29 Mai 2012

More photos Flugtag

Some pics from yesterday in Mainz. Guido had two Gopros on board and let me download the films. They are being edited at the moment, I just pulled out a few shots to show you the quality.

Also a photo of the winner of yesterdays Flugtag, the pirate plane from Stuttgart.
The Jury was on a house boat with the best view of the action on the ramp. We even had two cops making sure that nobody else entered our little comfortable floating spot.
Both Toni and his father Walter Eichhorn were in the Jury, great aerobatic pilots. Also Smodo of the rap group "Fantastische Vier" is a flight enthusiast and owns a seneca to take his family and friends around.
Kaya Yanar was in my Jury group as well - he is a comedian and when I used one of his jokes ("Guckst Du...") I nearly got into trouble in Berlin...
Arne was very pleased to have set the new Flugtag world record and celebrated after his flight with Claudio and Guido.
If you missed the Red Bull Flugtag in Mainz but you can go to Ljubljana in Slovenia on June 16th! Maybe Matjaz will fly there?

New world record set at Red Bull Flugtag!

Today the weather was great in Mainz at the 7th Red Bull Flugtag in Germany. Sunny, hot and wind from the front most of the time!
Arne Krämer and his team set a new world record. He flew 69m from the 6m high ramp after putting his glider up another very fragile looking ramp. The 500 hours that the team put into the glider was worth it. Also Arne is a hang glider pilot which helped a lot to keep the glider straight and in the air.
Winner was another team though with a great show and a 59m flight. They had a perfect catapult start.
Guido was towed over to the show area by Beni and displayed his powerful loopings and spins before racing over the ramp, swooping the harbour area, turning around and landing in the water. On purpose! I was so glad I didnt have to put my clean sail into that water...
There will be a cool movie soon about the Flugtag, I will link it here!

27 Mai 2012

Red Bull Flugtag Mainz

After a brief work trip to Sao Paulo, I will be in Mainz tomorrow for the Red Bull Flugtag. I will be on the jury together with Guido Gehrmann, also Matthias Dolderer from the Air Race and Toni Eichhorn, aerobatics pilot. Im looking forward to meeting Smudo from Fantastische Vier again. Guido will be flying an aero show in his hang glider, Im curious where he will land, as they expect good weather and a lot of spectators...
Entry opens at 10am, the flights will start at noon at Zollhafen Mainz. I hope to see you there!

20 Mai 2012

German Open Awards

 Today we had the awards of the German Open at Tegelberg. Roland Wöhrle (Moyes) came 1st and is also German Champion, Andre Djamarani (Aeros) is 2nd and I (Moyes) am 3rd overall, also 1st woman and femail German Champion.
Tim Grabowski won rigid class, followed by Dieter Kamml and Dieter Müglich, so Tim is German Champion in class 5.
In the women´s ranking, Natalia Petrova is 2nd (10th overall), and Julia Burlachenko is in 3rd place.

German Open Task 2

72 km around 3 turnpoints. It was tail wind until 1pm, and quite a lot of us started discussing the new rules and their problems with Klaus Tänzler (head of the DHV) who had come to Tegelberg today. Manfred had disappeared already, I would have liked a person who testflies and builds the gliders and works for the manufacturer (or is the manufacturer) to discuss the problems that we had to face with Klaus.
It was difficult to get up after launch today - I thought I had forgotten how to thermal, as I simply could not climb out. I had to take the last startgate and only had one other pilot with me, I think he was Ukrainian. On my way out to along the startgate, I think I saw Primoz already coming back from the task... oh well, at least I get to spend some time in the air before I have to work again.
At Edelsberg I met Roland, Jörg, Andre and Achim and thought they came back from the 2nd turnpoint. When I glided out for the next possible lift before the 2nd turnpoint, I looked back and saw that all the guys were following me. Great, Im not on my own!
We climbed out at Grünten turnpoint but the 3rd one, Edelsberg again, was in heavy rain. And stayed in rain for quite a while. So I decided to fly out, try the flatter land and eventually found a safe landing field out there. It was right next to a camp site of some different sort, apparently they had a medieval festival going on. Guess a "dragon" like me fits in well ;)
Before I started packing up, a heavy rain shower came over. I also heard thunder (not just from the canon balls of the medieval guys) and saw some lightening. The right time and place for a safe decision I guess.
In the meantime, Dave and Kathryn arrived at Tegelberg and had to fight through the German paperwork to be able to fly here (you remember the paraglider tandem guy who ended up in the cable car and made about 20 people stay in the cable car over night last year?). Dave flew the RX3 and did a great landing in the goal field. I was quite flattered that all the people ran to him and thought it was me getting to goal after the task ;)
Tim Grabowski won the day in ridig class, and Primoz was the only flex wing who made it to goal. Overall it looks like Roland could have won the German Open, Andre Djamarani second and I am probably 3rd overall in the international ranking (1st woman). Also Natalia Petrova did really well again, she finished 10th overall (2nd woman).

