30 Mai 2014

Day 2: cancelled, strong northerly "Föhn"

Today we could see the clouds racing over the mountains, pushed by quite a significant northerly wind. The "Föhn" is predicted to push down into the valleys, so the day was cancelled for safety reasons. At least we have sunshine, while it´s raining on the northern side of the alps!
Two more possible days for our Hessenmeisterschaft.

29 Mai 2014

Hessenmeisterschaft Day 1: 67km

Today´s results here!
As there was no flying and an early awards ceremony yesterday, I decided to put a new sail on my Moyes RX3. With Nils´ help, the sail went on pretty quickly, but then all the stickers had to go on as well... I finished in the evening.
This morning we went up to launch early for the first task of Hessenmeisterschaft. Rain was possible according to the forecast, so we went early into a short 67km task around 4 turnpoints. I really enjoyed the new, crispy sail - very smooth handling, and flying fast with full VG, the sail is just beautiful! I smoked in with only Stefan Boller shortly ahead of me and Achim crossing the line at the same time, as far as I can tell at the moment, as I haven´t seen results yet ;) Exciting to have a great machine for the upcoming world championships in Annecy!
Looks like we might get another 3 tasks in, as the weather forecast has improved quite a bit!

28 Mai 2014

German Open: Tim, Primoz and I won!

Today we had the German Open awards - Tim won rigid class, Primoz won flex class, I won the women´s competition! Great result after two really long and challenging tasks of racing along my favourite mountains in Greifenburg. Thanks so much to the organizers and the local supporters of Emberger Alm, Greifenburg and Berg im Drautal!
Im happy that I can stay and fly another competition now, starting tomorrow already: the Hessenmeisterschaft!

27 Mai 2014

German Open Day 4: more rain, day cancelled

Overcast sky and prediction for rain and storms let the organizers cancel the day this morning. A short break between showers, and I went up to launch with my friend Rebekka. I had taught her flying hang gliders, so I was happy to help her get into the air for a short, nice flight.
She ran into a perfect power take off and landed before the bad weather returned. I was very pleased, and so was she!
We might fly a last task tomorrow, or else we will have the awards early - but we hope for a few hours of sun!

26 Mai 2014

Day 3 German Open: cancelled

The forecast for today was for showers, and before noon it really started raining under the overcast skies. The day was cancelled in the morning, so we had time to charge our batteries and cure our sore muscles from the last flights. It wasn´t the longest of tasks, but in this powerful, fresh spring thermals, it can be quite a demanding rodeo in the air!

Thanks to Sander´s talented personal photographer Anne-Marie, I can share some really good photos of Emberger Alm take off with you! His team mate Gijs Wanders has been awarded with average points for the second task, as he helped to rescue a pilot who had tumbled and went down on the reserve. Gijs had witnessed that the pilot landed in a snow field in an uninhabited area almost on top of the ridge, so he dialed into the safety frequency and gave the exact position to help with the helicopter rescue, He then flew back to Greifenburg in case more information was needed. Luckily the pilot was quickly rescued, taken to hospital and looked after. He is well – thanks Gijs, and thanks to Monique who did the same for me in Australia many years ago!

25 Mai 2014

Day 2 German Open: 109km around 3tp

Today the forecast was for possible overdevelopment, so the task was set shorter than yesterday. We had to fly up to Matrei and back to Radlberger Alm. The southerly turned into a northerly wind later, but at least the clouds stayed friendly.
I wanted to stay as high as possible today, as I expected some rough air around some cliffs and mountain tops. I wasn´t all that fast, as I kept stopping to top up height, but it worked and I got to goal in the end. My friend Evi from Bruneck visited us today and helped us with the car. First time she saw a hang gliding competition start!
Primoz won the day in Flex class and my adidas team mate Tim won rigid class again! I think I was fastest woman of the day.
At the moment it´s raining outside, for tomorrow there might be some storms in the early afternoon and probably stronger wind.
Results here.

24 Mai 2014

German Open Day 1: 138km around 2 turnpoints

After pitch measurements, other preparations and a lot of rain yesterday in Greifenburg in the evening, we were greeted by a sunny, good looking forecast for today. Lots of really good XC pilots turned up at Emberger Alm, which is always a sign for a good flying day!
The first task was set to 138km around 2 turnpoints, with a slightly larger radius around the last turnpoint for the flex wings and a smaller one for the 35 (!) rigid wing pilots.
It was fun to get on course, cloud base was around 2700m already at launch, and climbing higher towards our furthest turnpoint in Toblach. In a light southerly, it was even possible to fly along the south side of Lienzer Dolomiten today!
When I arrived at goal at 4.30pm, it was still life everywhere, so I decided to go to Radlberger Alm and just enjoy the beautiful, smooth evening air for a while. Goal was packed with about 25 rigid and 30 flex wings, so I decided to land on the other side at the Thaler field. Nils, also in goal but at the camp, had already packed up and came over to help me get back to HQ to download my track.
What an epic start into the largest German Open since a long time - 90 competitors from 10 different countries, amongst them even the Turkish national team!
Congratulations to Tim Grabowski who won the rigid task, and to Rolan Wöhrle who was 1st in flex class!

