sreda, 31. julij 2013

Cucco task 4

After the front came over us, the wind turned to the N so Cucco N take
off was waiting for us. Task of 70 km was set of flying to Tree Pizzi take off, then running the ridge with coming back to the goal bellow take off. After the start it looked like we will have a blast day. It went up to 2000m so race mode was on. I started quite good but soon after flying on the the ridge of Tree Pizzi things changed. No clouds, wind that was running from N in the same direction as ridge made us flying in quite turbulent and scattered thermals that needed a lot of patience to get anywhere.

This is the thing that is still missing in my flying, on the days like this I am still so optimistic that next ridge ahead of me will be better, yet in the end it only makes you land while others wait for half an hour in the thermal to gain the height to go on. I landed soon after turning back from Tree Pizzi.
Alex and Christian also raced them selves to the ground yesterday, while Florian from Italy was the only one in goal. I lost a nice place and fell down to 9th now. Well, 2 years ago I would be jumping to the roof with this result so lets say it is still ok :)

Today looks like really strong NE wind with cloudbase lower than windmills.

Yesterday results here, overall here

torek, 30. julij 2013

Cucco task 3

You won`t believe but there was a task yesterday and I did not fly it. It was fully covered sky with zero lift, so we where all waiting on take off on what will happen. Word went out that it will be cancelled so I waited. In the mean time there was one young Italian pilot who dared to push things on by taking off. He was escorted with whistling.
At that moment wind suddenly picked up so much that we had to hold our gliders to not be thrown away. I was trying to get the idea what is happening in the minds of organizers as we had only few minutes left to take off. Few pilots went off while most of us where too late to take off. In the end I think 6 pilots eventually started the task with first one making quite some km as the day turned on later on. But, there was also rain at the landing quite soon, so I believe it was not totally right decision from the organizers part yesterday. First one received 45 points, exactly the one behind me :) So, it will be a bit more tight race than day before :)
After the window with no extensions was off, we could take off and play around famous Cucco take off. I was here last time on Worlds in 2011 and was here now first time with Moyes glider. Man, that was so easy now, landings, swooping all at finger change. I loved it.

In the evening we had a nice dinner on take off restaurant with really good Umbria food. We had a chance to see the front coming and it looked like someone draw an art picture, see it yourself.

Today we are going to Cucco north, but organizers are quite skeptic with strong wind. Another nerve game I guess :)

ponedeljek, 29. julij 2013

Cucco task 2

Yesterday we had a bit smaller task of just under 100 km up and down the ridge in Sigillo valley. Bigger cylinders where perfect for my new instrument as I was able to optimize them much better than with my old compeo.
There was much more wind on take off than previous day but to me it felt like thermals where just a bit more organised than the day before.
I was first on the edge of cylinder but missed the last thermal with Alex and Christian so the chase begin from behind. Quite a big group pushed forward to the very first turnpoint to the south where they got punished by bad air lower. I choose more straight line and got a nice lift back to Cucco where we raced the lower ridge. Anyone who flew here knows of the small hills bellow take off. It was quite nerve braking run but seems like I got the most of it right there. After that I flew alone looking at Davide Alex and Christian few km ahead of me.

A flight out to the flats that worked quite nice and straight to goal. All of them three where there already but I got told that Davide took the wrong first turnpoint which put him in such a lead in the beginning, so the day before it was me and now Davide. But missing the first one or the last one is big difference.

Results from yesterday HERE, overall HERE, my flight HERE

Today it looks like that strong wind that was trying to move my car during the night will die down a but, but there are showers expected later on during the day. My guess something shorter.

nedelja, 28. julij 2013

Monte Cucco task 1

First day was normal Cucco day, with wind from W, perfect to use Cucco south take off. There was only some clouds missing in the air but we gave it a go with 134 km task.
Day was switching on and off in the air, thermals where really a lottery with no signs on how to turn it, but patience made you go higher, only patience. 
We flew south trough the no landing gap to Assisi area, where I had quite some struggle to get trough. After 5 hours I landed in goal seeing that only Alex and Christian made it so far. After some talk and hearing that Davide landed at Gubbio I noticed something is wrong here and so I found out that task was changed during the briefing when I did not payed enough attention having all the points already set up. 
Alex changed it during the briefing as it seemed to short for him, well in the end it was a bit too long :) But for me not the right one. I was really pissed off, but by having guilt on both sides I had to shut up and sleep it trough.
I even saw quite some hang gliders flying exactly the route I had in, but it looks like they where all free fliers.
Today looks like they will play around with big cylinders, perfect for my Oudie3. 
We have quite a heat wave here, even if it is 20°c less than Australia it sometimes feels worse here with moisture in the air.
Results can be found here. My flight here 

petek, 26. julij 2013

Tolmin unplugged

After spending a day at the sea site, we moved to Tolmin and actually set up a caravan in the nearby camp Gabrje where you get a transport to Kobala take off and you have a landing right next to the camp. Picture perfect and a good change to the laziness at the beach.

