Saturday, 27 September 2014

Super Final 2014 - Turkey - Cancelled days

Three no-fly days in a row...  It is not a good thing when a hundred and something pilots start to get bored.  The forecast for Sunday is not looking good either.  Monday might be on, but we can't be sure.  If Sunday is cancelled early enough, there is talk of going down to Oludeniz which is a couple of hours south on the coast.  For those of you who have not heard of it, Oludeniz it is a popular paragliding destination featuring Mount Babadag soaring 2,000m out of the sea.  The literal translation is Dead Sea but it is officially referred to as Blue Lagoon.  I went there with a group in 1999 and did my 25th flight from there which I remember as clearly as if it were yesterday.  There is something quite special about being more than a mile above the beautiful turquoise waters of Oludeniz in perfectly laminar air.  Flying into Butterfly Valley a few kilometres from the Babadag launch is a rare experience.  In my case it was particularly thrilling given my low airtime.  You fly in and take a boat out. 


Butterfly Valley

I was flying a pro-design Relax (DHV 1/2) at the time.  The group I was with entertained themselves at the end of every day after landing on the beach by giving me a radio and taking turns to talk me through manoeuvres.  I blindly followed their instructions as they tried all kinds a radical things out on me.  I remember getting tunnel vision regularly in spiral dives and I was pretty familiar with the top surface of my wing by the end of the holiday.  I somehow survived, but I was convinced paragliding was too extreme for me until someone took pity and explained to me what was going on.  

As to be expected with so much down time, speculation about gliders is reaching fever pitch.  No-one really seems to know exactly what Niviuk is doing about the CCC class but everyone some-how knows that there will be an Ice Peak 8.  The Boomerang 10 is expected soon with varying reports of how awesome it will be:  some say it is fast and stable, others say it climbs well with awesome handling.  The thing is that it takes almost an entire season before you get an accurate picture of glider performance with new releases.  So unless there is a massive advance (as was the case with the R10.2 & R11) it is hard to tell which wing is best. 

The Enzo 2 Large has gone into production with a couple of pilots reportedly flying them here.  Whatever the case, we will know soon enough.  I just hope that the controversy of this serial class era abates because it really has become tedious.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Paragliding in Oludeniz is just incredible! I tried it for the first time this year and I hope to get to Oludeniz back next year so definitely will take a flight again!
Oludeniz Paragliding