Andrew Smith reported:
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.