Sunday, May 20, 2012

Missed opportunity

The forecasts for yesterday showed very good flying conditions for Flanders, my home region. This is not often the case due to being close to the see, but even more of a problem is the lack of launch options.

I live in Gent and the closest launch option is winch towing club Jan van Gent in Nieuwvliet, just 3 km's from the sea. I knew I had to launch early there, because the sea breeze was going to set in, but is was a rare opportunity to fly over my region. So, I arrived there at 10 AM (it's still a 1 hour drive) and was rigged by 10:30. Some paraglider pilots where winching, but the guy who knew how to winch hang gliders hadn't arrived yet. Big, dark cumi's appeared over our heads as the sea breeze started to develop. This was the time to go. By 11 AM the winds abruptly switched from inland winds to the breeze coming from the see. I knew it was too late...

I had one tow in super smooth air and decided to derig after that. By the time I got home, the sky was epic (this picture doesn't even show the best of it).

Does anybody know about any winch or ultralight towing sites in northern France? We often have south-west winds and I'd love to fly over Flanders once...

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