18 Mai 2012

German Open: Day cancelled in the morning

Today the weather forecast seemed to bad to allow a task. Cloud cover and rain from early afternoon. We did not see any rain, quite a few people flew this afternoon. The conditions change very quickly these days, cold fronts and warm fronts race through - at this stage it looks good for another flight and task tomorrow! More pictures here.

17 Mai 2012

Results Day 1 German Open

Results here - Roland won the day, as the pitch measurements of Manfreds and Jörgs glider were not within the limits, they got a 0 for the day.

German Open Task 1: 72km around 4 tp

 Yes it was cold today, but at least we could fly! Take off was late (I got off at 2.25pm), because the wind on launch was from the back much of the time, so we had to wait.
The rigids went first and had an 82km task to fly. 4 of them made goal, Dieter Müglich won the day, followed by Toni Raumauff and Tim Grabowski.
I was quite happy after some good air for a perfect launch and also a nice little thermal. My old LS 3,5s with the brand new sail flies great, straight and sweet, just a handful more in handling than the RX3 that I unfortunately can´t fly in this comp as it is not certified yet. Also Bob is not allowed to compete with the RX 3,5, and two German Wills Wing pilots are also not admitted. Of course, the discussions started even before the comp, we might see a protest - Davis would love it!
But back to the flight. I got up at the perfect time for the first start gate and flew straight to the first turnpoint rather than diving back towards Tegelberg what the "guns" did. Meanwhile, Natalia and I rounded the first turnpoint at Buching even before Manfred Ruhmer! At least the first 15 or so minutes of the comp, I was in the lead of the whole field ;) But there was quite a bit of headwind, so the guys caught up pretty fast.
After a nice flight to Edelsberg, the 2nd turnpoint, it got a bit more difficult to get out to the flatlands for the 3rd turnpoint. I tried to stay high and was a bit slow, but it looks like I got into goal 7th or 8th overall. Manfred Ruhmer won the day, followed by Jörg, I dont know yet who is 3rd.
Weather looks iffy for tomorrow, a bit better for Saturday and Sunday.

16 Mai 2012

German freezing Open at Tegelberg

This is what Tegelberg looks like tonight. Lots of rain and snow today, no task. For tomorrow the forecast is positive that we will fly, but it will definitely look like a week ago on Rauschberg when I sat up the Moyes RX3 in the snow. At least after landing it was nice and warm like summer last week and I met the legends of our XC cup, Peter Waldmann and Markus Ebenfeld. Peter is leading the DHV XC at the moment which is a remarkable achievement. Many years ago he had a severe accident, but he is able to walk and fly hang gliders again. He flies with huge wheels as he can´t land on his legs, but despite the wheels he flew huge FAI triangles last week and is now the XC Nr 1 in Germany - congratulations!
Meanwhile I have put a new sail on my Litespeed 3,5 s. Quite a lot of work to fit the stickers, but I like the result!
For the German Open, it looks like we will fly a task tomorrow and on Saturday, maybe not on Friday. The weather is difficult to predict at the moment. I just hope it warms up soon, it will be below 0 this night...

04 Mai 2012

Rain on course, day cancelled

Today the clouds keep growing and we see a lot of showers on course. At the task briefing, the organizer Manfred Vaupel excused that he had not explained the early start correctly- he didn´t know that there was the "Jump the gun - factor" in the Gap edition he used until he saw that I got bombout points for nearly having made goal. At the briefing, he only mentioned that there would not be leading points or time points, and I thought if nobody gets to goal, just the distance counts anyway... So I left 40 minutes early, made the course before the weather shut down, an hour before Suan and Matjaz came to goal (but the day had already been stopped before even I made goal). Would have been nice to win the last day of Hessische.
A short task to Irschen, Gerlamoos, Castle Stein and goal, 60 km, was set, but then cancelled as the clouds kept growing and there are constantly some showers on course, the forecast is for storms later this afternoon. Tomorrow the wind is predicted to pick up a lot again, so they decided to do the awards already tonight.
Markus Ebenfeld ranks 1st, Matjaz finished 2nd and Suan Selenati 3rd. In rigid class, Tim Grabowski won, and I won the female ranking. Photos from the awards late tonight.
Sasha Serebrennikova, a new good pilot from Russia, testflew the RX3 today - and I think she fell in love with it ;) She is even smaller than me and is very light, but she had a fantastic take off and really liked the handling in the air. You don´t have to move to do a turn, just to think "turn" and the glider does it. If you are a light pilot interested in a test flight with the RX3, please contact me, Im happy to help you if the weather is nice next week somewhere in the alps!

