After some potential concern about my hang gliding loyalties and a bit of actual concern about the state of the car and gliders, I'm happy to report that I'm still a Moyes pilot; the car is all in one piece, shiny and clean and driving quite nicely; and of course the gliders are completely unharmed ;-) Not a thing to worry about!
So, here we are still in Italy. The original plan was to go to the Slovenian competition, but when we realized how close we were to the site of the Italian Championships in Parma, we decided to go for a quick detour and check it out. While the landscape is beautiful, as is most of Italy, the choice of landing fields around here leaves a bit to be desired. We found HQ yesterday and the organizers of the comp - they are wonderfully friendly and helpful. Alessandro showed us launch and then took us to the two official landing fields. It was too late in the day to fly - this is a very early site and they explained that during the comp, launch will open by 11am or earlier most days. So, we went up today, hoping to give it a try. Unfortunately, we were a bit late and after rigging and hooking in and hanging out on launch all ready to go for quite some time, I gave up. The wind was consistently over the back. Shedsie opted for the "over the back" launch which consisted of a ski slope slot cut in the trees off the backside. Even after his fine looking launch, I couldn't work up the courage to run down a narrow slot straight toward tall trees. Maria and I packed up and headed down to retrieve Shedsie and have a little picnic before the late afternoon thunderstorms rolled in.
Tomorrow we will try Brescia, another site on the opposite site of Parma. It's a bit more in the flatlands. Although they say conditions are soft this time of year, any airtime will be great I'm sure.