02 Mai 2011

The Race!

While the guys are having fun and racing big tasks at the Florida ridge, I am "working" on the reputation of hang gliding in general. I was asked by the German TV channel RTL II if I can imagine racing a Ferrari California in the German Alps. Of course, I said, and thought, I hope the weather works for me, as the take off would be Tegelberg at Schwangau.
I had to fly about 26 km to Oberammergau, but every pilot who ever did the crossing behind Tegelberg to the east knows about the "Linderhoftal-Problem" - it is a narrow valley with trees down to the river, nowhere to land. Anyway, the Ferrari had about 50 km to drive, so I thought despite the difference of about 460 HP between us, I had a fair chance.
We had a forecast of 2500m cloud base and good lift for the Allgaeu area. Oh well - base was barely above 2300m, and when we were ready to start with 5 cameras fixed on my glider and one in my harness (for voice recording), the sky was overcast! Matthias, the TV presenter who drove the Ferrari, was laughing and sure to win the day. He raced away with a sound that I could even perceive in the air.
It was simply dark in the whole valley behind Tegelberg. Scary thought, but my plan B was that I got the two best aerial camera men I could imagine - Andi Becker and Tim Grabowski. Together we would find some lift for sure.
I did not expect that Tim´s radio didn´t work. I also wasn´t quite prepared to dive into the dark lee side (but at least with some fields in sight far away) so soon, with the two guys staying above in their rigid wings. I turned down my radio to Andi to just concentrate and find a thermal. I got stuck in nowheresland and was sure that Sebastian Vettel would never talk to me again after this day, even if I ever got out of this.
Suddenly I saw a ray of light. A turbulent, broken something let me stay in it, but I had to turn steep and work hard not to loose it. Centimeter by centimeter I climbed out and could eventually see Oberammergau.
Now the film crew had put down a landing spot for me, but I could not find it. Haha, I had taken coordinates of the paragliding landing field, and did not know there was a different place for the hang gliders. Ok, now I saw the blue spot in the green grass - but I also saw a slope, crosswind and a final glide through between a hut and some trees... Concentration again, our sport needs to look appealing, so I really wanted to pull off a beautiful landing. All my prayers were heard, and I touched down on the spot.
I am not allowed to tell you about who won the race yet, but you can watch the whole story on May 15th at 6pm (18.00) on RTL II in "Grip - das Motormagazin". As soon as the show has been aired, it will be uploaded on their own Grip youtube channel and I guess also on DHV TV for download.

Kommentare:

Rebi hat gesagt…

Coooool!

winDfried hat gesagt…

Great idea,
well done Corinna !
W.

Jürgen hat gesagt…

I was late that day at the Tegelberg and waitet for the Tegelbergbahn. Suddenly am man jumped out of the cabin, through the door to the red Ferrari and speeded away with a hell of a noise.
Late afternoon after my flight I met Tim and Andi at the landing field. They flew again back from Oberammergau after their job.

And the best: I knew who won the race (I promise I will not give the secret away).