Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Fwd: pwc 2012 bir billing final results

More from Andrew:
And so it's all done. A short but fun last task.
Couldn't change much really.
Only one place change at the top, Theuns moving to third. So two Sud Afris on the podium!
There were cash prizes ( don't tell the the receiver of revenue!) so the guys are extra happy.
Theun's first international podium. Go Theuns!
Also the first time an Indian pilot has won the overall. Good on ya Vijay.
Large closing ceremony at the landing, going on till after dark. Gliders still coming in to land through the gloom.
We then joined the Indian crew at the Tibetan Joy Cafe for a quick snack and celebratory drink and toke.
Ranking officers included an Air Commodore and two Colonels. Waiting downstairs was our heavily laden taxi, ready for the 12 hour haul to Delhi.
Fortunately the local lads helped with Himalaya's finest for the drive, so the first half was rather fun! Especially the military road blocks.
We arrived in Delhi before dawn and took on the challenge of getting into the airport building. Not possible without a paper ticket. Much admin to get paper printed out from the iPads. But done now, and the lads are through. I can't enter the building for another 7 hours though.
So going to take in the Akshardham temple, meant to be more spectacular than the Taj and the eighth wonder of the world. Cool.

 Paragliding International Competition

2012-10-23 to 2012-11-01

Task 1-5

Total results

Task Date Distance
Task 1 2012-10-26  46,0 km Race to Goal with 1 startgate(s)
Task 2 2012-10-27 43,5 km Race to Goal with 1 startgate(s)
Task 3 2012-10-28 66,0 km Race to Goal with 1 startgate(s)
Task 4 2012-10-29 49,8 km Race to Goal with 1 startgate(s)
Task 5 2012-10-30 39,0 km Race to Goal with 1 startgate(s)

