31 Juli 2008

6th task: 75 km

Today I got good news: I had enough points on Kathleen yesterday to move up to 1st place overall! Just by a few points, but it feels nice to be a little bit ahead. The Russians got closer with Natalia having won the day, so we had to work harder today.
We set a 75 km task, because the prediction was for overdevelopment. Also we flew into the Fabriano valley, along Tre Pizzi for the first time in this comp. After a great start together with Francoise (she had moved up to 3rd yesterday), I lost it a bit at Tre Pizzi. Just couldnt get the fast lift and got stuck. Suddenly Regina was 10 km ahead. But she reported shadow and sink from around the second turnpoint, so I slowed down, went all the way up to base and flew carefully. At the turnpoint, I caught up with Natalia, Yulia and - Christa! Flying out to the turnpoint, I was lucky and found us a nice thermal back to base. Regina had landed, so did Jamie and Monique. Together with Christa we were moving at a good pace and were able to beat the Russian girls into goal.
Argentinian Laura Bazan won the day by 20 minutes, but only 6 pilots made it in, so it wont mix things up too much. Yulia tried so hard to catch up that she landed in a tree (no worries, she is alright), and apparently on the tree the gps rang and she was in the goal radius;)
Kathleen landed at the first turnpoint I heard, and I havent seen Carol so far. It might be me in first, Francoise 2nd and Natalia 3rd after today.
Christian Ciech won the rigid day, about 20 minutes ahead of Alex. Steve Cox won the swift class again today.

30 Juli 2008

5th task: Team Germany in Goal!

Today we flew another short 62 km task because the organizer Francesco wanted to see many women in goal. As the cloudbase went up to 3000m towards Gubbio, it was a fun race. Natalia won the day with Francoise shortly after, then I arrived as third, Carole 4th, Regina 5th, then Julia from Russia, also Jamie, Christa, Ute and Monique made it to goal in the top half. A good day for team Germany, so we deserve now to cool down after a hot day!
Kathleen didnt quite get into the goal radius, she only finished the 2km radius, I dont know exactly what that means in points. Maybe I just managed to catch up today, maybe I still have to work on that one the next couple of tasks ;)
A Japanese pilot won the rigid wing task today, with Primoz Gricar in second.
And big news from the Swift class: The first time that Steve Cox (CH), former paragliding world champion, won ahead of Manfred Ruhmer!

29 Juli 2008

4. Task: 82 km

Today was a more difficult day than we thought. At taskbriefing, no clouds, so we set 80km. Then we had higher clouds later on and wanted a longer task, possible overdevelopment let us go back to 82km though. When we started, the wind picked up and killed a lot of thermals for our startgate, I tried my best and nearly landed. I was so close to the ground, zipper of my harness open... but the field looked good, red rocky ground, and I was lucky once more - a very rough, dust devil type thermal was good enough to give me a few more meters, and step by step I moved a little higher.
How to get back to the 11km start radius though... I had to go back against headwind and was flushed again :( ok, then I remembered a grand friend of mine, Bertrand Piccard (who flew around the world in a balloon) - if you can´t go against the wind, go with it! So I did and headed out opposite direction to the start radius, completely off course, and it worked! Eventually I made the first point and took a big detour again to the second, detour for the third as well. After the third, I got low and had to land. I made about 56 km today on the task and probably flew 120 km to get there - but not many people got away at all today, so I am happy to have made a few more points on Kathleen. Won´t be many, because not many people even made the first turnpoint.
After my landing, when my parents had already found me, we enjoyed a fantastic aerobatics show - a guy with a high powered little plane came over and decided to make us all happy with some loopings, barrel rolls and low overpasses. We nearly jumped high enough to touch him. Whoever it was, thank you very much, you made our day!
From our team, nobody did the first turnpoint. I hope we did not loose too many points today in the team score.
We really need some nice flying conditions, so far it has been a very difficult meet. I so hope that we can fly a big task tomorrow - and I now some nice turnpoints out in the valleys I saw today ;)
On the photo (thanks to our team-doc Ecki!) Primoz Gricar from Slovenia, one of my best friends - he is 3rd in the rigid wing ranking at the moment and also a member of our Timezone team!

