24 Jun 03

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Competition Time

Ariane writes: Today I was invited to fly with Hervé in the club Duo for one day of the Regionals. We were lucky enough to be last on the grid as the day was quite unpromising with 8/8ths upper cover and and strong inversion at 1400m. At around 1pm we were off and were given a 300 kms assigned area task with a maximum distance of 480 kms. We started very soon after the gate was opened but after an hour and half conditions were getting better and we made a restart.

Shadow on Cheval Blanc

At the time I was surprised...it would mean that the flight was going to be a long one. I was not wrong in my thoughts - going to our second turnpoint proved to be interesting as we were never above ridge height and did not turn between Jalinier (near La Motte) to Castillon. I saw many ridges from low down and we flew all the time at about 140 kph. I experienced the flight most of the time with our shadow on the rock face.
When we  headed north towards our next turn point it was already late and the conditions were deteriorating. We went right into the furthest corner of our task (probably a mistake at that  time). We climb at Tete d'Amont and headed south for our last turn point. We could not cross the pas de la Cavale so elected to come back the long way via Guillaume. Finally we felt we had taken too long and were going to  land straight back when at 1200m at the Crete de Selles we were rewarded by a favourable ridge all the way to Montagne d'Aujour to give us enough height to turn the last point. After our 160kph final glide home we learned that we were the only glider still airborne except for John and Martin in WE4.




PS: As a further note to yesterday's 'poor day' on which very few non-competition pilots flew, Dudu, professional airline pilot and local pundit, managed a 1020km yo-yo in his Nimbus 3. Which just goes to show how little the rest of us know...

Low in the Ecrins

Grande Seolene

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