# Id Name Nat Glider Sponsor T 1 T 2 T 3 T 4 T 5 Total
1 58 Vijay M Soni M IND Niviuk Ice Peak 6 930 946 878 981 897 4632
2 57 Nevil Leighton Hulett M RSA Ozone Enzo 924 811 885 954 938 4512
3 59 Theuns Johannes Koekemoer M RSA Enzo 884 671 749 988 896 4188
4 45 Gurpreet Singh Dhindsa M IND Niviuk Ice Peak 831 736 839 918 842 4166
5 56 Andrew John Smith M RSA Nivuik IP6 528 807 905 967 927 4134
6 43 Stanislaw Radzikowski M POL Triple Seven Rook 731 770 764 798 773 3836
7 34 Konstantin Treglibov M RUS Ozone Enzo 979 816 800 564 532 3691
8 4 Szymon Sapeta M POL Sky-Country Evolution X 546 714 734 789 845 3628
9 37 Anatoly Lomovtsev M RUS Para Avis Odissey 755 645 755 543 762 3460
10 41 Slawomir Robert Kedziak M POL Ozone Delta 579 612 633 766 788 3378
11 5 Agnieszka Schwenk F POL Triple Seven Rook 526 510 697 792 760 3285
12 35 Vitaliy Kovylin M RUS Sky Country Evolution 519 655 670 557 740 3141
13 55 Dmitrii Zhuravlev M RUS Paraavis Vqr10 523 560 581 753 711 3128
14 31 Nikita Makarov M RUS Axis Vega II 532 539 599 573 641 2884
15 32 Klaus Pedersen M DEN Gradient Aspen 674 276 688 560 684 2882
16 48 Maxim Zubarev M RUS Nova Factor 545 643 640 475 532 2835
17 68 Prakash Chand Thakur M IND Ozone Mantra M4 522 609 618 350 714 2813
18 62 Aleksandr Matveev M RUS Gradiend Aspen 3 567 527 554 770 362 2780
19 42 Grzegorz Rafal Dudka M POL Advance Sigma 7 552 627 473 352 687 2691
20 1 Svetlana Gennadievna Pozharskikh F RUS Advance Sigma 8 462 535 553 505 635 2690
21 33 Ulrik Mailand M DEN Sky Walk Chilli 2 545 542 473 619 491 2670
22 36 Anna Darchenkova F RUS Para Avis Joy 596 503 541 405 579 2624
23 27 Raj Kumar M IND Sky Walk Canny 569 526 488 544 350 2477
24 63 Yevgeniy Oreshkin M KAZ SC EVO 26 508 473 287 714 489 2471
25 72 Arvind Paul M IND Airwave magic 4 509 121 666 676 480 2452
26 2 Sergey Stanislav Makovskiy M KAZ Artik 3 Nivvik 509 569 567 352 454 2451
27 28 Akhilesh Yadav M IND Mac Para Envyz 509 540 467 455 354 2325
28 67 Kamal Kumar M IND Ozone Delta 522 121 548 510 542 2243
29 23 Thangboi Vaiphei M IND Pro Design Jalpa 394 494 470 385 438 2181
30 20 Praveen Kumar Sharma M IND Sky Walk Chilli 397 425 432 386 454 2094
31 69 Igor Borisov M RUS Swing Mistral 448 430 455 357 399 2089
32 29 Vishnu Sharma M IND Mac Para Envy 2 485 425 440 241 390 1981
33 61 Oxana Negriy F RUS Sol Ellus 4 122 479 457 439 438 1935
34 65 Jyoti Prakash Thakur M IND Advance Omega 6 482 306 526 468 143 1925
35 38 Dhirendra Singh Thakur M IND Mac Para Envy 2 348 425 320 312 513 1918
36 49 Dimtry Moriakov M RUS Nova Factor 2 441 121 470 365 517 1914
37 66 Raj Kumar Thakur M IND Advance Omega 7 182 513 552 528 1775
38 60 Mikhail Krapivin M KAZ Gin Tribe 122 518 548 198 355 1741
39 8 Sundar Raj M IND Pro Design Jalpa 122 425 441 294 425 1707
40 54 Jigish R Gohil M IND Axis Pluto 2 308 353 414 209 288 1572
41 11 Kuppu Samy M IND Pro Design Accura 382 495 233 190 210 1510
42 30 Suhas Narayan Chaudhary M IND Pro - Design Accura 194 217 427 262 351 1451
43 12 Gurjant Singh M IND Mac Para Envy 2 387 197 209 366 211 1370
44 18 Pawan Kumar Negi M IND Sky walk Canny 388 202 284 197 236 1307
45 16 Ajit Sangma M IND Sky Walk Chilli 153 294 288 294 143 1172
46 73 Dinesh Kumar M IND Advance Epsilon-3 350 365 345 100 1160
47 6 Meenu Yadav F IND Para Avis Jazz 387 250 406 100 1143
48 46 Shankar Singh M IND Niviuk Hook 122 219 111 543 143 1138
49 9 Shashi Pal Rana M IND Pro Design Accura 270 316 144 196 211 1137
50 50 Samarth Sharma M IND Ozone Geo 154 157 138 475 211 1135
51 71 Subhash Chand M IND Ozone Mculse 122 121 449 365 1057
52 26 Lianzamawi Vualnam M IND Mac Para Envy 2 237 268 194 189 143 1031
53 7 Amit Anil Kakade M IND Axis Comet 145 306 111 100 282 944
54 64 Natalya Goncharova M KAZ Firebird Raven 508 121 289 918
55 13 Katasani Srinivasa Reddy M IND Pro Design Accura 122 407 111 133 143 916
56 17 Akash Singha M IND Sky Walk Chilli 195 198 205 172 143 913
57 19 Gurvinder Singh M IND Independence 196 144 119 103 143 705
58 47 Vishal Kumar Jassal M IND Advance Omega 122 318 111 143 694
59 3 Amit Sangrai M IND Swing Arcus 155 121 111 100 143 630
60 22 Rakesh Kumar Panghai M IND Sky Walk Chilli 128 121 118 105 143 615
61 10 SS. Khalnong Lamkang M IND Pro Design Accura 122 121 111 105 143 602
62 25 Lalrannghaka M IND Mac Para Edn 4 122 121 111 100 143 597
62 15 Bijay Borah M IND Sky Walk Chilli 122 121 111 100 143 597
62 21 Mukesh Kumar Chourey M IND Sky Walk Chilli 122 121 111 100 143 597
62 24 Milan Swargiary M IND Pro Design Accura 122 121 111 100 143 597
62 14 Bhanwar Lal M IND Sky Walk Kayene 122 121 111 100 143 597
67 53 Igor Gordeev M RUS Jor Paravis 511 0 511
68 51 Sukhcharan Sing Brar M IND Axis Pwto 0
68 52 Jaswinder Pal Singh M IND Ozone Electron 0
68 44 Robert Zagorski M POL Ozone Rush 0 0
68 39 Przemyslaw Andrlej Wojtkiewicz M POL Ozone Mantra 0
68 40 Kacper Kowalski M POL Ozone Mantra 0
68 70 Alexander Karmanov M RUS MAC Marvel 0