28 Juli 2008

5th day: Task stopped, storm development

Today the wind was less strong than yesterday, so we happily set up at Monte Cucco North take off. We set a 69 km task, because the prediction was for possible storms in the afternoon, cloudbase at only 1800m, and a bit of wind.
When we took off, we could already watch a cell developing northeast of the first turnpoint, and before the startgate opened, it started raining on course. Also the second turnpoint in Gubbio was under a squall line of of a huge cu nimb, so the task was stopped in the air and we landed at Sigillo goal. The wind was very gusty and strong when we landed, and we were happy to be safely on the ground.
And on the photo you see why the Italians have such strong pilots - they start training very early! I invited the two girls for the Women´s World Championships in 2022 ;)

27 Juli 2008

Day 5 cancelled, too much wind, low cloudbase

Today we could not fly, the rigid wing guys didnt even set up at Cucco north take off. The wind was howling, the clouds were exploding, and base was merely above us. They made us wait till 3 pm until we finally decided to pack up our gliders, because the wind still picked up. Must have been up to 60 km/h when we left.
Another day to revive and prepare for tomorrow. Maybe the following days are nicer.
And to my friend Patrick: If you get to the base in Frankfurt, could you pick up some Lufthanseat copies for me please? Apparently a photo of me flying above Greifenburg is on the front page of the current edition of our internal Lufthansa newspaper, with a long article inside. Cant wait to see that! It was a lot of fun to talk to the young, enthusiastic journalist who wrote it.
I just saw the team scores, we are in the lead with 500 points now, a great success so far! We will do our best to keep it - looks like we will have a lot more taskable days ahead of us.

26 Juli 2008

3. Task: 59 km race!

Today the conditions improved by the minute. A low base of 1700m was the forecast, with cirrus moving in later. Turned out that the day was highly underestimated, I flew 59 km in 1 hour 12 minutes, so it wont be worth much. Im still happy that I won the day, with about 4 minutes on the second, Kathleen again!
Team Japan had 5 of their 6 pilots in goal, with Aki (to my right on the photo) the first Japanese in! Also our team did well today, five pilots in, only Jamie couldnt quite make it. Regina crossed the line only 10 minutes after me and just after Carole and Francoise! Regina was racing with me, always staying a little higher and watching me from above. Still she managed to increase our points on the Russian girls with her great performance today.
Monique landed as 3rd German girl in goal, still in the top 10 I think. Her zipper broke even before the startgate opened, so she had to fly with an open, upright harness, and she still did so well! She collapsed in goal, absolutely exhausted, and she will receive a relaxing massage tonight. Maybe she can try my harness or Tim`s.
After Monique, Christa raced over goal, then Ute followed.
The rigid wing pilots also had a short task, about 116 km. Christian or Alex were first in again, with Tim in 3rd! Tim and Andy are the youngest pilots on our rigid wing team, 21 and 20 years old, yet great pilots already! It´s a lot of fun to stay with these very positive young guys in our team residence. The German rigid team moved up to 3rd place yesterday, and today they have done well again! The Italians are unbeatable here though.
Sorry for just writing English today, but we have to look after getting Monique the best equipment for tomorrow. Looks like it might od tomorrow, so maybe another short task, maybe another day for travelling and touristing in this great corner of Italy!

25 Juli 2008

Day 3 cancelled, too windy

Today a task of 72 km was set for the women, but the windspeed at takeoff increased to 45km/h and the local rules only allow a speed up to 40 km/h for a safe task. Base was at 1700m and apparently really turbulent, as Primoz just told me. I decided to pack up. The task for the rigid wing pilots was cancelled as well because they had a non-landable area ahead of them and could not go anywhere further on course. So we hope for nicer conditions tomorrow.
Jonny Carr had fractured his foot yesterday at take off and cant continue, also Ecki had to replace Arnold Nadlingers shoulder again after landing... all the women were fine and had a great flight yesterday, with 17 in goal, lots of them for the first time. Our team took first place in the overall ranking now, followed by the Russians and the Japanese in third. The Japanese have two new young pilots on their team, they are doing really well!