I got a nice flight on the basic route to Gemona, coming back there is a fresh Soča river waiting to cool you down and lots of friends in the evening. Just could not ask for more.

As competition season is coming to a slow end, I searched on where I could possibly go to fly next competition before our Kobala open in Tolmin. Cucco was the most financially balanced way to do it, so I have already packed and in few hours I will be travelling down to Ancona and then to Umbria, 2011 World Championship site. Looks like a good weather is waiting for us, I hope for W wind to fly one of the nicest take offs in the world, Cucco top.

Now, lets hit the road.

nedelja, 21. julij 2013

Off-line, Buzet open 2013

Yes, it has been a while since I wrote anything to my so "up to date" blog. This time I thought of flying in Croatia as a time off for me, time to relax on most peaceful place at Raspadalica take off camp, with out electricity and WiFi.
That is why I unplugged everything, even if I had an internet connection at the most untouched place like Raspadalica take off is, but anyway I remain to just have most of the time to fly and relax.
Well, it seemed to work, I ended up first for the first time in the overall ranking in FAI 2 competition. There is a big cut to this glory by knowing there was only 10 of us who came to compete there, but in the end I had 3 really good pilots in the game to count on.
The game changes a lot when you fly with less people, I found my self twice in the leading position at the very first 20 % of the task and had to just fly my own XC flying which in the end showed up as a good example of flying in Istra.
3 good tasks, with first one, neck to neck racing with Joze and Primoz, where Joze took his glory by overtaking me for 2 seconds.
Next two tasks where made in a very hard rough air, where we had to really struggle for the position, but in the end, I was always making it, and making it so good that I had to fly by myself to the goal.
It helped a lot, that I was there flying already 7th year in a role, knowing the terrain, but E wind was still making lots of questions on how to fly the task in this wind that we where definitely not used to.
One big exception was there this year. I was pleased to have been invited to test new Oudie3 from Naviter. The company that runs the See You programming for really long time. Now they decided to give it a go, with super computer whit the knowledge that they have from the programming and flying skills. They came up with this product that has a vario that I can finally hear, a super dedicated map flying where every cylinder that we had to take in the flats, even if I knew where it was, I gained some 100 m from the Compeo fliers next to me.
I have it just to test it, till the autumn where the pitot tube will come to satisfy the hang gliding world. Until then, I will try to give the ideas that would satisfy our long needed change in flying instruments. You re invited to join the conversation of what you miss on your flying computer! Just type in the ideas to the comment section bellow.

After the competition me and my girlfriend decided to take a chance by visiting the coast at the beautiful Croatia islands with purest water you can see. The plan was to be there until Tuesday, but after one day of laying at the beach, we both agreed to just change the position to Tolmin where things can happen. We are just not the type of people to lay down and relax for "too" long time. Some, ok, but too long, not.

Croatia open organizers will do their best to bring more people to the competition next year, I am sure that they will make it as it is just an amazing place to fly and maybe in the end, most reliable of the Europe ones.

If anyone has any suggestions for the hang gliding part of the programming of the Oudie3, I will be really happy to hear from you all, the guys working behind that are great and will do their best to finally make a new step in the hang gliding competition instrument evolution.
You have the word here!

