Sunday, March 26, 2017

Governador Valadares

After a tough rainy winter in California, I got the opportunity to pop down to Brasil for the first of the two-comp Brasilian Nationals series.  The plan was to report the competition from the HG Outlanders blog, but we seem to be having some technical difficulties with it, so for now, I'll be reporting here.

It's a long (time, not distance) drive from Rio de Janiero up here to what feels like the middle of very rural Brasil.  But it's worth every bumpy, pothole filled hour...all nine or so of them.  This part of the country looks like nothing I've seen before.  For 360 degrees the landscape is nothing but pretty little round, green hills.  Even way off in the distance, there are curiously larger rounded mountains....nothing like you see in Europe or the US.

Launch overlooks the city of Governador Valadares with two lovely ramps and plenty of green grassy slope to launch in both directions.  I'm told that conditions here would remind me of Colombia - relatively soft and smooth with short distances between climbs.  I do wish I was flying! Meanwhile, reporting from up here is not too shabby either. With a cafe and free wifi, it reminds me of Greifenburg, but without the rain.

Two practice days gave us plenty of time to get acquainted with the steep drive up to launch, the busy city and the pretty scenery.  But today was the first actual task.  All the top Brasilian are here of course, along with Jonny Durand and half of the Italian team preparing to battle it out with the Brasilians at the end of the summer at the worlds.

Task 1 is a 115km run toward the NE and returning to a goal field just behind launch.  The first start was about 5 minutes ago and everyone was easily off the hill and is ready to go on course in lovely looking conditions. Thunderstorms are expected either tomorrow or the next day, so I'm sure they're happy to get a good task to start things off.

Everyone is tracking with FlyMaster live trackers and you can see each competition day HERE.  It doesn't look like they have the task up today, but you can see where everyone is anyway.  I expect the task will be there soon.

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