Heute wurde die Aufgabe wegen zu starken Windes am Start abgesagt. Die Local Regulations sehen vor, daß es ab 40 km/h unsicher wird für Start und Aufgabe. Primoz hat von der Strecke berichtet, daß es nur bis auf 1700m hinaufging und sehr turbulent war, teilweise kam man in starkem Sinken kaum vorwärts. Die Aufgabe der Starrflügelpiloten wurde abgesagt, als diese vor einem nichtlandbaren Gebiet einbremsten und keine Chance sahen, die Aufgabe weiterzufliegen.
Ich habe am Start abgebaut, ebenso unsere anderen Teampilotinnen. Wir hoffen, daß das Wetter morgen oder spätestens am Sonntag wieder eine größere, sichere Aufgabe zuläßt.
Ach ja, die beste Nachricht zum Schluß: Wir haben im Team gestern den ersten Platz übernommen, 300 Punkte vor den Russinnen sind ein schönes Zwischenergebnis.

24 Juli 2008

First goal, and first in goal! Erstes Ziel, und erste im Ziel!

Today looked even better than yesterday, higher clouds and less windy. Still we only set a 70 km task to get more women to goal, and it worked! We got girls from most nationalities to goal, Russians, Japanese (Mitsuko, Akari and Akiko), Swiss, British, French, Argentinian, Dutch, and many more.
Again, in the air Kathleen (GB) and I ended up together with Carole Tobler (CH), and we raced into goal together, with a few seconds between us. Maybe I even have a few seconds on Kathleen today... she is flying great, as if she never had a break of 9 years of comp flying! Of course, I had a comment from Gordon straight away - amazing that so many people read my blog! Thanks, and yes, Kathleen`s and Gordon`s Litespeed 4 is a great glider, it is already 3 years old but in phantastic shape. Yet, the pilot is also great, so it makes the perfect combination. By the way, Kathleen won every task but one at the worlds 98 in Hungary, I only won one task but then the whole meet - is it going to be the other way around here now?
But the girl who impressed me most of all today was my team mate Christa. Yesterday she bombed out because she had trouble with her borrowed vario, the radio didnt work and was only fixed last minute - today everything worked fine, and she was the second German lady at goal, right in the top ten! Amazing mental strength, to just tick off yesterday and do so well today! Shortly after, also Ute and Jamie got to goal, what a great team result today.
The rigids had three Italians in the top three today, Alex, Franco Laverdino and Christian Ciech. In Swift class, Manfred was first again and landed even before me at goal, even though their task was 160 km... took him about two hours!
The weather forecast is promising for many more tasks, so keep thinking of us, it helps a lot!
For more infos and pictures, also have a look at my friend Rebi`s Blog: http://rebiintheairneu.blogspot.com/

Der Tag heute sah noch viel besser aus als gestern, höhere Wolkenbasis und weniger Wind. Trotzdem haben wir eine kleine Aufgabe von 69 km gestellt, um einfach mehr glückliche Pilotinnen im Ziel zu sehen. Und es hat funktioniert, etwa die Hälfte des Feldes stand heute grinsend im Goal!
In der Luft bin ich wieder mit Kathleen und Carole unterwegs gewesen, vielleicht habe ich sogar um wenige Sekunden den Tag gewonnen. Kathleen fliegt einfach gigantisch gut, als hätte sie nie 9 Jahre Wettbewerbspause gemacht!
Am meisten hat mich heute allerdings meine Teamkollegin Christa beeindruckt. Gestern hatte sie einen schlechten Start, denn sie mußte mit geliehenem Vario und Funk fliegen, nichts funktionierte richtig. Heute dagegen war alles perfekt repariert, sie kam als zweitbeste Deutsche in den Top Ten ins Ziel! Was für eine mentale Stärke, nach einem so schlechten Tag wieder so gut dabeizusein! Ute und Jamie kamen auch kurz darauf ins Ziel, also ein erfolgreicher Tag für Team Germany. Charlie hat sich gefreut, daß er im Ziel soviele schöne oder interessante Landungen filmen konnte.
Die Starren mußten heute 160 km fliegen, es haben drei Italiener gewonnen, Alex Ploner, Franco Laverdino und Christian Ciech. Als erster Swift stand natürlich wieder Manfred im Ziel, mit einem 80 km/h-Schnitt... tja, geniales Fluggerät und genialer Pilot ergibt erstaunliche Leistungen.
Das Wetter sieht sehr gut aus für die nächsten Tage, also haltet uns bitte weiterhin fleißig die Daumen, es nützt!

