Saturday, 22 January 2011

Worldcup Roldanillo Colombia .. Task Six

and so the final day dawned with a higher base elevated the task committee to set a hundred kilometer triangular task.  The task briefings have been entertaining with Luc Armant taking it upon himself to share pearls of wisdom with Ozone pilots everyday.  The first lesson from the unlikely genius suggested that we should not use the brakes in the event of flying in rain until such time as the glider dried out.  another day we were told not to launch with knots in our lines and yesterday he suggested that we should not fly faster than our shadows.
World cup rules dictate that a mximum of six tasks are flown which makes the last day a rest day.... hence a big task.  The conditions were good so the first gaggle completed the task in three hours twenty.  Almost a hundred pilots in goal with the smiling Dane called Marcus Malmquist got in first on the same wing that Mads had in Pville.  Russel managed to hang onto the tail of the first wave securing a tenth place overall.  I got in shortly after and finishing in the top half which was small consolation but better than the threat of hundredth earlier in the week.
Renata won ahead of Elisa and Keiko and Michael Siegel took it from Russel Ogden and PeterN.
All in all a great week of easy flying in a mellow, modest and friendly place. I would recommend it to anyone looking for good consistent easy flying.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Paragliding World Cup Roldanillo Colombia - Task 2, 3, 4 & 5

We start really early, so not much opportunity to update the blog.  Sincere apologies to our thousands of blog disciples!  At least I have good news!  RusselA is hot, hot, hot and on fire staring at a top 10-15 place going into the last day.  Russel followed up on his solid start with a top ten finish on a six hour 120km marathon on day two with Pepe getting the furthest just 800m short.  Day three was a short affair of 55km which saw almost the entire field in goal in two and a half hours.  A couple of stragglers bunched the points severely giving the top hundred pilots at least 700 points.  Task four started fast and furious but was blocked by shadow and rain at the 90km point where the bulk of the field were condensed by the time they stopped the task.


Task five was set with two huge turn point cylinders at opposite ends of an out and return course giving pilots greater opportunity to choose a route.  Both Russel and Andre finished in the top ten. 


One day to go with Russel in the top fifteen and Andre clawing his way back into the top 50 (hopefully).


Last night was a festival involving St Sebastian in the catholic tradition.  We were entertained by two hours of fireworks and a brass band playing some funky Colombian carnival style music.




Sunday, 16 January 2011

Paragliding World Cup Roldanillo Colombia - Task 1

The day dawned heavy and ominous, the sky pregnant and bereft of promise.  Or so it seemed to my jet lagged aching body rudely awakened while the entire field was ferried up the hill at an ungodly hour of 7:30. .. and then they set a 120km task (90km nett)!!  A couple of red bull shots delivered by a ‘bull babe’ and accompanied by a spanglish speech extolling the wing giving ability of the toxic brew woke me up and in the mood for flying as the day rapidly improved.  In summary if you were late earlier on you got spanked which punishment Andre received and Russel avoided pulling one out of the bag for team SA making goal with the 30 or so skygods.  They start the day early because the launch is essentially in the lee of the ever present Sea Breeze which is briefly held back by local thermal activity until about mid-day where-after you get flushed if you’re dumb enough to be anywhere near the ridge.  Provisional results Russel 29th and Andre 46th.  Our favourite Brit, Russel Ogden probably took it if Mickey doesn’t steal it with lead out points.  Nick, Josh, Pepe and a host of French along with some other usual suspects were all in. Then again I guess at these events almost all of the pilots could be considered ‘usual suspects’… such is the standard.   Stephan Drouin managed to survive a 40m drop after hitting power lines which destroyed his glider.  No other incidents as far as we know.


Russel’s experience:  ‘Messed up the start, fixed the middle and survived to the end. Scratching skills now honed’.

Andre’s experience: ‘Stuffed up the start, messed up the middle and died in the end.  Hiking skills now honed’.


All in all a wonderful day of flying with the rest of the week looking promising.


Quote of the (yester)day from Frankie Brown receiving massage from no less than FIVE pretty Colombian attendants: ‘I don’t think I can handle five, but I die trying’.

Paragliding World Cup Roldanillo Colombia

So Russel and I did the 36 hours with two big flights on the retro-fitted Iberian airline A340 (no personal tv on seat back) via Madrid to Perreira and finally Roldanillo arriving at 1 am local time totally broken. 


Roldanillo is rustic and rural with our accomdation best described as functional is somewhat noisy.  Nightclubs and street bars are the order the night, but at least Russel’s room has hot water (now that he knows that the little tap in the corner supplies the aforementioned).  The practice day was a delight in the sense that there was no stress with an abundance of mild thermals and we ended up flying around for some hours.  The landing field in town is a stadium of sorts.  Hundreds of locals cheered the free flying field on landing which is a novel experience in our cinderella sport.