As most of my thoughts go into my electronic log book (see link above), and/or on facebook, I will just give a quick overview of the last competitions I attended.
European Championships, St Andre, 3. – 15. September:
I just got home after 2 weeks of racing the French Alps. We got 7 flying days of which 6 scored (one was cancelled before the start because of overdevelopment risk along the course). The flying was great, with some wonderful moments flying above alpine mountains, strong thermals on the right spots, and tricky valley winds that could blow north or south. In some situations, this could produce some challenging leeside flying. Especially the task we had to Digne and back was memorable, getting low on the way back and ridge soaring all the way up the mountain south of Digne… Also, very interesting final glides flying the main takeoff ridge low, back to goal. Interesting task setting with the End-of-Speed and Goal cylinders in the mountain side east of St Andre. Coming in low when the wind was from the south could produce some pretty dangerous leeside conditions. They finally put the goal over the takeoff instead, which was good. Overall, the Norwegian team got 11th with Kjell-Harald as best Norwegian at 30th. I got 76th which didn’t come as a surprise because I was a bit more cautios in this competition after the experience at the World Championship last year. Especially the start gaggles were often pretty agressive.
The best briefing we had was when the meet Director said: “As you can see, we have a problem with the winds at takeoff. The wind is too strong. And then there is a problem with the wind in the goal field. The valley wind is too strong. And then there is a problem with the air…. (everybody laughed). But don’tm worry, we’ll soon send out the wind dummies.” A big congratulations to 2012 European Champion Yassen Savov from Bulgaria
Paragliding World Cup Krushevo, Macedonia 04-11 August:
I can only say: Great flying, great scenerey, great people, great food, beautiful women and some pretty nice tasks. I’d like to refer to Macedonia as the “Valle de Bravo” of Europe. Especially cruising 3500 meters over the big flats where 3 of the 4 biggest cities in Macedonia are located… Congratulations to winner Olivier Michielsen (FRA).
Nordic Open, Ager, Spain 23-29 July:
Some very nice racing here. I did pretty well on many of the tasks including the last one which I won. Unfortunately, I ate something that made my stomach feel like it had knifes in it so I had to pass one day. Too bad, since a podium position was on the horizon… Overall, I would definately go back to Ager. 🙂 Congratulations to Juan Carlos Becerra (VEN) for taking the Nordic Open away from the scandinavians. 😉