Today it looked like another short run could be possible before od and rain, so we (I had been elected task setter for hg, Dieter Müglich for rigids) set a 60km task. Cloud base was low, they were spreading, and the forecast was for rain some time between 3 and 5pm.
At 11.30, the first paragliders launched and slowly climbed above launch. Even though the sky was grey, it seemed enough to maintain, so I got ready for a long day and took off. Almost bombed out once, just made it back up and had to return for the start cylinder an hour later (elapsed time luckily, no race start gate). I was in good company though - Konrad and Jan Woernle were my wingmen on the way to Irschen. Jan just got a new glider and climbed incredibly well in it, he came 2nd of the day today!
The whole valley was in shade, so we were happy about a ridge offering some zeros, waiting for the sunny window to approach. It finally did and turned the thermals back on.
When I got back over take off after the first turnpoint, I was on my own. Going to Gerlamoos, again the area looked dodgy, and I got low again. This time I dug myself out together with one of the top paraglider guys, Andreas Schubert. Even though the thermal was torn apart by the valley breeze, we managed to eventually find a strong core, get out and to the next turnpoint. For me, that was out in the valley.
Expecting a head wind on final, I climbed out once more, made the last turnpoint and flew to goal. I was really slow today, and it was a relief to read that the guys in Florida also needed 5 hours for 75km... I know how that feels!
It was a nice surprise that I won the day, because I was the only one in goal today.
The first rain reached us at 16.15, so the task was a good call. Tomorrow it will rain the whole day, but we might get another task in on Saturday!
Thanks to Rüdiger Bien for updating the blog with photos and news!