Monday, 12 July 2010

Chelan USA - US Nationals

So we got onto this big-ass airplane called an A380 which takes hours to load because there were almost 800 passengers. I am not sure how the thing actually gets airborne, but it did and then we were offered Poullet or Bouef which is somehow tastier than the Chicken or Beef option on other airlines. I guess it had something to do with the french accent and flashing false eye-lashes.
I was wondering how you get this 600 ton monster back on the ground when the pilot attempted to destroy the runway by arriving a little too hot. I happened to be watching my half of the 80m wing thinking "that's fast" and felt the desperate pull back and subsequent impact with the wing-tips flexing at least ten meters virtually scraping the runway. Even the french crew were showing huge white eyeballs which told me this was not normal operating procedure.
After visiting the local Wall-Mart for tents, camp cots, camp chairs and goose down pillows at bargain prices, we settled into the (strict) campsite next to lake Chelan with it's perfectly manicured lawns. We fell like squatters with our tiny little tents among the towering RV city. I have never seen such huge camping vehicles!
Practice Day
Any body interested in 6 up thermals marked by dusties and a 4000m cloudbase? Bring it on!!
What lovely introduction to flying in the US: A whole bunch of friendly twangy english speaking pilots and superb conditions for paragliding.
First Day - First Task
An 89km dog-leg-down-wind dash was set to the ENE. Fast, Fast, Fast with an average of 46km/h for our gaggle leading into goal in 1hr45mins. This task was a crowd pleaser if ever I saw one which was a good thing because:
Task 2 - was not a sensible affair with a similar 75km dog-leg with an extra double-back sting in the tail at the end which meant flying the last 12km into wind... sadly the wind was fierce in the 40km/h variety and it took an eight meter per second climb spawned by a whirly convention in a dusty wheat field to get three of us to cloudbase. With a glide of 2.4 required to make goal, we barely made it in flying at full speed barely making 15km/h ground speed. The task scored better than expected with Josh Cohn four points ahead of me with Jack Brown in about ten minutes later. Russel Ogden would have felt robbed as he had almost an hour on the rest of us but came up less than 1km short. I think this will place Josh, Russel, Jack and I close up in front with a small cushion over the rest of the field.
Today is blown-out and the tomorrow may be the same.


Anonymous said...

lekkerrr my skat, vlieg jou hart uit en geniet jouself gate uit!

Unknown said...

If you can not buy it at Wall-Mart you do not need it!!