut down hopes for a valid comp at Aeros Winter race. I was in USA at the moment so I did not miss too much by not being present at the comp in the end of February.

The glider is prepared for the race so I am really looking forward for Monte Grappa Trophy

I will do my best to have you all informed about the race. I hope we get decent internet connection there as this was a usual problem there. Well, the new camping area L´antica abbazia has it all.

On the other hand, I have to thank to Davis for publishing my article about Combat 13.5. Taking words out of context just to make readers fall on it is not an idea for such a good resourced web page as Ozreport is.
No offense Davis :) I know we all do our jobs :)

The last present from Florida.
We have waited for this one for a long time. This is the actual footage that camera crew from Capefinn did on our Zero G flight in Florida.
Memories of this will stay for eternity :)

torek, 05. april 2011

M blog app and teaser from David

Since we got together with Nokia we already made a small app for this blog. Now you can follow it also on the phone if you download it from OVI store
This is a chance to be in touch with the latest news from comps that are coming with this season, just with a click at your smart phone.
It is easy to make an app of your own as well, just try the app wizard at OVI store page.

David Aldrich from the states got himself in to production of first real movie of hang gliding. He already published two teasers that can show you what he is up to for his movie "Dreaming awake" that should be published in 2012.
I am always stunned by the work he is publishing on net. Here is one teasers that show us what he is up to, for the second one jump to his page on Dreaming awake link.

petek, 01. april 2011

Spring is here

The season really starts here when I make a first flight from my home mountain in Tolmin. It is nice to fly the ridge in Vipava valley but Alps are Alps. I got a chance to see them up close on the first day spent in Tolmin. Covered in snow flying over with strong strong thermals. Since now I had every flight in past 14 days with a 7 m/s rockets. Thank god for winter workouts :D

Here is a nice picture of wilderness above Krn ridge