23 Juli 2008

First Task: 82 km

Today we had a tough day, flying nearly half of the task against a 20 km/h headwind. We took off from the Cucco North launch and flew down to Gualdo Tadino and Nocera Umbra, after that the strong northerly kicked us around. I flew a lot with Kathleen Rigg- at launch she waited a very long time for the wind to be right (usually that is my speciality, but she beats me, and not only there...). In the air, I knew why! She flies her husband Gordon´s Litespeed, but her glide is better than his... i can only dream of a wingloading like that, I already took led ballast today, but I cant make up for 20 more kilos ;)
Kathleen was the only one who made it to goal. I havent seen results yet, but Regina and Monique landed with me just short of the 2nd turnpoint, Jamie and Ute a little further behind. I also saw a Japanese girl in Moniques field, she did really well too. The rigid team had two German pilots in the top ten (Andy and probably Ralf) with Tim just behind then, Alex won the day, and Manfred won in Swift class.
I guess I will be about 4th or 5th of the day - not the best start, but we will hopefully have plenty of days to make up for it. Just keep your fingers crossed!
It was a safe task with great landable fields, so I hope every pilot had a good time today!

22 Juli 2008

First Briefing

Austrian Swift class World Champion Manfred Ruhmer at the opening ceremony - I managed to paint the German flag on his cheek ;) then his little boy Thomas also wanted to be painted and proudly ran around with the German flags in his face all evening.
Yesterday we decided not to fly because the wind was again extremely strong, at 5.30pm the first heavy storm hit us and didnt stop all night. Apparently Arnold Nadlinger from Austria dislocated his shoulder, went to hospital, and said he will be alright again for flying probably this afternoon. Tough guy.
The wind direction changed around to NE today, the skies are cloudy, but maybe we can fly this afternoon.

Bei der Eröffnungsfeier hab ich es geschafft, dem österreichischen Weltmeister der Swift-Klasse, Manfred Ruhmer, unsere Flagge auf die Wange zu malen - gleich danach kam sein kleiner Sohn Thomas zu mir und wollte sein Gesicht auch angemalt haben. Thomas ist den Rest des Abends ganz stolz damit herummarschiert ;)
Wir sind gestern nicht geflogen, da der Wind sehr stark war und wir auch noch alle möglichen anderen Vorbereitungen zu machen hatten. Außerdem haben wir viele schöne Fotos für Euch vorbereitet, laßt Euch überraschen im Laufe des Wettbewerbs!
Am späten Nachmittag brach der erste große Gewittersturm los, die ganze Nacht durch blitzte, donnerte und regnete es.
Heute hat der Wind auf Nordost gedreht und ist zur Zeit noch recht stark, aber das ist ganz gut, um schnell die Restbewölkung wegzublasen. Vielleicht können wir heut Nachmittag nochmal fliegen.
photo: ©Kappes Adventure Press

21 Juli 2008

Opening of the Worlds

Today the wind is still blowing really strong, with the pridiction to become even more and also rain or storm development possible in the evening, so we decided to work, prepare, write- as you see on the photo.
Yesterday at the opening ceremony I was taken by surprise when Flip mentioned that Flavio Tebaldi (the comp organizer and Italian team leader), the Mayor of Sigillo and me are responsible that we have another World Championships, because we didnt want to give up and put a huge effort into convincing everybody and into organizing it. I had not realized before that I had such a huge part in it - we were also dependant on Flip, the CIVL President, to take our offer or plea to the officials and make it happen against all odds. I am very happy to see so many pilots here, women, rigid wing guys and also swift pilots, and I hope we will have a great comp and we will keep our sport and the Worlds going. Looks like there is enough interest from pilot´s side and definitely interest from the media side.
Heute kann nicht geflogen werden, der Wind bläst immer noch sehr stark, die Vorhersage ist für noch mehr Wind, sogar Regen und Gewitter sind heut Abend möglich. Aber es gibt genug vorzubereiten, zu schreiben, Fotos auszuwerten...
Gestern war die feierliche Eröffnung der Weltmeisterschaft in Sigillo. Ich war sehr überrascht, als Flip plötzlich auch mich auf die Bühne bat, um mir zu danken. Zusammen mit Flavio Tebaldi (Organisator der WM und italienischer Teamleader), der Bürgermeisterin von Sigillo und mir sei es möglich gewesen, wieder eine Frauen- und Starrflügel-WM zu organisieren. Ich hatte mich sehr dafür eingesetzt und lange emails geschrieben, viel diskutiert, viele Pilotinnen und Piloten motiviert zu kommen, denn ich weiß, daß Interesse von Pilotenseite existiert, und auch die Medien immer gerne über die Frauen-WM berichten. Daß ich allerdings mit verantwortlich bin, daß dieser Event überhaupt wieder stattfinden kann, war mir nicht bewußt. Schließlich hat auch Flip als Präsident der CIVL volle Überzeugungsarbeit bei seinen Delegierten leisten müssen, um sie wieder umzustimmen und alles zu ermöglichen.
Noch schöner ist es dann, all die vielen Pilotinnen und Piloten hier zu sehen. Seit vielen Jahren haben nicht mehr so viele Frauen teilgenommen an der WM wie hier! Ich hoffe, daß wir Glück mit dem Wetter haben werden und einen schönen Wettbewerb fliegen können.

