23 August 2016

Brasilia Day 5: 109km task, nobody in goal

Results here! A good forecast, but really tough conditions. The inversion did not break all day and left us with barely 250m above the plains. Not enough height to even make the first turnpoint of the task... Many people landed in the valley, retrieves were long and complicated, I was lucky that I landed on top of the ridge and got help very soon!
I also wrote a German version of the last few days here on the DHV Homepage! Now that Jörg has arrived, it will be easier to update it with nice photos daily!
Nobody in goal today, but lots of hours for marginal kilometers. Looks like young Australian pilot Josh Woods won the day - 3 Aussie blokes in the top 3, worlds title here they come :) Tomorrow has to have better weather!

21 August 2016

Brasilia Day 3: cancelled on take off, strong side wind

Task 3 was cancelled after about 5 pilots took off, but the lateral and partly tail wind kept getting stronger and more unpredictable. I had cued up quite early cause I expected to have to wait for a long time for safe conditions, but I was very relieved when they decided to cancel. Everybody packed up and went back to town.
As it was Saturday, a lot of people went partying. Our great driver Elsa wanted to take me out, but when I was running through the garden barefoot, I struck a rock with my toe and it ripped out the full nail :( so I tried to clean it up, stop the bleeding, and put a tape on. I had wanted to cook a moong dhal for my hosts Claudinha and her mother, but now I had to remote-control Elsa to do that, as I had to put up my foot. She made a great job and we had a delicious dinner!
Luckily day 4, Sunday, was also cancelled, with a frontal system moving through and a strong tail wind on take off in the forecast, so I had another day to follow our team doctor Eckhart Schröter´s instructions - keep it clean, let it dry, and wait! In the meantime, Claudinha and her mom spoilt me with mango, coconut water and pão de queijo!

Brasilian Nationals Day 2: 109km

As the first day was undercalled, a much bigger task was set for the second day, even though the wind started to be a bit off on launch. I quickly got into the line to have enough time in the air before the start, but still only got away with the second gate, like most others.
It was exciting to fly along the ridge - you really don´t want to land in the valley! There are good options, but it takes 3 hours to get there and 3 hours back out, so your team and your driver won´t like you that much afterwards...

Luckily I got back to the take off turnpoint ok, but made the mistake then to fly over the flats directly towards the next turnpoint. The wind washed me down, and after only half the task I landed on Mars! A huge field of red dust welcomed me with a very strong wind. One by one, more pilots kept dropping into that place, and when their drivers went past me, they dusted me in a big, red cloud - no sign language helped to slow them down...
When we stopped in Brasilinha for some dinner, they had lots of meats on the grill for offer, but no vegetables - Glauco is a local pilot and he had the great idea to just go shopping in the supermarket next door, and with a value of 2,50€, we provided broccoli, pumpkin, aubergine, zucchini and capsicum for our whole big table of 11 people - everybody was quite happy to dig into some healthy, fresh greens as well! The chefs did a great job!
Jonny won the day by a big margin, only four other pilots made goal. Results not quite finished, as they still decide on the protests and complaints of the first day.

Brasilian Nationals Day 1: 60km

I was happy with a short first task of 60km, as I had once again gone straight from work to travel to competition. The weather proved to be better than expected, so almost all pilots made goal. At the moment, the authorities won´t let us use Esplanada, the main aisle of Brasilia, as a goal, but with a low airspace of about 1500m above the city, it doesn´t really look that desirable anymore. I have done that flight before, with plenty of altitude, and it was exciting enough!
The organizers have plenty of large, flat fields as goal to land in, and I was greeted by a cute friendly dog.
When we found out the next day that almost half the field got 0 points for airspace infringements, it felt a bit strange, as I had followed the numbers given at briefing, so I filed a complaint and gave my gps and barographic altitude values again. I have not seen a decision yet, but I hope they can re-score the day on a different basis. Once they finished their decision, we might find the results here.

