Frya Cup 2004

We got some good days flying this weekend at Frya. Hedemarken hanggliderklubb made a well arranged competition, and I think everyone had a good weekend. I drove up on Friday afternoon and met Robin at takeoff. It was clouded, but the sun broke through as we got ready, and I got a 20 minute flight thermalling in marginal conditions. Robin had his trike ready at the Airstrip, I had the towing rope in my harness and landed on the airstrip. Robin towed me up three times so I could play a little with the setup of the glider between each flight to feel the difference.

The last flight we towed up to 1000 meters in over the hills, and I released in a nice evening thermal. I could climb with 1,5 m/s and it topped out at 2000 meters, which is a good bonus considering it was past 20:00 in the evening. The sun was still up and I cruised around the area picking up some more lift here and there. I flew for 1 hour in smoooooth evening air.

Saturday we woke up to blue skies and no wind, we set a 104km task, and got off at 12:30. The conditions were blue, and it was quite slow in the beginning. I went up to 1800 meters together with Olav and Johnny. Nils Åge reported better climb ahead on the start cicle, so I went on glide but could not find it. I decided to continue the glide to a good triggerpoint over Harpefoss, and started first. The glide was good, but I found it difficult to get up from the valley side, thermals were broken and turbulent. Typical spring conditions, but not strong enough to go through the inversion. Nils Åge and Olav stayed behind and got more height to fly more over the mountain plateu where the conditions were better and more concistent. I finally got up again after flying low towards Vinstra, and got up to 2400 meters behind Kvam and in over the high plateu.

From there I stayed high, and met up with Olav and Nils åge just before the first TP at Otta. They had taken it, and left from 2000 meters, while I had to go out and take it. The headwind was picking up in the valley, and I lost too much going back from the TP. I could not get enough height to get into the mountains again, so I ridge soared against the wind to get around on the south side of Torgeirkampen where it should be good lift with the strong southerly wind up the valley. Arriving just before Sjoa I got high enough to cross over to the south side of Torgeirkampen, but all hell broke loose when I got over the ridge where the lift was supposed to be. It felt like I was in lee side turbulence mixed with strong thermals and wind. It did not make sense that the wind should have turned 180 degrees as I passed the ridge, but something must have changed in that moment. The turbulence was so strong I could not do anything but try to get away from the terrain and out into the valley. I had two incidents where the glider went into a steep spiral dive and did not recover before 2 and 3 full 360’s. I aimed for some nice big fields below, and tried to keep the glider pointed in that general direction. After missing the approach to 2 fields close to the road I gave up and safed on a huge plowed field next to the river. I barely made it down, going backwards in the wind a few times.

At 50 meters I threw the brake chute to get down as quickly as possible, and pulled in all I could. The landing was OK, but as I was carrying the glider towards the edge of the field the wind picked up to become violent. I held on to the front wires with all my weight, and my feet was slipping backwards from the pull of the brake chute. It was hailing stones and gravel onto my helmet and glider, and in the strongest gust I almost became airborne before the brake chute line broke, and I could hold on to the glider again with all my wheight. It calmed down to completely calm again in a few seconds, and I could carry the glider and pack it up before the next gust carried it off. The wind was strong from the north-east while i packed up and waited for retreive, totally opposite from the valley just a few km away.

I found the brake chute in a tree, and walked up to the road to wait for retreive. Thanks to Truls who drove us back! No one made goal, Robin made it to the second TP, winning the day after more than 5 hours in the air. I came 5. place.

Sunday was better with clouds, but the westerlies were too strong in the morning. We set a 50km task late in the afternoon when it calmed down, the conditions were difficult and weak at takeoff. Jon Gjerde started early and got up as the only one, Olav started before me and had to land, I found some lift and got back up to takeoff height before I drifted into a shaded area, and fell through. Robin, Nils Åge, and Johannes started late, got up and to goal together with Jon. Nils Åge won the day, and beat Robin with 1 point in the total scores! Olav 3. while I got 6. place total.

Kristian Bording have some pictures from the takeoff online