Billing last day

Mr Smith sent this final report from India:

And so it finishes - with another perfect day.
Wind still.
Thermals up to 3.
Inverted but we still managed 3,200m for the start.
Thereafter mainly ridge racing and spin jumping at about 2,500 m.
A shortish 45 - 50 km race.
Nev got it by 40s from me, Vijay a few minutes back followed by Theuns after another 10 s.
So our taxi took the first 4 again.
Overall Vijay may just retain 1st from Nev.
Guprid was in 3rd so depends on the goal points, but he may keep it.
Then Theuns in 4th and me trailing in 5th overall.
We all made goal near the front every day (although I was penalised 450 points the first day!) so job well done by team SA.
We've had 7/7 flying days
The locals are not surprised ... they expect 100% here!

Still a bit ugly on launch. The Russian super hero was penalised 200 pts for cloud flying with shouting and half threats from his 'team manager' unfortunate.

We are going to taxi thorugh the night to reach Delhi tomorrow am.
I will head back while Nev and Theuns travel to the NE of India for a flying festival.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Task 4 pics

Billing Task 4 update

Andrew Smith reported:

Hey guys,
Today's update from paragliding heaven.

A more stable day today. Blue at launch with some small Cu's at around 4,000 on the bigger east facing cliffs. Not even a gaggle of vultures above launch. Although we've had them every other day. One Himalayan Griffon passed so low over/through launch that the spectators had to duck!

Over the last 6 days the maximum lift as shown on my fancy new machine (hooray, no finger/neurone probs today) has declined as follows:
6.1, 5.8, 5.4, 4.8, 4.2, and 3.7 today. So tomorrow probably even softer and slower.

Not that it's a problem at all. Very smooth transitions with a perfect but slow climb on every spur, sublime.

A bit of unhappiness at launch. The young wild Russian (their reigning national champion) who's leading the comp was protested for cloud flying yesterday. On the first day he got the jump (by 350 m) on the whole front gaggle at the start and we weren't able to catch him (he's a great plot and v fast). Theuns was certain that he was well in the cloud. Someone else saw him as well and he was officially warned.Then yesterday he did the same with one of the top Indians. So a formal protest.

Start was awesome again. Tiny wisps of cloud at 3,400m. Of course it's rather cool. Thick gloves and three layers needed. Many guys flying in down jackets.

As we waited at the top a glider came out of the high mountains about 10 km away where base was +4,000m. He glided right over our heads.

Today's task about 60 km across the fingers/spurs/ridges. No soaring at all.

The racing is speeding up and full bar on the crossings. Nev, Vijay and I spent most of the time together and got clear of the main group.

The Ruskie went a bit hard and landed out. Theuns joined Nevil's aggressive (and maybe more risky?) front line and our taxi was together for the final moves.
Only Vijay (now defending the overall lead) remembered the +3 km speed section end, and shot out low to get it. But Theuns still prevailed taking line honours from him by 19 s, me 30 s later followed by Nev after another minute. This is before any lead out points, but probably won't change anything.
So as we head into the final day Vijay should be in the lead, Nev 2nd, Theuns about 5th and me 6th or so.

Yes, the final day. You may ask. But it is India and the meet director told us last night that he had some other commitment and was stopping the comp. Originally he wanted to stop it after 3 tasks! And nobody can argue - you see he's a military Colonel! And that's power here.

