Chabre open day 1

OK, I’m a day behind with posting now. That’s the problem when it’s flyable – so busy!

Sunday’s challenge was a 40km elapsed time task. With a fair bit of north wind still around after the Mistral yesterday, we were flying from Bergies near Sederon. This in itself was a plus for me – I’ve flown around Laragne a fair bit, but this is one site I hadn’t flown!

DSCF7496

Catching the first thermal is known as a challenge and several good pilots were quickly in the landing field. Those who were lucky enough to get up and away enjoyed smooth strong climbs up to base at around 2300m.

It was a fairly straightforward task – two turnpoints and goal back in Laragne. A massive proportion of the pilots were downed by an into-wind leg on the final glide into the landing field. But with nearly 40 pilots in goal and lots of happy faces, it really was a great day.

Highlights for me were flying (and getting away from) a new site, bobbling along under a cloud street for several km and and seeing one of my best mates get into goal for the very first time!

As for the results (sorry I only really paid attention to the girls’ results, so apologies to those who were looking for a more objective report)…

IMAG0352Of the 16 girls in the competition, five got to goal (a slightly higher ratio than the blokes). Massive congrautations to Catherine Castle, Karlien Engelen and Ella Pyrah for popping their goal cherry! Particularly well done to Karlien who won the day flying her first ever comp task (and thanks for marking a
few thermals for me)!

As for me, at the end of the first task, I was 5th out of the girls and a fairly respectable 36th overall. I was one of a mass of pilots landing about 1km short of goal. If only Jockey’s transmission warning of a low level north wind had come two minutes sooner!

I learned some good lessons from the day. Most important, it’s that you have to keep working all the way to the end! Don’t assume you’re going to make it into goal until you’re actually there as you never know what’s going to present itself! So next time, I’m going to try and look at goal as just a waypoint on a longer flight, aiming to fly high over the top of it… And who know where I’ll end up?!

EDIT – OK, so we’ve already flown the second task before I got chance to post this, but no sneak previews, otherwise this will never get posted!

3 thoughts on “Chabre open day 1

  1. This was my first competition and I went just wanting to learn and enjoy and had no intention of being competitive. Then I got drilled 1.2km short of goal and was quite happy to land not realising how close I was; when I did, I was so frustrated with myself for giving up too easily. I should have turned back and tried to climb up the back of the Chabre to give me the extra height to get into goal. I surprised myself at how competitive I was. In later tasks I found myself shouting at myself in frustration when I got low. What a fantastic comp. See you there next year.

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