22 Mai 2014

Buenos Aires morning run

For training, I like to go running in the natural reserve along the Rio de la Plata, just next to our hotel. This time I saw several kites and parrots, also some really small birds, and then a couple of beautiful sea eagles on their morning flight! Majestic animals!
When I got back to the hotel, my colleague just wanted to start out on her run, but she was cold, so I had lent her my running jacket - looked good on her too! She is a triathlete, so now she knows which gear to get next ;)
Back in the hotel, it was very busy, as they were hosting the Martin Fierro awards, something like the Argentinian grammy. Not much sleep for the two nights I stayed in Buenos Aires, too much noise setting up and packing up the staging area of the event.
Almost on my way to the German Open in Greifenburg which starts tomorrow - I will report!

18 Mai 2014

Winner of the Dutch Open: Nils Vesk from Sydney!

I´m always happy when hang gliding friends from all over the world visit me in Germany - I am grateful for their hospitality and help when I travel all around the world, and Im very gladly returning what I can to make them feel at home and help them get into the air.
Last week Nils Vesk from Sydney arrived, excited to go hang gliding for the first time in Europe. He had a good training in Mexico at the worlds, and I knew that the friendly, lush landing fields and picturesque mountains of Greifenburg would look very inviting to him ;) Just the weather forecast kind of put a knot into my stomach, but Nils stayed all positive and smiling. I had to work this week, so I just helped him set up my glider and gear to head south.
When Nils saw the crisp new sail of my beautiful Moyes Litespeed 3,5 S, he was happy - Im sure he knew he would have good flights with that machine ;) I told him about some amazing performances I had at German Open and European Championships on that glider. Of course I told him ALL the secrets about Greifenburg flying that I had collected over the years.
On Monday, Nils had his first flight ever in Greifenburg, and in Europe - and he came 2nd of the day, just taking a careful last glide when finishing the task! Only one more day was flyable, and he flew the second furthest distance, and with that, won the Dutch Open overall!
Now I better ask Nils to teach me all HIS winning secrets when we will fly the German Open, starting next Friday also in Greifenburg!!!

17 Mai 2014

Buenos dias, Buenos Aires!

After a cold front with rain yesterday, we arrived in crystal clear cool air in Buenos Aires today. It´s been a while since I was here, and I missed this beautiful city, the jewel of South America!

16 Mai 2014

I wish I was...

... going to Kuala Lumpur now, so I could cheer for my friends who fly at the Red Bull Air Race in Putrajaya this weekend!
Instead I just came back from a few days in Bremen - glorious sunshine there today! - almost getting ready for the briefing to my work flight to Buenos Aires now. At least that is a good trip for training for the German Open that will take place in Greifenburg next week.

06 Mai 2014

Wings for Life Worldrun Darmstadt, Sunday May 4th

It was great to meet a lot of guys at the Wings for Life Worldrun in Darmstadt on Sunday. The night before, they had organized a pasta party and a reading/concert of Samuel Koch, a guy who had suffered an accident on a TV show when he tried to jump over some cars and fell. He has been paraplegic since from the neck down, like our friend Zwecki many years ago. With the world run, Wings for Life collected 3 million Euros for their foundation to support spinal cord research!
Like Matthias Dolderer, Im a pilot, but not exactly a runner, so we were a bit nervous of embarrassing ourselves with poor results in this new formate of a run. We started out on a track, and half an hour later a "catcher car" starts on the same track, disqualifying the runners it will pass. Matthias and I both could not believe that we were able to run 11 km, just like Hannes Arch in Austria and Robby Naish in the US, just like Jonny Durand and Alaina! Jamie got to 16km.
Miriam Gössner, world champion with the relay in biathlon, made 22,7 km - she is fit! Mark Webber ran an awesome 28km!
Mocki went 25km, and her brother Markus won the run in Darmstadt with 57km!
Big congratulations to the world wide winners, Norwegian Elise Molvik who made 54,79km in Stavanger, and Lemawork Ketema (Ethiopia) with incredible 78,58km in Austria!
We gave all we could, running for the ones who can´t, and my muscles are still in pain today. But the real heroes are the guys who never give up hope that they will walk again - I know some of them already fly again!!! Cheers to Mariann Moen, Petra Kreuz, Hannes Kinigadner, Josef Zweckmeyer, Lois Neubauer, Tarek Rasouli, Fernando Fernandes, Samuel Koch, Paulo Barbosa and Tamara Oliveira! You guys rock, and you will walk again!
Im sure we will all be back in Darmstadt on May 3rd for the second Wings for Life Worldrun! Thanks to former triathlon world champion Daniel Unger (race director in Darmstadt) and to the whole crews around the world for the perfect synchronisation and organization, it was a lot of fun to participate in my first "run" ;)

02 Mai 2014

These shoes are made for running...

... and you can follow us on the Wings for Life World Run here! We will start this Sunday at 10am UTC, and I will run in Darmstadt. If you can´t make it to Darmstadt to run with us, you can still participate by donating for the cause of spinal cord research. Thanks for supporting us!