20 Juli 2008

In Sigillo

We got to Italy late Friday night, yesterday we first moved into our team house, then I had a first great flight in very smooth evening air. I took off at 6pm and landed two hours later. Today the wind is gusting up to 48 km/h, too strong for me, only a very few rigid wings took off. Chrissy and Stephan took a lot of photos with us yesterday and today, and we will go on this afternoon when we have our first team meeting with the women and teamleader.
Tonight at 6 the opening ceremony is going to take place in Sigillo, then we have another two days to prepare, get all instruments and gliders ready, test the area.
photo: ©Kappes Adventure Press

Wir sind spät am Freitag Abend in Sigillo angekommen, ab Verona hatten wir Stau, was die Anreise unfreiwillig auf 10 Stunden verlängerte. Es ist heiß und fast wolkenlos heute, gestern gab es dafür luxuriöse Wolken am Himmel. Ein schöner erster Flug am Abend! Um 18.00 6 Uhr bin ich gestartet, um 20.00 Uhr gelandet, denn ich hörte den Ruf der Pizza!
Mit Chrissy und Stephan war ich gestern und heute für Fotos unterwegs, es sind schon sehr schöne Aufnahmen entstanden, wie zum Beispiel dieses Bild vom Startplatz. Heute Nachmittag haben wir unser erstes Teammeeting und werden weitere Aufnahmen machen, bevor um 18.00 Uhr die Eröffnungszeremonie beginnt.
Montag und Dienstag haben wir zur weiteren Vorbereitung, zum Testen von Drachen, Gurtzeug und Instrumenten, zum Erfahrung sammeln in Umbrien aus der Luft, bevor es dann am Mittwoch ernst wird.

18 Juli 2008

German Records!- Deutschlandrekord!

Great, today I got the news that two of my flights have been accepted by the German Aero Club as new German records: I flew the biggest FAI triangle flown by a German pilot with 226 km, and I also gained most height with more than 2000 m!

Ich hab gerade tolle News bekommen: Meine beiden Deutschlandrekorde sind jetzt offiziell vom Deutschen Aero Club anerkannt! Ich halte jetzt den deutschen Rekord für das größte jemals von einer deutschen Pilotin geflogene FAI-Dreieck mit 226 km und den Rekord für den größten Höhengewinn mit über 2000m! So macht das Fliegen noch mehr Spaß ;) Vom Hochfelln im Chiemgau bin ich gestartet, bis fast Mayerhofen ins Zillertal geflogen, danach ins Rauris-Tal und wieder zurück nach Bayern, rauf zum Chiemsee und dann am Weßner Hof gelandet. Sieben Stunden Training! Andere fliegen in der Zeit nach New York ;)

16 Juli 2008

Preparing for Italy

And again, please everybody, send me an email so I get your email address again! I lost them all after a system break down. Por favor, todo el mundo, mandame un email para obtener su email otra vez, perdí todos mis email la semana pasada!

