sreda, 26. september 2012

No place like home

After Turkey, dust, flats etc. I was hardly waiting to get back on my home hill Kobala. Amazing how nice it is to see again the trees over the mountains :)

We had quite a dry summer here so the colours are switched a bit this year. It should start becoming brown from top of the mountains down but as it was so dry you could see brown spots lower in the valley on the ridges. Actually these are the spots where thermals are triggering as you can see that places facing most of the time to the sun where absolutely most brown of all.
I am back to Gorica now already, back to work back to my old life. It was nice to spend time around for nearly 2 months.
After Turkey we came home with hope of a bit bigger refunds for our silver medal as we would get higher rating in sports category at our Olympic association. But.... The drum roll finished two days before we got back home so in the end we will be left with huge portion of refunds for our Turkey competition. This is how things are done in Slovenia, you don`t know wetter you will get your costs back or not until the last working day of the year. Then suddenly your club gets refunds and club is the on then having problems to transfer the money to us pilots who have had to pay for everything before.
What does that mean now for us?
Team was well pumped up for Australia and there was a slight chance that we will actually get down in bigger number but... It all ended up with one phone call to our Flying association who refused to let us send filled contracts for the categories 2 days later.
So the wish for the Worlds in 2012 is cut down by bureaucracy.
I will focus now on Litespeed RX which I badly want for my next season. The level of my flying definitely went higher this year and I am sure that it can go even higher next year. Well, I will need to sort it out with my stupid "push on" flying :D

torek, 18. september 2012

HANG GLIDING - Three steps to the flying itself

This summer I had a chance to work on a video project where DHV asked me to make a video that will catch up an interest in possible new pilots to our sport. They gave me all the rights to build it up from idea to the production. Since I bought some serious gear for filming I was able to say yes.
We did quite some filming in Germany and Austria, but with big lack of good weather all the time. I am used to have this epic shots which come from days of flying and luck wherever you go.
I had to get the best out of it and ones I sat down to my computer, the story started to evolve. Hope you will  like the outcome of the video.
In a rush of making and exporting it, I forgot about my dear friend Jochen Zeischka who made few shots in the video, so credits for this video go also to him.

Enjoy it, share it ;)

HANG GLIDING - 3 steps to the flying itself from Matjaz Klemencic on Vimeo.

ponedeljek, 10. september 2012

Prize giving ceremony

I am back home after 30 hour drive. Smooth border passing made us come back fast. A good group of fun people in the van just made this trip easier.
We started our trip back right after the price giving ceremony which was held in one open restaurant in Talas city.
Nice breakfast for all pilots with lots of sugar included of course :)
It has been an adventure to me, flying in a different place with different culture. Overall great experience, only too bad we had the weather we had which was more of a gamble than real flying. Well, we still flew, 9 tasks, which is a lot.

The new Eropean champion is Alex Ploner followed by Dan Vhynalik and our best Primoz Gricar.

We where happy to have silver team medal behind team Italy and in front of team Spain

sobota, 08. september 2012

Task 9, 72km

Yesterday we had the last task of the European championship 2012. It all started with strong cross wind on the start and panic when dust devil came and flipped some gliders. I jumped over the fence while Swiss Nick ran just under me and I crashed him to the ground :D His glider was flipped over mine the same as I flipped over him but gliders where ok so where we after the small crash :)

It looked like that we will not have the task when it started to turn to the right side late at 2 pm. Briefing and a 72 km task was set.
I was thermaling up and looking where others are when I suddenly saw small spots over me and I was at 2500 m. Wow, it goes high today and a short task.
We ended up at 4000 some at the limits and some over the limit. Everyone started the glide more to the north over the hills while some of us went straight towards the turnpoint to the west.
It worked quite well but the day was soon shutting down and those who went to the hills came higher over the turnpoint and where able to continue back to the goal.

