Thursday, August 14, 2014

Party Night

When the Brits and the French get together to throw a party, you better hold on to your hats!  Last time this happened a few years ago in St Andre was one of the best parties I've ever been too.  Last night's was at least as fun with a great dance band and absolutely everyone up on the dance floor.  Kind of makes up for the lack of flying the last few days (and probably today too).

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Day 3

Day 2 was cancelled.  We knew there was a risk of thunderstorms, but headed up the hill to wait there just in case they didn't materialize.  They cancelled the task fairly early and quite a few people free flew. The Rooster got a chance to fly my baby T2C before an actual task.  He had borrowed Gary Wirdnam's Laminar 13.7 which he really liked in non-race conditions.  But apparently trying to race with it was not so easy for him - a bit too big and too much bar pressure.  He decided the Wonkas were more to his liking ;-).  

Turns out the thunderstorms didn't hit until around 4:30, but they came with a vengeance.  We sat on the terrace and watched a spectacular light show across the valley.  

Day 3 sent us to Tre Pizzi because they expected (and got) strong north wind.  It's quite a hike up hour drive and then a 100 meter walk up a steep hill.  It was cold and very windy, but still fine for a task.  A small lead gaggle of 5 made goal, but the middle gaggle consisting of about 25 or so gliders all got flushed around the same time.  Trudy and I sat at goal watching the live tracking (which was working fantastically yesterday!!) in horror as one by one, within seconds of each other they started dropping like flies.  Funny thing is that Pippo said the cloud street there were under looked just perfect and they were confident all was fine until their feet hit the ground.  Apparently a later group missed that flush and came through nearly to goal.  Once again, my hero twin kicked butt landing the closest to goal of anyone other than the goalies and coming in I think 7th for the day!  Go maria!!!

Monday, August 04, 2014

Italian Nationals - Monte Cucco - Day 1

I sure love being back at Cucco. This is one of the most pleasant, relaxed places for a big competition and it's all put together by one of the best organizers on the planet.  Even if we didn't fly all week, the food, the wide, the countryside, the friendly's just heavenly here. 

I got to have a nice practice day flight day before yesterday in pretty strong winds.  My days at Rainbow Beach have made me feel so much more confident in strong wind that I didn't even think twice about launching in 30-35kph breezes.  It couldn't have been a more perfect day, with nice strong lift pretty much everywhere.  I only wish we could get about 10kph of that wind down in the landing field sometimes.  It always seems to be pretty darn calm down there.  

Yesterday was another practice day but the wind was ever so slightly stronger and it was just plain cold, so we were lazy and didn't bother to fly.  The forecast was for really nice conditions today, so most decided to just rest up.

Today was Task 1 - 93km zigzag back and forth between the south part of the main ridge and Gubbio. The sky looked awesome and winds were fairly light on launch (for Cucco anyway).  I believe there were probably 15-20 in goal with Alex coming in first just a few seconds ahead of Christian.  But the best part of the day by far, was watching my twin Maria make goal!!  She's flying so incredibly well on her little T2C.