Back in Munich, Im preparing the last things for the worlds. Finally some time so I don´t have to rush! Chrissy and Stephan Kappes will come to Sigillo for a few days to take some photos for our sponsors. Im looking forward to working with them and I hope the weather will be great for some scenic flights.
The opening ceremony is on Sunday, and the first task will be on Tuesday. Charlie is going to film the whole event – it looks more difficult than ever before to win. The two Russian girls are very strong, they havent stopped flying since the Euros, went to Laragne and St. Andre. Well, Ive been flying to Calgary twice and once to Seoul since ;) so also lots of flying.
Regina, Jamie and Monique are already at Monte Cucco to settle in and do some training flights. Regina had a great competition at the Croatian Nationals where she ended up 6th overall, with her boyfriend Primoz winning the comp. Congratulations! We need all our pilots in top shape to be able to defend the title!
Soon there should be an article about me in the German based magazine „Tina“, and also the internal newspaper from Lufthansa, „Lufthanseat“, is preparing an article.

Jetzt bin ich wieder in München und freue mich, daß ich endlich mal ein wenig Zeit habe, um mich in aller Ruhe auf einen großen Wettbewerb vorzubereiten! Chrissy und Stephan Kappes werden für ein paar Tage mit nach Sigillo fahren, um für unsere Sponsoren zu fotografieren. Ich freue mich darauf, endlich wieder mit ihnen zusammenzuarbeiten – das Wetter sieht vielversprechend aus.
Die Eröffnungsfeier wird am Sonntag sein, der erste Flug der WM am Dienstag. Freitag werde auch ich Richtung Monte Cucco aufbrechen, während Regina, Monique und Jamie schon da sind, um sich einzufliegen. Regina hat gerade sehr gut bei der Kroatischen Meisterschaft abgeschnitten, sie ist 6. geworden! Herzlichen Glückwunsch, auch an ihren Freund Primoz, der den Bewerb gewann.
Wir müssen auch alle in Topform sein, wenn wir unsere Titel halten wollen, denn noch nie vorher waren die Russinnen so stark. Sie sind seit der EM nur noch beim Fliegen gewesen, in Laragne und St. Andre. Naja, ich war in der Zwischenzeit auch nur am Fliegen, zweimal nach Calgary und einmal nach Seoul...
Wer mehr Fotos sehen möchte, bald sollte das deutschsprachige Magazin „Tina“ mit einem Artikel über mich herauskommen, wahrscheinlich noch im Juli. Und auch der „Lufthanseat“, unsere interne Zeitung bei Lufthansa, bereitet eine Story vor.
Ich hoffe, in Sigillo einen zuverlässigen WLan-Spot zu finden, damit ich Euch täglich von dort berichten kann. Wir haben ein tolles, neues Team und viel für die Vorbereitung getan, es wird sicher eine spannende Weltmeisterschaft!

10 Juli 2008

...and it goes on!

Thanks for the wishes, Rebi and Patrick, but the bad luck is very persisting. We arrived at the Lufthansa base after the Seoul flight yesterday and I realized that my colleague had confused her carry on trolley with mine!!! And she had gone straight to the airport to find her large suitcase there. Unbelievable, and not what you need after a tough time. I found out that she doesnt even have a mobile phone, so I left my number in her postbox at the base and ran to lost and found, but she had gone. My Mac was still in her hand! And my flight to Munich was due soon.
Luckily, Sabine called in time for me to run back to the base, get my suitcase, run to the airport and catch the flight to Munich. Kind of funny, looking back at it, but yesterday I was rather exhausted. I need a good rest and clean myself with sage or something to get this bad luck mark off ;)

08 Juli 2008

Not so lucky

Suddenly all my tech devices break down at the same time, also my flight to China was taken away from me and now I am in Seoul, Korea, instead. So much went wrong, even my compeo ran out of battery on launch at Hochries on Saturday (and our team doc Ecki saved my flight with lending me his vario), the first time that this happened in all those years. And yesterday on the flight even my beverage trolley broke down and would not move... at least we have a wonderful, helpful crew that carried me along.
Guess Im just lucky that all this bad luck didnt turn on me while I am flying. And I hope this bad luck time is over soon.

04 Juli 2008

Lost Database

Hello everybody - last week, before I went to Calgary again, my email program crashed and I cant recover the database. Please everybody around the world, send me a short email so that I have your email adress again. Thanks a lot, Corinna.