High Hopes in the French Alps

Task 1 – Belgian Open

Never changing Chabre Scrappy Launch!

Ok so here we are in Laragne for the Belgian Paragliding Open. Great reception as usual with the added delight of a gift pack of Belgian chocolate biscuits together with their world renowned belgian beer… and you wonder why we like this competition!

...and down the other end!

So far only one task as the weather has not been appropriate for paragliders although yesterday the hangies were making the most of it. Task 1, was an interesting one. A 101kms quadrilateral task. Perhaps ambitious for the into wind section, as no one made goal. There were unfortuantely two incidents but that seems to go with the territory these days…sadly.

Up on Chabre ridge it never ceases to amaze me how after all these years the launch is still as scrappy with line shredding rocks and stones, and almost impossible to reverse launch without tripping up on the loose rocks stretegically placed for the purpose!  the terrain can so easily damage gliders. It’s such a crap launch, it would be fantastic if the area was cleared like the other french flying sites, but am not sure if the FFVL have the control of the area, I think it’s in the hands of the local commune. Gripe over….

Today we had a late briefing as the wind is here without any uncertainty, blowing 38kms on launch early on, so the day was canned as expected. Tomorrow the plan is to relocate to the Col de Bleine and maybe try to task there but even that isn’t guaranteed, so it’s all a bit up in the air.

So far, we both have really enjoyed our flights, I enjoyed finally getting to grips with my insturment and start gate issues, I managed a good flight, enjoyed it and was happy to be a little further up the scale than my slack British efforts at St Jean! Still it’s all a learning curve and am happy to be back in the comp scene regardless. Funnily enough after I’d hit some ‘not nice stuff’ and thought it was a good time for me to land, I picked a field where I saw one other pilot, as I was coming in you’d never believe who it was???? Yes it was Dennis, I couldn’t believe it, anybody would have thought we were in cohoots!!  very funny….

It was a good day!

August 23, 2011 - Posted by | Competition, Flying

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