Bir Billing - Day 4 Task 4

Just in from Andrew:
Well, another fantastic day in flying paradise.
More stable today with slower climbs.
Max climb over the last as per machine/ 6.1, 5.8, 5.2, 4.8, 4.2, 3.7 m/s.
So getting more stable.
Will give you a blow by blow report when we get a connection.
A difficult 60 km or so task with a very tricky finish (sneaky ESS 3 km out) only Vijay remembered it!
BUT our taxi styled today. 1st 4 places by quite a way.
Theuns took line honours by 10 seconds from Vijay, 30 seconds from me and Nev inside a minute.
Today was across the topography, climb on every spine and full bar across the valleys.
The Russian bows today so Vijay will move up to 1st and Nev 2 nd.
It looks like they plan to stop the comp early though because the MD has another commitment! India!!!

Bir Billing Photo updates

Nev and Vijay @ Goal (photo A. Smith)
       Rice paddies with race-ridge in background (photo A. Smith)


Launch (photo A. Smith)  
4,000m 'hills' (photo A. Smith)


Sunday, 28 October 2012

Day 3 Task 3

Andrew reporting:

Hey girls
Nother perfect paragliding day in the Himalayan foothills.
Clear and stable to start
Some puffs at 3,200m but hard (30 mins) to get up.
Started above a +3000 m knife edge with a spectacular view over the snow covered peaks.
Alas no camera!
Doubted my instrument at the start and went back for a sure dip.
So was on a catch up mission
Indescribably good flying.
Racing through huge bowls just below the sinking base ( it ended up at 2,600)
Have to take the odd climb to cross the fingers (ridges).
Can be hard to judge the first turn - the slopes are so huge that you can't be sure if you're turning just above all bushes or huge trees.
Caught and thru the front group after half way except for the Ruskie who was far ahead.
So 2 nd in, then Nev and Vijay a few minutes later.
Theuns 10 or so more.
All good.
Just had a R6.50 (<$1 USD) plate of Dhal..
Even better.
Av speed 37.
For 77 km o&r.

Tibetan prayer flags outside our digs (photo A. Smith)

Bir main road

More from Billing

Today's brief report
Awesome start again, getting a coupla hunnerd metres above base
A bit busy at times with wings descending thru the cloud from above!
Racing along the spines today
Steep ridges >45 deg mostly treed, some cliffs
Some lees to wrestle with, but generally great with climbs up to 6 or so.
You have the finishing places
Pretty cool flying here, big globes essential
Temperatures in the 20's by day and well < 10 at night
Prices still boggle us
A plate of dhal and rice at the goal field cost R6.50!
Later then

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Bir Billing Day 2 Task 2

Just in from Andrew:

Nother nice day.
Base 2800m.
50 km up and down the ridge.
Bit more tricky, nice racing on the back ridges.
Vijay out lined us near the end putting 10 minutes onto the lead.
Russian, Nevil and I next, about 45 seconds between us.
Theuns a bit later.

