nedelja, 25. julij 2010

9th and the last task Europeans

The overall new European champion Gerolf

Waking up in the morning showed overcastted sky with take off place in the clouds. Juaki sent us again to the top but we felt like this will only be the day for drying the gliders from rain in the morning. There was actually rain in the morning, but Gerolf rain dance was not enough to end the competition and we had to set up again on the take off. Clouds slowly raised up and the task of 87 km was called.

The task was set out to the flats and then with the tail wind to goal in Calaf. Waiting for the start gate was again crazy flying in between missiles in very rough air. Afterwards it was all much easier, it was so nice to see ground speed over 110 km/h without a big effort as tail wind helped us most of the way. I popped out of a thermal 10 km before goal as I saw Carl getting faster thermal but I was not able to find it. As I struggled to get back up for final glide Alex Primoz and the others went over me to the goal. I managed to get in to the goal behind second gaggle on 27th place.

Mario won the day quite in front of the rest but Gerolf was patience and came in to the goal with winning overall European champs.

I ended up on 28th place in overall, I am satisfied, this was actually my goal to make it in this years championship. It could be much better if I would not sit down two times just before goal but hey, it is a lesson learned every time. If I look at Gerolf I have at least 20 years more or 10 more chances to win this one day :)

The price giving ceremony took place late in the night and I seemed like it was all a really good party. We had to go home just after the price giving. I managed to get a soar muscle right after steping out of the van, better at this time then before :) I need to prepare myself for leaving to Cucco on Friday.

Here is a short video of price giving ceremony

četrtek, 22. julij 2010

Task 8, 67 km

Yesterday we had a short 67 km task flying from Ager valley to Vilamitiana goal again. There was really strong wind on takeoff with gusts up to 35 km/h. I felt really uncomfortable to take off in this conditions. By looking at the pilots in the air it looked like it is not turbulent at all. The hardest part was to get of the ground, afterward it was all ok. Nice lift with a low cloud base. I made a mistake on flats when I pushed out to low and got caught with strong wind which grounded me at 48 km. Many pilots in goal again with Christian winning the day in front of Tom by leading points. Tom was a bit faster in goal but leading points put Christian to the first place.

Gerold is still winning the overall ranking. Today we have a cancelled task, a bit free time to relax. For tomorrow there is a question if we will fly or not. I hope that we will.

Overall very good organised competition with leading man Juaki who impressed me with his knowledge and authority overall competition. It is only the social part of the meeting that is missing. Usually we had something organised to get pilots together, here this is not existing. As long as we fly, there is no problem with that :)

Cucco? Maybe I will be actually able to go, but just to free fly and have fun with thousands of take offs and landings at the top of the mountain. Can`t wait.

torek, 20. julij 2010

Jonny's co-pilot here in Ager (Missing)

We got to know now, what is causing the problems to Jonny with his landings lately :) He had a co-pilot in Australia and now he has been left behind, the one and only BATMAN :)

Task 7 121 km

7th task was made to 127 km around two turnpoints, one near Turbon and then flying out in to the flats of Balaguer.
The weather was predited with thermals up to 2500m and later to 3000 but strong west wind and a storm in the Pyrenes killed the good air to us who where lower then we should be. I was hiting the wall on the start cylinder with a choice of going forward and fly in to the gorge but I ended up with choice for my safety and landed before after several tries. 19 pilots in goal with Tom wining the task before young Thevenot and Dan Vyhnalik. There where some scary landings again with few broken gliders as people pushed in to the areas with out a decent landing field of course too low. There is also quite a lot of words of gaggle flying in the start gates, people are either aggressive and pushing out or they connect to the thermal going straight in to the circle of others, so if you are in position to hit him you`re the one who needs to turn. I hate people going in to the thermal like this. There has even been an air collision between gliders on one of the previous days, now imagine how scary sometimes it is in the air with all of this aggressive pilots who are willing to kill themselves and others to gain this 3 m more then the others. I find myself many times going out from the gaggle to find my own spot and ussualy I found but in 10 seconds I was in the same mess as before. Guess this is my biggest handicap which I need to make it better.

Today a storm woke us so no flying today, feels good to rest a bit but I hope for some flying until the end of the Europeans. Weather prediction is not that good but lets hope for it. I am now 31th, one place less then my plan on this Europeans but still ok. Errors have been made but learning is learning.
Gerolf is still winning the overall rankings so he is now in good position to finally get the title.

