Tag Archives: Europeans 2008

European Championships, cutting the losses

After 6 canceled days in the rain, the first task stopped because of dangerous conditions, the second task with a fatal accident, and a forecast for even more rain it was time to take stock and make some hard decisions. All in all it seemed quite pointless to waste more days in Greifenbug, and we decided to head home early. Bjørn, Speidern and I drove home, while Olav stayed because he is going on to the Pre-Worlds in Laragne

I concider this the worst flying trip in my 12 years of flying, I did not enjoy the little flying we had. I’m sorry for the organizers that had such bad luck with the weather. they deserved better than this. I hope the pilots that are left get some good days at the end so we can have a real European champion.

The European Championships 2008, Day 7

So finally we woke up to sun and blue skies, and an early task before the warmfront shut us down. We got a 101km task to the east, to try to stay out of the shade. It was also the first day with the new rule about a max height at the start gate.

I got off quite late, but went straight to cloudbase and went towards the start circle to wait around 30 minutes there. I was in a good position for the first startgate, and flew with some of the leading pilots. But it started to rain, and I had to run from the shower with a very wet and misbehaving glider. I went into the start circle where there was some sun, and started scratching on the ridge at 1500 meters. The start gate was at 2200 meters, through a mountain peak that was 2400 meters, so we had to fly out into the valley.

I spend a long time looking for a better lift on the ridge, and missed the first start gate again. Got a better thermal flying back towards takeoff, and got up to take the second start with a nice gaggle. Unfortunately for us the warmfront and cirrus had come over us by now, giving us slower and tougher conditions ahead. Racing down the ridge we hit some shitty air that I did not want to stay in, and just kept on going to the edge of the ridge where we had to get up before crossing the next walley.

I had a pretty good run from there, and stayed in a good gaggle until between the second and third turnpoint where I went on a little to aggressively under good clouds, and had a too low valley crossing. I ended up having to glide out to a landing around halfway through the task, where the gaggle stayed back watching my stupid mistake, and slowly climbing a few hundred more meters before crossing.

It really feels like I’m out of competition shape, my mind is not where it should be, I’m flying too much on instinct, and not planning enough ahead. I know this from before, and I just need a few good days to get into shape, but the few short days here did not do the trick so far.

Kjell did a pretty good run, landed 10 km from goal, Bjørn J raced too hard and landed before the first TP, Olav Lien did not get up after the start circle, and landed at the main landing.

One pilot tumbled just after the start circle, I’ve not heard anything official about it expect that there will be no task. The weather forecast is for rain and crap conditions.

The European Championships 2008, Day 6

Our hotel is at 1800 meters, and we woke up inside cloudbase this morning. It was not raining, but lots of high clouds stopped any sun from drying out the valley. We went down to takeoff at 10:30 expecting to see few other pilots, but the organization believed it would be taskable, and everyone was set up. We had a chat with some of the pilots, and went back and got our gliders and harnesses in the very unlikely event it would clear up, but we left the gliders on the car.

Waiting at takeoff reminded me of Bassano this year, but at least we could buy hot Goulash soup and hot chocolate at the cafe. At 14:30 I gave up and went back to the hotel for a hot shower, while the rest of the guys waited until it started raining 30 minutes later and the organizer finally canceled the day.

Forecast for tomorrow is OK for the morning, but a warmfront will move in early and shut us down around noon, and for the next days.

I’ve updated the video with some more footage I found on my PC of Sindre’s flights. Check it out!

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Video from Greifenburg – Day 3. Day 4 and 5 rained out

Lots of rain cancelled day 4 and 5. We drove to Skyline in Germany, where Bjørn and I had a few upgrades and maintenance done on our harnesses. The Skyline crew is very helpful and worked overtime on finishing off the work so we had everything done in one day. I had my rescue repacked, replaced the hangloop and reserve loop, and added a better locking screw to the extension plate to make the harness easier to pack.

There’s lots of new features coming for the Skyline harness. I really liked the new automatic slider lock, that locks the slider in the back position when flying. This releases all pressure from the feet, so the pilot can relax the feet even in very upright thermaling position.

Here’s a short clip from Day 3 that was cancelled due to storms. We flew the gliders down from the takeoff before the storms came through. Audio commentary by me in Norwegian only. I’ll do it in English the next time. (I talk about the day beeing cancelled, clouds building, nice nature, and the landing site)

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The European Championships 2008, Day 3

We woke up to clear blue skies, and what seemed to be a beautiful day for flying. After breakfast at 9 it started developing clouds, even if the inversion in the valley was strong and reducing the thermal activity in the early hours.

This mushroom grew behind takeoff early in the morning, a clear sign of a unstable day.

Mushroom cloud at 09:00

We had a briefing after setting up under building clouds, the meteo guy used the phraze “extremely dangerous conditions”, and the day was quickly cancelled for safety reasons. There was a sigh of relief in the pilot crowd when it was clear we would not have to fly a task, it was not a good comp day.

We had time to fly down before the storms hit, and it was a nice flight in super smooth air over the valley. I filmed and took some pictures before landing and packing up just in time to escape the rain.

Quite a few interesting landings, It seemed like half the pilots got tailwind gliding over the landing field at the camping site. Mo major breakage, but quite a few green nosecones.

View to the west of the valley, the Cu-Nimbus is growing.

The European Championships 2008, Day 2

The weather improved a little, and we woke up above cloudbase with a clear blue sky. The cloudbase lifted during the morning, and we got a 105 km task. The forecast was for overdevelopment in the afternoon. I took off early, and mucked around in cloudbase taking photos and enjoying the air. I was actually too relaxed, and did not pay attention to the clock. When the first start gate was getting close I had to fly back outside the 8km start cylinder, I ended up in the rain from the collapsing clouds, and lost a lot of altitude with a wet glider. I got slowly up and took the second start gate, most of the gagle took the first start gate, and I met them coming back from the first TP.

Bjørn Joakimsen and me together after the first TP.

At cloudbase over Greifenburg

The conditions were difficult with the low cloudbase and collapsing clouds, there was OK lift, but it was very broken and quite turbulent if you got below the peaks.

I was stressed, unhappy about my bad start, and did not fly well at all. I made a OK valley crossing, but lost the first thermal when I came over the next ridge. I lost it there, got too impatient and demotivated, and flew along the ridge getting lower and lower and more and more turbulence. Landed about 10 km from the second TP, about halfway through the task. It was overdeveloping rapidly, and the first lightning came just after I had landed.

The task was stopped at 16:10 due to thunder and rainstorms on the course. Speidern made it to goal, but not before the task was stopped. Bjørn Joakimsen landed 10 km behind me, and Olav Lien Olsen in the same area as Bjørn.

My landing field, nice clouds over the ridge in the background, but it was shitty below the peaks.

Landing out, day 2

Powerful clouds a few minutes later…

Forecast for tomorrow is unstable and rain, we might get a short and early task in if we are lucky.