17 August 2016

Arriving in Brasilia, Timezone UTC -3

This morning I finally arrived in Sao Paulo after a smooth trip with a great Lufthansa crew. Then I flew with Latam, how TAM is called here, to Brasilia. I had a good chat with very friendly flight attendants and really enjoyed the short flight.
Our driver Zeca picked me and Klaus, a Carioca pilot, up and took us to the Pousada where Glauco booked us in. A great place, with a pool underneath the mango tree, with lots of green (not quite ripe! I want to eat them anyway!) mangoes on them - my dream! I always wanted a mango tree in my garden!
I set up my mosquito net to stay zika free and tried to have a snooze. And there was the problem- this place is on the way to take off, and take off is 60km north of the city of Brasilia, so to save time in the morning, it is great not to have to go through the traffic. BUT- this place is right on something like a huge highway, with lots of trucks racing past, so even with earplugs squished almost into my brain, I could still hear the road. Did I mention the motorbikes? I know, spoilt European pilot... I´m sure there will be a solution. Everything else is great, internet is available, we have a fridge in the room, and it is clean.
Tonight registration will take place somewhere for the Brasilian Nationals, nobody seems to know yet where ;) Lots of time, the comp only starts tomorrow morning. "Ralaxa!" the guys keep saying to me, but it will take me a few weeks to stop being my over-organized, super-punctual me...

16 August 2016

On the way to Brasilia

Summer has been very limited this year around the alps, and my timing with work and flyable days was terrible. Rain and strong wind the few days at home, and while I was gone, some bigger distances had been flown. I kept following the webcams around my favourite mountains, and found a beautiful little rainbow at Greifenburg today!
Luckily I have worked hard enough that I can take a few weeks off now to go to fly two major competitions in Brasilia, where I will compete in the women´s worlds next year. I teamed up with some friends from the Brasilian national team, but also Primoz, Jörg and Tom Halter from Germany will arrive soon, so we can check out the area together. Well, Jörg of course has already flown the worlds in Brasilia in 2003, so he knows the area well! 
Glauco said we have internet at the place where we are staying, so I will keep you updated with photos, stories and results! Stay tuned!

30 Juli 2016

Great sunset at Munich tonight

... a storm west of Munich, and a rainbow earlier at Gerlos in Austria today. Drama weather :)

23 Juni 2016

ATL-FRA-MCO-FRA-KIX-FRA-MUC-FRA-GIG in 7 days - my new record!

Most of the last week, I´ve spent in the air, either working or as Yoko´s company home to Japan. I´m still writing the story down about our long journey and will share it with you soon! Great news is that Yoko is home in Japan and says that she feels much better, feeling more confident now that she is healing!
Meanwhile I had a beautiful flight to Rio yesterday. Always fun working for sports teams, and we had quite a lot of athletes from Brazilian, German and Austrian kayak, canoeing and sailing teams on board, going to train for the Olympics!
When Yoko asked me in hospital in Orlando how I could be looking so fresh and awake despite not much sleep and 27 hours on planes in only 3 days, I smiled at her - Jamie had just brought an ice cold Red Bull for me that morning, and that really revived me, just like today waking up in Rio. I have a long day ahead of me here, going to coach some Brazilian pilot friends about safer and better flying. So far, cloud base is a little low, but it seems to rise fast, I can already see the sugar loaf top station now! Fingers crossed, we will have a nice little flight at beautiful São Conrado and then discuss on how to improve :) Thanks Leonarda and Joe for organizing this event - Maria, another local pilot, had urged Leonarda to get me to help the local pilots, as I kept appearing in Rio, helping foreign pilots who had been on the ramp for the first time.

22 Mai 2016

Rio without flying weather

Another short work trip to Rio right after the Hessen comp finished. I had my hopes up for Cristo weather, but this time the cold front pushed in much faster than expected, so the northerly got too strong and there was even some rain.
Instead I enjoyed hanging out with the Urubus and went to visit the little monkeys, which is always fun!