Statistics in 7 tasks

720 km
Around 30 hours of air time

ponedeljek, 19. julij 2010

Task 6, 111km

Blue sky day day said. Yet again another day where we had to struggle with big gaggle in turbulent thermals. I stayed on the ridge for two hours being below the ridge for many times. We had to fly back from take off in to a “tiger land” like Corinna usually say. No landing fields or very few, usually with slope. I was not able to regain enough height so I took a chance to the flats close to the goal field. I was nearly grounded and with out hope of making it as I hit the thermal that made this hope reality back again.

I flew with Marc from Spain for most of the time, from the first turnpoint on it was quite easy. I was in goal among the last but happy that I eventually made it. As I took the last time I ended up at 36th position. Primoz was in goal a bit before me with Franc landing before first turnpoint and Alan landing earlier due to the GPS malfunction. Gerold won the day again. Seems like it is working out finally for him.
Jonny flew after yesterday`s crash, strong will I have to say, flying like this.

The retrieve yesterday was crazy, Alen from Croatia landed in small field before first turnpoint with 10 km of offroad. Imagine us with a van driving on a road for 4*4 vehicle….
We came back to the camping at midnight and fall to the bed again.
For today they say it is big chance of overdevelopment so we will see what will they prepare for us again. I hope I wont be looking at this area close up again… 

sobota, 17. julij 2010

Task 5 around 140 km

Weather prediction was for more cloud cover today but with good lift. Well today they where wrong :)
The task was set to the west and then back on the main ridge of Ager to the end and out on the flats.
Soon after we came baxk to the ridge high clouds came in and killed good conditions. I stayed with the second group towards the second turnpoint. Coming back to the valley of Ager showed slow lift. I saw first group on top but by myself I was going up realy slowly. My impatience worked out again as I pushed to the flats by myself and landed on 110 km. After me I did not saw anyone passing towards the goal but still the forst group made it.
Alex Ploner won the task. Gerold is still in the lead.
Jonny Durand had a bad landing and doesn`t remeber anything but he is ok thankfully. Froum our team PRimoz and Franc made it t the goal.
A hard and long task. We will see the results.

Task 4 Europeans 198km

Realy fast as I sleeped to long today :) Yesterday we had a 198km task with 60 pilots in goal. Super great weather, fast flying and one of the most scenic flight in my life. Too bad that I was only one km short otherwise it would be top 20 again. Seems like I have to start working now, it is the last time :)
Franz Hermann won the day, Gerold is still leading.

Here is teh video that Jonny made on yesterdays flight

petek, 16. julij 2010

Gerolds dayzzzz

3. task was set to 111 km with start gate on the course that is already familiar to us with the goal in the flats where we have not been yet. I was 8 km short, when you got left behind it was a very slow and patiente fly over the flats to the goal.
I had problems with speed sensor as I pulled out the tbe too much, when you don`t have it then you seehow much you need all this data in the air.
The retrive was long, we came back at 12 in the evening falling down to the bed. Look at the score showed more then 40 pilots in goal, very good for condititons like this.
I did a mistake when leaving the last thermal too soon in hope that I will find another one but there was none anymore. I strugled above some electric wires for a long time but id did not worked out.

There is one more thing we NEED to add here, poor Austrian guy named Gerolf got a bit stressed while reading all this poetic blogs from Europeans and founding out that facts like his win yesterday and the task before this one was not mentioned in them :)
Seems like we can make a blog and publish link to the result, maybe we can mark his name with a screaming color so it will be seen to everyone and blog from Ager will be just another step to the official web page.
Gerolf is a big person in hang gliding comunity by his work and "personality", but there is one more thing left for him. Some kind of tittle like Euroepan champion or world champion. So many times so close but not made it, Gerolf we wish you to work out good, I mean, after all this years it would be time to have it :)

Another day, another flight!

torek, 13. julij 2010

2. task Europeans

First of all, I have to tell a little a about living here. Nights are great for sleeping, the temperature is just the right one, but, there is another problem. Some small bugs are eating us here :) Little tinny flies that bite like hell. Every evening before sleeping there is a quest for those flies in the tent and afterwards you wish that you have made it to have a nice sleep after all.

Mornings are great relaxed, we start late at 11 to the take off so it is different to other European comps that usually get you to the take off already at nine. Primoz is making his delicious food, but we need to cook for our selves other wise he will be hungry at Monte Cucco :)

Tasks are set late, like somewhere around three and we fly until eight in the evening. I kind of like it.

Today task was set to 91 km in clear skies as they predicted. Mostly the same route as yesterday only a bit shorter on every corner of it.