Fours of Slovenia pilots made it to the goal so second team place was in our hands. Primoz was 4th so he will get 3rd place. Alex Ploner is continuing his very good form also here with a new European champion tittle. Dan, who played a back game whole competition ended up at 2nd place.

This is however first team medal for Slovenia at FAI 1 competition in our history and we are all very happy about it. Italy was class of its own here and we congratulate them for very good result. On third place there was a battle  between Spain and Germany, but Spain remained its position after the task yesterday.

Now we are off for the price giving ceremony and then straight in to the van for 30 hour ride back home. End of the season? Competition season for this year yes, but I have one more jolly in my pocket :)

I dreamed about this place for long time, see you there ;)

petek, 07. september 2012

8th task, 134km

Finally they called a better day which was still totally blue but with a bit more decent thermals on the way. Beginning was traditionally slow with bad thermals but as we moved on it was getting better and better. I was in a good position on the half of the race where Primoz went on alone and got in to the best air quite faster then gaggle behind him.
We enjoyed the views of high mountains, no grass, no trees like we Alp pilots are used to, but magical in its own way. The most hard part was in the end as there was a 20 km dead glide from 3400m to the last turnpoint where we got low and found a wick lift. Here I got together with our team mates, Joze Frim and Franc Peternel where we where putting this hard puzzle together like a team.
The day was ending, you could see and feel that when Peternel suddenly got a kick in front of us in the middle of the valley which was already in shade. Here we tanked up the 300 m needed for a final glide of 15 km.
I was 20m bellow Frim and Peternel when I headed out by myself as thermals was dying. Nerve wrecking glide in the lee of small hills but I made it to the goal as 8th for the day. Finally a proper flying conditions and in the end also a place for the day. I feel a bit better now after all of this bad flying in the past days.

Franc and Joze made it in as well, so did Primoz well ahead of us in first place. Really good job from our team in this competition. Like we would have arranged who will be resting for the day as every day someone makes it in and good.
Stanko had a bit of stomach problems yesterday but he and Alan still did it to the last turnpoint.

Today is the last day. Fingers crossed!

četrtek, 06. september 2012

Task 7, 70 km

Another day, another blue sky, another work out. Today it was a bit better on the take off as we got a bit more height in this area where we had really bad conditions in past days here. With start gate open I was just in the right thermal and waited thinking of taking next start gate. Balasz was just above me but after 10 minutes thermal slowed down so I had to choose. I went on, with 10 minute delay but as I had thermals marked in front I was just a little bellow the first gaggle at the half of the task. We split in to two gaggles one more to the south where I was as well and we went up slower than the one a bit to the north. Once we started the glide towards the last turnpoint near the big mountains I waited to have people in front and see what is happening.
I went more to the right as it seems there is better air but got suddenly in to a really bad air, few seconds of -7 m/s and my gaggle was way above my head.
You can get quite bad areas here, the day before I nearly landed with the same sink but it got better later. Yesterday, when you where low you got slow. Gaggle to the North got a screaming thermal and just glided on to the goal while I drifted until I landed on the last turnpoint. One bad moment with bad air and you are done, while there is nearly 55 pilots in goal. I was soooo pissed off.
Guess I forgot this bag of luck at home...

Slovenia team went on and got to the goal a little bit slower than team Germany and Spain but remained 300 points in the lead.
They say weather should get better now for two days, but... Let us see, no signs of clouds outside, another gamble day...

torek, 04. september 2012

Task 6, 87km

Another day that started with blue thermik and ended with it as well. The only difference today was much less wind. The beginning
was hard again, I got very low again but managed to climb back up and get together with the main group on 4o km where we went to 3000m and went on a bit easier. I missed one good thermal on the way to the south and ended up back in the 7m/s sink that lasted for quite long. Scratching back up and then to the north with one climb to the goal.
Seems like Macedonian Nikola won the day with about 30 pilots in goal. Our Frim was 4th with me and Stanko coming in later. Franc got unlucky with power lines right on the goal cilinder so he had to land 100 m before.
Looks like team Slovenia will hold strong on the second place with Spanish behind our back. 3 more days...

