Monday, June 30, 2008

Task stopped.... nim on courseline. This shot taken from launch.

Tail, Cross or almost nil wind on launch....

...not the best if conditions on take-off today. Robin pushed and so
was forced to launch fairly quickly. Both he and Luis launching behind
him took a few stones with them and gave us all quite a scare.

Here's Shapiro showing us all how easily it can be done.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Launch Dance know how it goes....short little steps, eyes down toward the feet, push out a far as your arms will allow ;-) Carl and I demonstrate. Some seem to be really good at it!

Day 4 - Task Cancelled

Just after landing, meet officials came over and told me the task was cancelled for the day and to notify my team. It was a 70km triangle, but there was a fair amount of overdevelopment at the first turnpoint. In setting the task, they had worried about that. Oh well, another rest day and another flight for me!

Chabre Launch Again

Apparently the rumors of a French protest were greatly exxaggerated.

There were two blown launches yesterday. One Dutch pilot who
dislocated his shoulder, broke a rib and blew out his knee. Havent
heard the status of the other, but I'm assuming he's alright. Its kind
of nice to be back at the Chabre today.

Here is the task committee figuring out what we'll do today.


Jeff O'brien is doing great here. He's 13th overall as of yesterday. Go Jeffo!!!

Yesterday's standings were:

Andreas Ollsen
Robin Hamilton
Gary Wirdnam
Christian Voiblet

Here's the ridge were the Aspres launches are situated. Nice photos by Scott who is in the lead overall!

Saturday, June 28, 2008


As we were enjoying dinner on the patio outside Davis & Belinda's place, we learned there may be a protest by the French team. It seems no one was very happy that the task was stopped. There was grumbling that there was no rain or dangerous conditions on courseline, but rather just a little near goal. Close to 50 gliders came into goal after the task had been stopped, so the argument is that there was no safety reason for stopping it.

Talk among some is that Robin Hamilton may have won the day...that would be cool!!

Plenty in...

Back at the camping goal there are dozens here. Andreas was first in
but took the first clock. Attila and Alex took the second clock and
were in pretty quickly so its hard to say who might have won. As I'm
writing, they have stopped the task presumably because of the
overdevelopement here at goal.

Launch open....

....finally. Late day waiting for the wind to blow up (or at least not
down) on launch. After 2 holds, they finally started launching about
15 minutes ago. One blown launch so far...don't know who it is :-(

Day 3, Task 2

Wagon Train

A bit of shifting around of launches today. It has been blowing tail
at the Aspres launch so we were finally moved up the hill to a more
west facing launch. We'll see how that goes.

Mini Mistral

The wind blew yesterday - hard. We were all directed to drive up to launch despite the fact that reports from up there said the wind was "crazy strong". Anyway it was a cool site to see. At least it didn't take long for the day to be officially canned.

Another lovely swim in the river on the way down to the thrift store in town. Nic and the Jeffs really wanted to check that out. Some very entertaining finds ;-)

We thought we ought to take advantage of our great villa, so we had a little get-together with the French boys, the headed to the party/bonfire in town. Great rest day!!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Unofficial Results - Day 1

Scott Barrett won the day by a giant margin - about 20 minutes ahead of Gary Wirdnam in second and Gordon Rigg in third. Apparently there were only 6 in goal. I don't know who the other three were. Davis landed in a tiny creek bed in an extremely narrow canyon. Natalia from Russia landed on the side of the mountain near him. Shapiro had a slightly larger field up the canyon 5 km or so along with 10 others and many broken uprights.

After an incredibly long day of retrieving pilots from deep within the canyons, we got back to Laragne in time for all of the restaurants and supermarkets to be much for dinner :-/

Some pretty tiny landing fields today!

....all of the American team landed a bit short today in some
amazingly small canyons. We just picked up Davis who landed in a creek

Looks like Scott Barrett probably won the day.

132 km Square Task

....with goal back at camping.