People started to take off in to very bad conditions, they struggled for a long time at the ridge so I waited for quite long to start.

I slowly prepared myself and the conditions where getting better also as Primoz told on the radio. By taking some bad thermals I finnaly hit the good one with the gaggle. One group got further to the west and got already to 2200 m. We started together but they where quite in front.
After drifting over plato we found some good thermals and it seemed like it is going to be a short and quick race. Elio, Gerolf and some others got in front while I got a bit low coming back from first turn point. We flew back over plato not looking down :)
We got back together with leading group before the last turn point as they got a weak thermal, they poped out on top and raced to the goal and then we, 10 minutes after them.
Nce race, I think I was in the first 30, quite good after yesterdays 12 place. Seems like a like this Spain flying here :)
Today all Slovenian team made it to the goal.

ponedeljek, 12. julij 2010

1. Task European championship

So it finnaly began. They set up the task of 131 km around the Ager with landing Villamitiana.

We listened to Primoz carefully about flying here, how late is the task start, how are the valleys working… Well, we got in to the air and it seems it was very hard to even stay up. High clouds came and killed the lift so we started with the last start gate at 15:30 and start our voyage trough the valleys.

Beautiful scenery of Ager valley impressed me. I flew a lot with Primoz with whom I found nice track with good lift almost all the way.

Seems like Balazs won the day, but we have to wait until results to see what happened as pilots choosed different times.

I was happy to be in the goal after first day here in Spain. Long way to go, but am looking forward for it.

I will try to write more tomorrow…

nedelja, 11. julij 2010

Opening ceremony

It is so damn hot here. We were sleeping like dead all night after a long drive. The Sunday should be the day to relax but we had to go to measure our gliders at Tomas Pellici “office”. Big, realy REALY hot white tent, where you did not feel ANY breeze, we just cook ourselves all day long as there was a lot of work to do. Rising the sprogs of course…

Seems like everyone had lower sprogs then year before on worlds, where the same gliders where measured. Ok, many went down :) but, let`s say mine, was not touched since then and has been lower for 1 degree. Many where talking about the difference from last year measurements. Tomas was sweating down as pilots where annoying him with big eyes every time. One guy went out and did not touched the sprogs but when he came to re - measure they got 2 degree difference. So much on measuring…

Poor Pelicci was working by itself to measure 90 anoying pilots, can not they get more people to do the job and leave the people some time to do other stuff then wait all day in the tent to see that the degrees changed somehow by itself :)

The opening ceremony started at 6:00 where they walked us trough nice villiage of Ager (See the picture), we had our own flag attached to the upright :) It all ended in the same tent as I spent most of my day :)
Jump in the pool in the evening made my day :)

Seems like there are hot 14 days in front of us, the area looks great, so I hardly wait for tomorrow to start.

After a long drive trough the night we are finnaly here at European championship site in Áger.

The story does not begin here. Sadly we had to leave one of our fellow pilots at home. Stanislav had a misfortune while working and injured himself, so he had to stay home. Suddenly the van that we rented got too big for only 4 people. What to do then?

I remembered that our fellow pilots from Croatia where on the same route as we so I made one call to Dario and he and Alen where for it right away.

We arrived somwhere around 6 today and where forced to measure the gliders right away. Before even seeing the camp…

Today the price ceremony for the Spain open will be held in Ager town but as I have some work to do I will skip that and fall a sleep like a dead man after the work is done.

Tommorow we will maybe go to the take off to have a test flight, of course if the opening ceremony won`t be to early in the day which I barely belive as we are in Spain :)

The official blog moved to HERE

torek, 06. julij 2010

European championship 2010 (Agér, Spain)

3 more days and we will pack all camping stuff, put the gliders on the van and start our voyage trough Italy, France and finnaly to Spain.
17th European championship will be held in small village called Agér, 2 hours drive to the north from Barcelona.
This year we will have a team of 5 pilots:

Alan Sattler
Primoz Gricar
Franc Peternel
Stanislav Galovec
Matjaz Klemencic

We could expand the number of pilots but it was already too late for making quick plans so no one else from Slovenia was in the mood to do it.

Primoz is already rocking at Espana open, Spain nationals, where he is in the lead after 4 tasks. Seems like a hot iron in the mold for Europeans. There will be also a hot race for team champions as there are numerous good teams flying in the comp.

For all the readers of my blog I took a look at the blogs that will be writing about Europeans this year and here they are:



Corinna`s sky

Jonny`s blog

The NAUGHTY lawyer


And of course my blog, where I will try to write and show as much as I can about it trough the words and pictures.