Now, Cucco?, Berlin? I want to compete! :D

sobota, 13. julij 2013

Slovenia nationals task 3

The last day looked like the most promising of all, but a call to the weather station on Kovk shocked us all. Really strong NE wind which put in doubts even Lijak take off.
We where waiting on Lijak to see what happens and wind slowly started to go down while we had really nice wind to take off there all day. Looking at the birds more outside it was clear that famous rotor was to small at the time to fly it.
Wind died down to the normal range, so we set up a short task. Soon after take off we knew that day is really good and the clouds started to form. I had a really great start and was doing great until I saw that my GPS did not turned the start even if I was turning with the rest of the group at the same point. I lied to my self, that everything should be ok and went on with stone in my stomach. Then the low battery warning came which was another super inspiration for flying.
I had a great run and decided to risk going out to the flat a bit lower and coming back to Lijak take off, while group behind me took straight line out and to the turnpoint while they overcome me by few km. I raced the ridge and got in to the goal 10 minutes behind Primoz who won the day.
I slipped my 3rd place in nationals ranking. It seems really hard to be good in such a great field of pilots as Slovenia have lately. This should be a great team for the Euros next year. I feared most that, my punishment for not flying in to unsafe conditions will come out as it is. The precious points that meet director took from me by deciding to stop the task half an hour later than it was said to be, got me in to position where I am now with standings. The answer was, that either way task had to be stopped at 16:30, when they set it at 17h and when you cut half an hour from it, in the end you get 16:30 :) Smart ass...
Congrats to new National champion Iztok who deserves the place and Alan for second place, they both showed good flying on all days, everything else was pure lottery with exception of last day.
There was a group opinion that this competition was run really bad. I feel sorry for foreign pilots and hope they wont think this kind of meet running as this meet director had is common for Slovenian races.
No weather report, points sent to GPS-es in different formats, flying while organizing in dangerous weather and so on. I could count more.
Results HERE, pictures from the last day HERE
Now a bit of rest for two days and then Buzet open!

sreda, 10. julij 2013

Slovenia nationals, task 2

I was looking strange when our organizer called us to go to Kovk take off, which most unsuitable take off for Bora wind which was predicted for today. I even did not rigged, as I was sure things are not going to change. Well, while I was typing the coordinates to my Oudie instrument, (we will talk about it more later this summer) I saw that the wind changed for a bit longer period.
Task was set to 118 km which took us up and down the ridge all the way trough rotors of Caven to Lijak in Nova Gorica and back to Nanos.
After slow start we started the race at amazing 2500 m, unbelievable... Clouds where growing and we smelt some troubles in the air, but the race was one. I had a good start but picked up pa bad line and had to fight to get back to the first group. I managed to get them half the way. Some pilots took the line behind Caven and got enormous height and glided to Gorice while rest of us raced lower.
On the way back a decent shower built ahead of us, lighting came, that is where I decided to go down and not risk of flying trough the shower when there was another one waiting behind it.
There will be a lottery with results, another day with lottery :/ If they accept stopped task. There might be a chance that they even cancel it, but I hardly believe this will happen.
I was in a good position at the moment so lets see what lottery will bring up.
After all the land is soaked now, I think tomorrow forecast will not give us a chance to fly, but let us see what happens. Friday finally looks like a normal day, so we will get a chance to do proper racing.
After that I am preparing to go to Croatia. I lost many points for my national team because of Trofe Carlo Zanchetin. Don`t know who is responsible for that but in the end my third place there won`t count for FAI points, which makes a big difference in fight for the place for European Championship next year in Spain. Still looking forward to fly in Buzet with most reliable weather so far.

Organizers are doing their best to have things running up on net with pictures on Facebook, results are a bit slow on HERE. Enjoy the multimedia ;)

torek, 09. julij 2013

Slovenia nationals task 1

First day we got a day with a bit less Bora wind. This is strong east wind, but we have a miracle take off here that is hidden from this wind and we can still fly. The task was set to 69 km with two triangles as there is not much space, where you can play with task, but in the end it turned out to have enough twists of big tasks.
I took off an was going well with first group where we started really high, at around 2300 m which is really high here. First two points where in the area where clouds where still developing but then we had to go out. We took a straight line and hoped for a good air at the other side of the valley on the "wind" side of the hills, but knowing what a gamble it was we just found some lift that drifted us far from the way. I made a glide back to the goal, where I was on the way to the 4th turnpoint and landed there. The whole group landed and it seemed like there is no ticket to get back from that far point.
1 hour later, guys took care and went a bit back to the good air and went for a further point from there and making it.
Iztok Jarc won the day ahead of Alan Sattler second and Frim Jože in third place. All of the rest will be in the zone where we landed.
Traditional first day for me, but with a good start and good gaggle to go on.
Tomorrow looks kind of the same wit less wind. I think Lijak all over again.

ponedeljek, 08. julij 2013

Slovenia nationals 2013

It has been a while since I wrote anything on my blog, but this still does not mean that nothing was going on. I just refuse to sit next to computer too much. My neck is still causing some problems and sitting next to computer does not help at all.
In the mean time we made a photo shooting day with Samo Vidic, professional Slovenian photographer. I survived flying with Canon Mark III on the tail, with some counter balance of course.

Next project was for Nokia, where we spent two days filming solely with Lumia 920 phones, I cant tell you much more, but I think this will be something special to see :)
Today, on Monday we have first day of our nationals here in Vipava valley, but some drops of rain and strong Bora wind predicted is calling for a day off for today. Tomorrow looks good.