Day 1

We're using the alternate launch today because of prevailing west
winds. Its a bit of a drive- about 30 kilometers or so outside of
Laragne. Its well worth the drive though...heaps of set up space and a
beautiful grassy takeoff. Weather looks perfect and the cues are
starting to pop nicely now at 11:30.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Rest Day

One last day of relaxation before the comp starts. We had hoped for another nice flight like yesterday, but on launch conditions were iffy with fairly consistent breeze out of the west (the wrong direction). Instead of flying, we opted for a bit of tourism and checked out the citadel at Sisteron, followed by the opening ceremonies back in Laragne.

Davis rocking out to Neil Diamond on the way up ;-)

Practice Day

Nice mellow conditions for a flight yesterday.  There was a bit of an inversion so we weren't getting terribly high, but I was just happy to get in the air.  Had a chance to check out that bomb out LZ and get that out of the way ;-)  Today's conditions are looking similar, but should be fine for a relatively short flight before the opening ceremonies this evening.  

We have a great villa we're sharing with the Scandinavians.  Pool and lovely patio and a straight view of launch.  

Monday, June 23, 2008

Finally in France

I was too beat, but the boys opted for a late afternoon flight after sorting out our accommodation this morning. Launch conditions weren't ideal and I was a bit nervous after several blown launches in the past few days. But, they were happy to get the lay of the land before tomorrow's official practice day. Of course, we had to stop at the river for a quick swim along the way....nice cool water and silly diving boys to entertain ;-)

I'll fly tomorrow and check the place out a bit. The weather seems perfect at the moment and our house near the road to launch is ideal....pool, lovely terrace and hot Scandinavians! Got a nice chat with Attila after dinner - always good to see him. All of my favorite Brits are here as well, along with Scott and Monica from Newcastle!

If I had teeth on my tongue, I would want to be mounted too!

Early arrival in Munich where we found the Jeffs looking as lovely as ever. Jack McGyver fashioned a great rack system for the van and found a spot to sprawl out with all of our gear while they put it all together...only a few hundred strange looks from other travelers in the airport.

Planning to catch the prize giving and after party for the Euros, we made the drive to Greifenburg straight away. I guess many people had to leave for the pre-worlds, so they moved the prize giving up from 8pm to noon, so we missed everything. At 5pm when we arrived, Greifenburg looked abandoned. But we were probably too tired for a party anyway and a good night's sleep gave us the boost we needed to fly the next day. We had been wishy-washy about flying versus hitting the road for Laragne. We were sooooo happy to have opted for a flight. Conditions were heavenly and we all landed in Betina's field with perma-grins ;-)

Just enough time for a quick swim at the landing field pond and some showing off at the diving board before we hit the road again. We arrived in Laragne at about 6 this morning, having taken turns driving through the night. Everyone is beat, but excited about flying today!!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Pack heavy, start late, go slow...

...our motto!

Drinking tequila at the bar inside security at Ft. Myers. The gliders
got in without a second look- no questions, no problems, they didn't even charge Jack. Things are gonna be good!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Nobody's Baby Now

Isn't freedom the best gift anyone can give??

Timothy and I had a very memorable last day in Nova Scotia. He's back on the boat now, sailing the last leg of his round the world journey and I'm back at home packing my things and getting ready for my summer travels. But, we had an incredible time in Nova Scotia. Last day was cold and incredibly windy. We had arranged for a sea kayaking tour of the cold waters of Cape Bretton, but woke up to wind gusting up to 70kmp! Ouch! Ended up chatting up our kayaking guide and learning that he was playing a gig that night at a historic lodge in one of the next towns over. In his little kayaking shop, he played for us the CD of the fellow he would be playing with. We just couldn't resist making the hour and half drive up the cape. Turned out to be a fantastic gamble....the music was exactly the kind I love- melodic with beautiful vocals and harmonies that sounded so much like Dan Fogelberg with a bit of a Scottish accent. The band (Angelo, Cyril and Harold) treated us like we were long lost family members - they sat at our table and chatted between sets, made special dedications to us and even invited us up to stay in their log cabin and ski this winter. I have a feeling there will be a ski trip in my plans for the winter ;-)