Fwd: WhatsApp image

Bir/Billing pics

Best Regards

Friday, 26 October 2012

Indian stuff

More from Andrew:
> Hey girls,
> We're having a complete blast in Bir/Billing.
> Bir started to grow as a Tibetan refugee village. Now it's a Tibetan community surrounded by elaborately gilded Buddhist monasteries ( you know, monks with round faces and shaven heads wearing purple robes, golden lions and huge gongs, all drinking yak curds? ) So being Tibetan, many folk have slightly Chinese features (it's a joke, so laughs here please), and different cuisine.
> Bir's a hilly place at the foot of the Himalayas, rising from 1,500m at Bir through 2,400m at the Billing takeoff ( the first change of slope ) to 3,400m at t he crest of the ridge just behind takeoff. The next hills back get up to +4,000m and then into the PROPER hills.
> Mornings are clear, with Cu's starting on the east-facing slopes around 9 bells. Base was varied today, from 2,400m to 3,100 m. So we don't see much of the topography after 10 or 11 am (see pics).
> Everything works by taxi. Roads are v tight, between terraced rice paddies or tea fields. So the protocol is to hoot. At peds. At other cars. At dogs, sheep whatever. Continuous. No aggro, but plenty horn.
> Taxis are mainly (very) small Tata's. Pilot travel is 3 wings on roof and one in back. Tight with 3 Sud Afri's on the back seat.
> It's about 40 minutes up the windy windy to T/off. Virtually no overtaking. Hooting all the way.
> The comp is smallish with about 65 entrants, mostly less experienced. The Indian superstars Vijay ( our gracious host ) and Guprid and the Russian National Champion ( forget his name ) are the best of the bunch.
> Today's task was a 50k race up and down the ridge, then a few k's out for the end of speed section and back to landing. Pretty easy, but you need to get each climb first time to stay fast.
> The start was fantastic. We all got 200 - 300m above base in the wisps. Strong fingers of lift shooting up at 6 or 7. Himalayan griffons, Lammergeiers and a host of other raptors showing us the cores. Have to be careful though as they easily fly into you if you join them the wrong way!
> We (Indians and Sud Afris) were styling at the start. Only prob was that the Ruskie was 100's of metres above us and he could avoid the second climb, never to be reeled back in!
> Sharp fingers run down from the back ridge into the valley, separated by bottomless gullies. Each finger works, and on both sides! Quite fun flying. And great racing. Never certain where along the ridge the climb will be if the vultures aren't about, so the advantage changed back and forth a few times. Guess we will understand the lines much better in a day or two.
> By the second last TP, the Russian was a few minutes ahead with Nevil and Vijay neck and neck. Theuns gave them a few minutes and Guprid and I went to the wrong turn point, extending their existing advantage over us by a further 5 or even 10 minutes. We had been told which was the second last turn point but it was somewhere else!
> And to compound matters this Jimmy couldn't manage to start his fancy (and nice) new instrument so had to guess the distance to some turn points. Ugly.
> Unbelievable number of paragliders here. Free fliers. Bivvy artists. Tandems. Jockey and John Silvester coaching. Russians by bus load. French. Some Brits. Probably +200 in the sky today.
> Culture & Touring
> Amazing place India. Bedonered cultural diversity. Quite religious in general, the main beliefs being Hindu, Buddhism, Sikh and Islam. Vijay is Hindu so he's explained the significance of some of the temples we've visited and the importance of some of the 1,008 Hindu gods. An old temple we visited nearby, Baijnath, with the sacred/protected monkeys, dates back to about 750 AD.
> On the drive up to take off, there's a small temple where you leave an offering to the flying god ( actually the goddess Matagi who rides a tiger and carries a trident and sword, protecting us from all things bad) make some gifts of food, ring the bell, light the incense and so forth.
> The opening ceremony included a prayer ceremony on takeoff. Sit cross legged around the fire on which the priest sprinkles oil while chanting as those around repeat the chants and sprinkle spices into the flames. Then orange and black daubs onto the foreheads ( and temples and ear lobes ) - makes Catholicism look plain vanilla! We all receive marigold garlands for luck.
> Food is Indian. Unless you hunt out noodles in the Tibetan quarter, and get a bit more Chinese flavour. So we have curries, rice, dhal, kidney beans etc. prices are low to ridiculous. Last night our meal for four (2 x mutton curry with rice, 1x chicken curry ditto, 1 x veg curry, 2 portions dhal, beans and plenty roti with 2 cokes and water) amounted to Rp 380 or R65!
> Here education is taken seriously and the kids all attend school diligently. In neat uniforms, for long hours. An interesting observation is that while cellphones and TVs are omnipresent, the Indian culture remains strong - even kids wear traditional clothes. Not the Disney franchised pink barbies and blue Ben tens fed to our kids by American tv. Probably because Bollyhood is so strong and dominates the programming here - apart from cricket of course!
> Sent from my iPad

Bir-Billing Day 1 Task 1

News from Andrew today:
"V nice 50 km task up and down the ridge under a low base (2400 at end of day) So plenty squeezing in and out of the gullies at treetop height.

No met wind.

