Tuesday, 21 August 2012

World Cup - Sun Valley - Day 2 - Task 2

Day three was cancelled due to the threat of OD. 

I have had many awesome paragliding experiences, so I won't bore you with comparisons suffice to say that yesterday was up there with the best of the best.  I'm not generally in awe of big distance for distance sake, but when you fly over the terrain we did yesterday in the spectacular conditions and with quality pilots I get terribly excited. 

The task map provides hints but speaks nothing of the desperate isolation of Scorpion mountain; it does not describe the raging splendour of King Mountain; and it most certainly does not do the alien landscape crossing to Saddle Mountain any justice.  The fact that Nate and friends do these flights with nothing more than SPOT for company speaks volumes for the passion and commitment they have for the sport and the area (not to mention the balls they possess - I was wondering why they walk funny).

The start was a little dodgy in the sense that we ended up grovelling after the crossing from D01 to B07 which proved to be more challenging than expected with the 5mile airspace around B61(just off the bottom of the task map below) pushing us into the hills NE of the airfield.

Most managed to grab B51 at altitude before going on an extended glide toward A43.  I lost touch with the lead along the way with a dubious choice of line.  The lead changed several times on the way and A43 turned out to be crucial with the bulk of the lead group flying south of the course line to the spur leading north to King mountain (D02).  I elected to fly alone (for some unknown anti-social reason) and ended up flying alone for the better part of an hour before hitting the monster thermal at the foot of the King mountain pass.  This thermal somehow elevated me from mid field to the back of the lead gaggle which had fortuitously slowed up contemplating the crossing to the diamond peak mountain range (B67).  We did the crossing almost exactly on the course line.  It was great to hook up with Wagga, Raul, Russel, Urs, Mike, Dean, and others who all worked really hard together to milk the last few lines of lift while going out into the flats with 50km left to go and a required glide of twenty or more.  We were bullish about completing this gargantuan task for a while with signs of convergence/streeting setting up.  All too suddenly the day switched off and within 15mins it was clearly over and we all went on the mandatory death glide landing tantalisingly close to the elusive goal.

Task/Vario Stats
Max Alt: 4324m ASL
Max Vario (1s): 9.0 m/s
Max Vario (10s): 5.8 m/s
Total height gain: 19565m
Distance Flown: 175 km

Effective Glide Ratio: 8.75

See video below or for HD version go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9I3yCTZGCUU


Ryan Mulholland said...

Hi Andre

Pls explain what happened with the scoring and the airspace? I see you are back up in 4th. But some people are still penalised?

Keep it up.

AndreR said...

They announced the radius in km & miles (9 & 5 respectively). I was outside of the 5 mile radiius, the others were inside 5mile radius).