Sunday arrived with traces of sun and winds from SE. It quickly became clear it would overdevelop and shut down, so we cancelled the day. Some pilots flew ridge soaring in between the showers over Frya. All in all a good comp, just too bad we only got one task out of the long weekend.
On Friday we got very unstable and good conditions. Winds from N made it difficult to decide on take off, but we finally went to Brandstadkampen and set up. It looked like it might OD, and we set a short task of 42 km straight line to goal at Lillehammer. Conditions were strong, but Robin who started as first pilot busted. He came back up and managed to start just before the launch window closed, and flew to goal.
I took off quite early as well, and got up in a thermal that averaged over 5 m/s near cloudbase. Olav was just in front of me, and Nils Åge and Johnny below. We glided out of the start circle through ice crystals and light snow to take the next lift south of Fåvang. I had some ants from takeoff in my shoes crawling up my legs biting me. I had to open up my harness and sort them out at Fåvang, where I lost a few meters when flying out of the thermal, and Nils Åge passed me.
We caught up with Olav gliding towards Øyer, where Nils Åge went left towards Hafjell. I picked a cloud straight over “Vekta” and only slowed down in the strong lift as my instrument told me I could make goal with a few hundred meters to spare. As we had to cross the valley twice it should be a little more sink than lift on the remaining 20 km, but I went for it hoping to find a good line in to goal.
What I did not foresee was that the wind had changed to SW, so I got no help from tailwind, but came into rough leeside conditions. I flew through lots of sink, and had to stop once to gain 20-30 meters in a lee thermal 5 km out. Olav had stopped behind me to gain more height, he was behind and above but could not catch up. I arrived at goal with 50 meters to spare, just clearing the light posts on the highway, Olav came in 12 seconds behind me. We did the task in 41 minutes, averaging more than 60 km/h.
Nils Åge came in third 2 minutes behind, and all but two pilots made goal. Erik Vermaas passed over us very high and continued to fly, he landed south of Hamar after 105,7 km for a new personal best.
Today it was gray and no lift. We made a spot landing comp, in which Robin and Trond Olsen shared first price. I landed short, misjudging the wind a little.
Forecast for tomorrow is not so good, hope it turns out good.
This morning it rained hard in Oslo, so I was not in a big hurry to get going to Frya. As I drove North it gradually became better, and at Frya it was quite dry, but cloudy. We hung around for a while, about 8 pilots showed up. After lunch and lots of coffe at Fryatun we went up to takeoff and set up. We cancelled the comp since it was obvious it was not going to be comp conditions. I took of as the first pilot as I wanted to fly before the next snow squall came through. It was unstable and I found some light lift and took it to a hundred meters over start, nice lift in totally gray conditions. Erik Vermaas and Werner took of after me and also found lift. We flew around for around 20 minutes and enjoyed the nice air. A new snow squall came over the mountains from the North so I decided to get down and land. Erik and Werner landed right next to me. The rest of the guys flew afer the snow had passed.
The helmet was very nice, I was wondering how it would feel to fly with the visir and not feel the air in my face. The 20 minute flight was no problem, I could hear and feel the air on my body. Nice to have a cover over my face in the cold air.
Forecast for tomorrow and Saturday looks very nice, but the unstable conditions might overdelvelop. I hope we get off early and manage to complete the task. Lots of people are expected to show up tomorrow.
This year’s flying in Bassano was the best I’ve had there so far, but sadly it rained the last few days so the competition was cancelled.
We drove for about 30 hours from Oslo, including a stop at Skyline in Übersee to pick up Nils Åge’s new harness. I got a new set of the “old” fibreglass tips, since the new set seemed to bend as easily as the one that came with the glider in Oz. Not much new on the Skyline harness this year, a little longer boot was all.
The first few days was perfect, when we arrived Saturday evening it rained, but Sunday saw blue skies and perfect flying. Everyone got nice flighs, I flew a trip to the river and back, while Robin and Johnny who had been here for a week already crossed the river east and turned at the tunnel turnpoint. The rest of the days went fast, everyone got up and away. Steinar and Arnt set new personal rekords in duration and height gain. It was unusually clear air, good lift, and cloudbase from 1800 to 2300 meters every day.
I decided to rest on Friday to be ready for the start of the comp saturday, in retrospect I should have flown that last good day. The rain started as predicted on Saturday, just as we started to set up at the comp takeoff, how typical…
At least we got plenty of time to walk around the fair. I bought the last of the new 4Fight helmets from Icaro, all the other were sold before the fair started. I have not flown with it yet, as I have to mount the headset for the radio first. The helmet have a visir, I have never flown with a visir before, guess it takes a few flights to get used to it. I also got some new flying gloves from Icaro, where the outside of the index finger and thumb are kevlar reinforced. This is important as the VG rope wears thru normal gloves after a only few flights. Most of the fair was Paraglider and Paramotor related, with only a few hanggliders on display.
As the forecast was shitty for Sunday and Monday we decided to start driving bak home on Sunday afternoon. The trip was OK with no traffic jams, and the 2200 km went in just under 26 hours. I was watching DVD’s on my portable PC and trying to sleep most of the time.
Arriving back in Oslo it was even warmer than Bassano, with a solid high pressure and blue skies. Steinar and I went to Ringerud to attempt some XC flying, but it was too inverted and stable. We soared for 30 minutes in front of takeoff without getting up. Forecast for the weekend is rain, next weekend the first comp starts on Frya.
Sorry for no news from Bassano, the Italian GSM providers have not improved their data services. Weather was good, but it rained for the comp. More news and pictures when I get back online with broadband
We drive to Bassano in Northern Italy later today. Kjell Chr. Krane drove from Narvik yesterday, he will pick us up in Oslo in a few hours. We are 8 people in his bus, should be around 24 hours of driving to get to Bassano. We might stop at Skyline in southern Germany to pick up Nils-Åge’s new harness.
Weather forecast is quite good for both Italy and Norway. The newspapers here have stories of how nice the Easter will be – like they ever get it right…
I will most likely be updating these pages from Bassano, but it depends on where I can get a internet connection. GSM data have been very unstable in Bassano earlier, maybe things have improved.
17000 km and 26 hours later I’m back in Oslo. Wading through hundreds of email, and huge amounts of spam (Got to get the Spamasassin up and running again) It’s nice to get cold water in the tap and get under my rain shower head again, but I could do without the snow and freezing temperature outside. Life is a lot easier whan you only have to wear shorts and t-shirt all day.
I’ll get the images up on the web in a few days, and maybe a summary of the happenings in Oz. Next big thing will hopefully be the comp in Italy in the easter.