Thermicals up to 6 m/s

Like a huge stonking Barberton


Russian 1st ( we were all above base at the start but he had 250 m on the field and we never caught him) Then Vijay and Nevil, Theuns, Me, Guprit.

Great flight, but a bit short. A slow climb costs. I blew my admin and went to the wrong tp. Cost 5 - 10 mins! Wot a wanker."

National Paragliding Championship 2012 from 25th October to 1st November at Bir-Billing

Three of Africa's finest are in India to compete in the National Paragliding Championship 2012 from 25th October to 1st November at Bir-Billing.

They are Andrew Smith, Nevil Hullet and Theuns Koekemoer.

Comms are a little dodgy, so I have volunteered to publish whatever info I can get out of them during their stay.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the team, let me introduce you:

Andrew Smith of world cup fame - a long-distance paragliding pioneer in the late 80's and probably the first person to fly over 200km on a paraglider.  Andrew is: a former #1 on the world ranking; a multiple SA national champion; a recipient of the prestigious Doug Sobey award in South Africa;a  British Open Champion (Piedrahitha); and the only pilot ever to win an open class world cup event on a serial wing.  Andrew participated in every FAI world championship event from inception to 2003 where he 'retired' from FAI Cat 1 events.  He has maintained his form since then never dropping out of the top five of the SA ranking.

Nevil Hulett the 'dragon slayer' - If for some reason you didn't know (on account of living under a rock somewhere remote or something), Nevil is the only man to fly more than 500km on a paraglider.  Less well known is Nevil's competition career which includes a number of local victories, but also several international cat 2  wins including a British Open Championship victory in Piedrahitha and a glorious task win in the Granada world championships (2001).  Nevil has completed countless flights of more than 200km in Kuruman and surrounds over the last ten years.  Nevil has represented SA at the FAI world champs on six occasions and has also remained in the SA top five for a decade or more.

Theuns Koekemoer - National team hopeful and explorer extraordinaire.  Theuns is a national team hopeful consistently ranked in the top ten SA pilots over the last few years.  Theuns gained notoriety after flying over parts of sub-Saharan Africa unsupported on a micro-light.  He has toured through more parts of Africa and Russia by motor bike and regularly takes his jetski over the horizon in the Indian ocean off of the Mozambican coast (solo!) in order to indulge in some big game fishing.

So far we have this report from Andrew after what sounds like a harrowing travel plan:

View from Hotel Balcony (photo A. Smith)

Main Street of Bir (photo A. Smith)

 "A quick update on action this side

Fun travels.

SAA decides that THEY want us to have yellow-fever certificates for India, despite India not saying this! 2 hour queue at the clinic. Theuns needs to find a mate to get us jabbed in time.

Just make the plane and dept Jozi 11 am arrive Mumbai 11 pm.

No lounges or couches! Lie down on floor. The Indians do it in Dubai, so the Sud Afris can do it in Mumbai.

Hang ball till 7.30 for flight to Dehli.

Vijay meets us in Dehli.

Thanks goodness. We'd still be in the parking lot arguing with the taxi driver We tie our gliders onto and squeeze into a small taxi.

It's 14 hours. Like driving to CT through a continuous Alexandra.

BUT add in the suicidal cement truck drivers and the winding roads and the darkness and the potholes and you have a recipe for heavy drinking.

We finally arrive in Bir at about 2 am. Toast.

Find a guest house and the sky opens. Power goes out. No hot water. No towels. No toilet paper. And so on.

But all good today. Fresh snow just above the 2400 launch. Many many pilots. Russians, french and a few Brits. Indian army pilots too.

Great day. Lowish base at 3100 m. Plenty raptors, Lammergeiers and Himalayan Griffons thermalling with us. Cold.

Big ridges and uncrossable gorges. We do an out and return. Tres nice.

Return to the tiny village of Bir. Beautiful setting in the rice paddies. Buddhist temples. Many Nepalese émigrés. Colourful like you can't believe. Fantastic cultural diversity.

Will send pictures In due course.

Comp starts day after tomorrow.

Can't fly early tomorrow cos a politician has taken all the airspace for a campaign visit!"