Sent from my Nokia N9

5th task, 82km

Killing the gliders with sand
Another blue day with inversion layer just a bit above the take off. The intervals in front of the take off where coming in 15 minutes and with a push system many where forced to take off to really bad air. When I got in the line to take off I saw that people are loosing height so I went back in the line and waited rather than bomb out and do a stressful reflight.
I got a nice timing and got a thermal up where most of the pilots who where cruising for already 1.5h joined bellow me. We got to the top of the thermal where me and Suan went out to the edge of the start cylinder to wait there. Well we, waited, on the ground.
Not one thermal to catch, Joze Frim our team member ignored the time and went on to the first group and flew the course.
20 pilots made it to the goal with Christian Chiech winning the day as he took the second start gate and others the first one.
Our Stanislav is rocking here with his Rs4, he flew the whole course nearly by himself where first group joined him at the last turn point.

Everyone is putting out their ballast here, I went down a bit but not enough, some even put out 8 kg. This tells you the story what is curving the most of the result list here.

German team games with us :)
Slovenia team had 2 pilots in goal so we got up strong 350 points ahead of Spain now.

Drama around telephones got its high point yesterday. We bought the Turkishcell SIM cards in faith that we will have cheaper calls and better coverage here. Well, seems like a lot of stolen phones are coming to Turkey so they just lock them until you don`t come there with your passport and they unlock it for you. We arranged all the papers for them but still, SMS that we got days before with warning that it will be all locked on 3th of September got true.
Pilots landed, phones where not working, so yes, you use your home SIM card, but bureaucracy is winning over healthy thoughts again...

Another weak day ahead of us.

ponedeljek, 03. september 2012

Rest day in Cappadocia

Album entirely shot with Nokia Pure View 808

Yesterday we had a rest day after 4 tasks. I can not say I am tired at all as we did not flew for quite long time any day than the first one.
We are always late with briefing and taking off but it is all just because of lack of good conditions in the air. Things should change now in this week with weather and we should get some proper flying. I am looking forward to it as I need a bit more racing weather than this ballooning over the flats with distance counted as a portion of luck in your pocket.
If weather changes we will have briefings earlier and start before to get some distances to fly.

Cappadocia was interesting, the land of the smurfs with houses build in the rocks itself. Volcanic rock here is so soft that they where able to cut rooms in to the stone and live there long time ago. So, now I´ve been to Pamukalle and Cappadocia in Turkey and saw two Unesco protected places.

I have to say that this competition is something totally different then we are used to in Europe. On take off you hear the sound out of the mosques and with a proper wind and 2 million people city it can get loud and gives you a different feeling. Every landing is an adventure, kids, kind older people that want to give you some water melons or bunch of crazy kids and older women wanting money from you. An interesting mixture of everything, everything so different :)

Araldo, driver from Ducth team made this nice video where you can get a small feeling how it is here

sobota, 01. september 2012

Task 4, 71km

Today they told us already in the morning that wind will be stronger today. On take off it looked like less wind and really slow thermals if some. Our Franc was in line the first to go in this bad air so he waited for a push which we have every day from one of the Austria team.
They had big problems to climb up and next interval was even worse and many bombed out. I got lucky with a thermal. Today I put out a bit of led and suddenly I was climbing much better than previous days in this week conditions.
Day was better then yesterday afterwards with better climbs and I was on my way with leading gaggle.
I went bellow Chiech to find a climb that he had but got only some bubbles left bellow so we where all slowly drifting away fron the course line. I tried to go back but N wind was just too strong.
Alan and Primoz made it to the goal.
The whole competition is more like gamble with take off conditions and of course huge portion of luck on the course. Interesting but not satisfying.

Sent from my Nokia N9