03 Mai 2012

From hero to zero!

Looks like I completely misunderstood our organizer when he explained in the briefing that if we start before the race starts, we would just not get leading points and time points. I thought I can live with that and happily left 40 minutes early today, as I expected the day to shut down fast (which was right). WRONG - sure the "jump the gun -factor" is used as well... so I basically just got bombout points instead of having won the day today by being first in goal. Oh well, I flew all on my own, the whole course, good training, fun thermals, guess I can live with not winning the Hessenmeisterschaft this year ;) but for a moment, I was disappointed that all my good decisions and skills were not rewarded, but punished.
Hopefully we will have another taskable day tomorrow. I want to get at least one day right in this comp!

Task 3: 92km around 3 tp

A lot of ESE-wind made our day difficult today. Air pressure dropped again, it got colder and more unstable - I thought we might see storms early today. In the air, Regina and I decided not to wait for the 1pm start, but to take a risk to loose leading points and time points, but to make it home safe.
The air was unpleasantly turbulent in some places, and Regina dropped out after the first tp at Höfer Alm. I went the conservative way, all on my own, down the ridge to Radlberger Alm not to end up in a lee side with this wind that showed up to 28km/h.
Second turnpoint - difficult to get up again, because the valley wind reaches very high up. Eventually I made it to base, crossed back into the Drau valley, then on to the last tp in Gailtal. Regina gave me good information about wind and weather situation at goal, and I could see the cloud tops. It looked still safe, so I decided to fly back to goal. Landing conditions were really nice when I got to the Thaler field, but it was good to have my father and Regina helping me with pack up. An hour later, just past 4pm, the first lightening and storms started around Greifenburg.
I don´t know how they will score today, will be interesting. I saw Tim racing into goal maybe half an hour after I did, and also Matjaz seems to have gone around the course.
For tomorrow weather conditions look similar, maybe even windier.

02 Mai 2012

Time for racing!

 Today was a difficult day for the task setters. With the prospects of clustering thunderstorms and the possibility of showers in the early afternoon, they set a short 62km task.
A lot of shade and not much lift in the known areas forced me to forget about plan A - leave early, fly fast, get to goal - and made me invent plan B - land fast, pack up fast, race up the mountain again and prove that I learnt something from watching Sebastian Vettel´s Grand Prix. It was impossible to stop my father from complaining - he wanted to get out of the car, even more when I turned on the music so I didnt have to hear his complaints ;) At least Regina was happy, she got a reflight too.
Not many others in the air, less wind and less and less rain, so it felt quite smooth. I went around all turnpoints on my own, even saw a rainbow in the air (hey, they are round!), and made goal. Only 5 people made goal today, but as they stopped the time at 15.30 because of the uncertain weather conditions, and I made goal at 16.29, of course not even half my distance counted for the scores. It was a fantastic flight though and Im getting more and more confident landing in nil wind or changing wind directions. Great training! Also good to see that it sometimes pays off to never give up and always try, always fly, even if it means to "just" fly ;)
Jörg Bajewski won the day which will push him a great deal up the list, while Suan and yesterday´s winner Achim did not make goal. I guess Markus Ebenfeld is in the lead now. And Tim Grabowski, after having won task 2 as well, is still leading the field of 12 rigid wing pilots. 
Similar conditions are predicted for tomorrow, I guess we might aim for a short 60km flight to goal at Villach to get out of the cb zone.

01 Mai 2012

It was still quite a decent wind from the south, I measured up to 30 km/h in the west at Hoefer Alm, our first turnpoint. I know Davis does not like these conditions where you get quite a good work out in thermals (and outside)...
Even though the clouds built up and it started raining here and there, some pilots made it in. Base was high, around 2700m, you just had to get there. Climbs were sometimes really strong, sometimes very slow when you got low.
Wind direction in the valley changed around from west to south to east during the day.
I was getting low on my way to the 2nd turnpoint at Kleblach/Lind bridge, but with this small glider, it was a lot of fun to scratch the tree tops ;) eventually, I climbed out again, while two other guys didnt quite make it. I was too late though, it started raining again, and I landed a few km short of Greifenburg, without the last turnpoint.
The guys did a good job with task setting, keeping us in this valley so they could cancel in case the overdevelopment got too strong.
Tomorrow it looks like a similar day, maybe even more unstable.

By the way, congratulations to Scott Barrett for having won the Dalby meet in Australia, and to Kathryn for having won the women´s comp - and there were a lot of women competing up there!
Also felicitaciones to Pedro Garcia for having won the Flytec race and rally in flex class, Françoise Dieuzede as 1st women and Oli Gregory in rigid class! Sorry mentioning them so late, I was just superbusy and working hard to make enough time for flying in May, which is usually one of the best months over here for long cross countries.