Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Flying with the Belgians in Annecy

We're having great times right now. Our group, 15 pilots strong, is flying the Annecy area and we're lucky enough to have great flying conditions. The idea is to fly together and do some XC-flying. The area is outright beautiful, with snow capped mountains all around. Yesterday, Kurt and I flew a nice 80 km flight, soaking in the views. Today's idea is to fly to the Aravis range and, if the conditions look good enough, into the Chamonix valley. 2 More days before the bad weather arrives and we'll get out of here...

Crossing the Annecy lake during the first leg of yesterday's flight with Kurt:

And this is on the way back to Annecy:

Everyone is just having good fun. Some are flying cross-country and some beginner pilots are doing local flights. No-one has outlanded yet. Time to push it a bit more and go twice as far ;-)

Friday, March 13, 2015

2015 Worlds: a statistic

Everybody's always asking what the best glider out there is. And there are many factors which play a role in that, such as pure glide performance, handling or just the fun you get when flying it. But, now, after the worlds, we can finally calculate it. Here's a statistic: take the number of gliders flown by manufacturer and the number of gliders they have in the top 20. Divide these numbers and you get a relative score which must be the definitive answer to which glider is the best one ;-)

These are the results:

ManufacturerScore
Icaro40
Aeros26
Moyes23
Wills Wing13

So, if you buy an Icaro and participate in the Worlds, you have a 40% chance to be in the top 20. You know that statistics never lie.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Heading for the Aeros Winter Race

I still have a few holidays which have to be used soon, so the Aeros Winter Race is the perfect solution to that problem :-) Except that my harness and glider aren't back from Australia yet. They are currently in Egypt and should be home in 2 weeks time, just in time for spring in Belgium.

So, I won't be flying this Winter Race on my trustworthy RX, but will be flying my 2012 Combat GT. And Kurt has borrowed me his Skyline harness, so that should work out as well. The glider will be checked by Primoz tomorrow and I'm driving to Nova Gorica immediately after, to meet Matjaz again and we'll do some test flying on Tuesday. The comp starts on Wednesday!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Dreaming of the main Alpine Ridge

While checking out options for the Belgian Nationals (20th - 26th of July), I came across a movie of Anton & Artur, who cross the main ridge by passing by the Grossvenediger. I've seen it before, but hang gliding sure doesn't get much better. Spectacular!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Forbes 2015 Movie

By now, everybody knows that we had the greatest time in Australia. And Gijs captured that feeling in his movie about Forbes 2015:

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Forbes 2015 - Final Task

We had a great day out today. A 115 km task was set and the thunderstorms allowed us to complete the task. There was only one big one 30 km N of goal, but we never got into trouble.

I raced for dear life today and overcooked it near the first turnpoint. First there, but low. Spent 15 minutes getting some decent altitude again, and by that time, others had gone past me at altitude. From there, I had a pretty good run into goal, sharing the last thermal with Trent. And since we were ex-aequo in the standings, final glide was going to be the decider for us. I watched Trent's glide and diverted of course line, to get into a 4 m/s thermal 5 km before goal. That decided it for us. Always great to fly with Trent. Good memories of Monte Cucco 2009!

I think I was 4th or 5th into goal and I'm probably going to move up to 4th or 5th overall. A nice result to a very nice comp. 27 hours of airtime (incl. practice day). Not bad! All tasks into goal and a bit slow on task 1 and the first half of the long 255 km task. Forbes delivered!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Quick note on task 4 and 5

Task 4 was a 255 km task to Gunbar (50 km short of Hay). There wasn't much wind and I lost a lot of time being low early in the task. Made it to goal together with 28 others which is definitely a strong performance for the group. Lots of people with personal bests. I was slow though and dropped to 8th overall.

Yesterday's task was a 150 km race to the South, but it was stopped due to thunderstorms. I had been charging out front all the time but slowed down when we got close to the storms, because I wanted to know if the task would be stopped and because I reached a point where I thought I couldn't go any further without safe escape route. Everybody got together in a big gaggle, which is reflected in the scores. Some flew into the dark sky and got some more points. It is my feeling that the race should have been stopped a bit earlier, because the scores would have been consistent with the true racing positions before things got unsafe.