Archive for June, 2007

Vor EM Greifenburg, June 16th to 23rd. Part 2 of 2.

Saturday, June 30th, 2007

Tuesday 19th: Again bad weather in the morning, even hard rain, but good conditions from 1300. Based on the experiences from yesterday I was more alert now, and ready to fly even with the early rain shower. The task was a little back and forth in the valley and with landing at Villach to the East of Greifenburg. I got up easy but got a little behind the mail gaggle. I felt that I flew reasonably well today, but became too eager to catch the main gaggle and flew into an area with shade just around the launch, and had to land. I was accompanied at the landing by Stein Edgar, who had lost his contact lenses in the air and landed due to bad visibility. I should have managed to better today.
Flight HERE.
 
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Weather and task briefing at the upper launch.

Wednesday 20th: A long and interesting 188 km task was set today. The forcast predicted about 50 % chance for rain and thunderstorms, and with high temperatures the trigger temperature was very high. Conditions was a little slow in the beginning and most pilots only slowly got up. But I, and a very few others, got low and never got up again. I first got up to about 2250 masl but wanted a little more altitude before heading for the start circle 10 km away. But as I tried this I lost 400 metres and never got over 1800 masl again. It was easy to hold an altitude at about 1100 masl (700 metres above the landing) but this was only marginally interesting and I landed after 1 hour 30 minutes or so. The day was later stopped, cancelled, stopped, and then finally cancelled (to take the short version) due to heavy rain and overdevelopment along the task route. Yet, it was still very disappointing to see nearly everyone get up and away to fly in the spectacular landscape the task was set over. I felt pretty bad for some hours after this. I guess I just have to come back another time to fly this route.
Flight HERE.

Thursday 21st: Overcast and rain, and the day was cancelled early. The Norwegian team used the day for sightseeing to Landskron castle where it also is a show with birds of prey. The birds are part of a breeding programme, but also trained for the show. The show was very good with spectacular flying of “the professionals”, but the highlight, in my opinion, was when one of the golden eagles tried self serving by trying to snatch the food container of one of the trainers. Luckily for the trainer the golden eagle did not give it its best try; with finger long talons that would have been pretty messy.
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From the bird show at Landskorn. Photo: Stefan Hobbesland.

Friday 22nd: Again overcast and rain showers. Olav O. and Kjell drove home, while the rest of us did nothing useful or interesting.

Saturday 23rd: It rained heavily during the night and conditions looked hopeless, but the meet director decided to give the day a change, maybe because of the two cancelled day. Fair enough and most (?) pilots were eager to fly. But when many from the local Austrian team had beer and soup for lunch it became clear that the ones best knowing the area was not too optimistic. Hence, Olav L.O. and Stein Edgar decided to start driving home even before the briefings. After a couple of briefings the day was cancelled at 1300 as the small opportunity of it clearing was not realised. Many pilots glided down, but we did not bother as we were more interested in starting our drive home early instead of a sled ride.

Sunday 24th: We, Bjørn + Bjørn, drove through Germany during the night trying not to fall asleep. We only stopped to fuel and eat a little, and arrived in northern Denmark at 0730. Here Bjørn J. met his wife and daughter for a vacation in Denmark, while I caught the same ferry returning from Denmark to Norway at 1030. I spent the time on board writing this. As it still is tax free trading between Norway and the EU, I walked through the tax free shop and bought a new deodorant – Dior Higher. Hope it will help during the upcoming National Championship. Pretty boring in other words; I miss Greifenburg and Emberger Alm already. Hopefully it will be good weather and flying during Vaagaa Open/National Championship (July 2.-7.). I will be meet director and good weather always makes this job easier.

As I drove of the ferry I was, as usual, stopped by the customs. I am always stopped so I never even think of bringing with me more than the legal amount of alcohol. They had obviously plenty if time and asked a lot of questions about the two strange things on the roof rack and searched the car. They showed some interest for my portable medical cabinet, but as I had prescriptions for all the funny pills, they quickly lost interest.

Pictures from Greifenburg HERE.

Vor EM Greifenburg, June 16th to 23rd. Part 1 of 2.

Monday, June 25th, 2007

Wednesday at 2000 Bjørn J. and I started on the 2007 “Greifenburg Tour”, more specifically the pre-Europeans. We are 7 pilots from Norway participating in the competition. Stefan H. with family had traveled down on Monday, Bjørn + Bjørn arrived 0200 night to Friday, Olav L. O. and Stein Edgar came Friday morning, and Kjell Speidern and Olav O. came down just before 0900 Saturday after an unusual hard encounter with the facilities at the Kiel ferry.

Day by day reports.

Friday 15th: After arriving 0200 at Sattlegger’s Alpenhof at Emberger Alm (after some problems finding our way up) we (Bjørn + Bjørn) got a few hours sleep. But we were eager to test fly the area we were up and ready to fly at 1100. We started as it overdeveloped around us, and most of us rained down after about half an hour in the air. After the flight we registered for the competition. A bit chaotic but not more than one could expect with 150 pilots in the comp. The main problem was getting some gps’ to work with CompeGPS and/or with the Garmin drivers, not an unusual problem, although annoying as I was one of the few with problems (later also with downloading the track log, but also this was sorted out). The problems were Flight HERE.

Saturday 16th: Opening day of the Pre-Europeans. As the main launch at Emberger Alm is not big enough to accommodate all the pilots in the competition, lowest ranking half was sent up to the higher launch. A task was set even if the weather was not too good with overdevelopment and rain showers all around. Everyone started, apparently without worry, but Stein Edgar and I chose not to start. The task was quickly cancelled so I guess that we made a good decision. Still, the weather here seems unpredictable for us Norwegians so it is difficult to tell.

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Briefing the first morning.

 

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Glider “hangar” at the top launch at Emberger Alm. As we did not fly we put the gliders in the tent in order to have rigged gliders the next morning.

Sunday 17th: Again the day looked really bad with overcast in the morning, but again it cleared during the day (instead of overdevelop totally) and it turned out to be a very good day. The task was about 80 km and went back and forth the valley on either side of Greifenburg. I felt that I flew reasonably well, but it turned out that I had missed the first waypoint because I had set up the gps wrong so I only got minimum distance for task. Still, it was good and fun flying, and Greifenburg is great place to fly. Flight HERE.

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Glider transport the Austrian way.

Monday 18th: The day looked totally hopeless, with overcast weather and a bad forecast. It looked so bad that I initially did not even bother to set up the glider. But just after 1300 it cleared up and it started to look promising. I speed rigged, but it was difficult launch conditions with 0-wind combined with some tail- and cross wind, but with a some good launchable periods. Consequently it took some time to launch, and I did not start until about 1445. Then after the launch I flew like an idiot and managed to get low, something that should have been impossible. This combined with a wrist that has not healed after a hard landing 3 weeks ago, made me land after only 30 minutes. The problem with the bad wrist is that I have to try not to put too much stress on it and therefore have to use muscles in the left upper arm and shoulder more actively to hold the wrist more or less stable. So after the flight yesterday my muscles in the left upper arm and shoulder were so sore that they cramped up after only 15 minutes. This did not help while struggling low and made me give up the day. Flight HERE.

Run

Launching at 1900 masl in warm and moist air requires a very good launch run.

All photos by Bjørn Hammer.

The second part of the report from the pre-EM in Greifenburg will be published tomorrow evening.

Update and plans

Tuesday, June 12th, 2007

It has been a while since the post here, and it has not been that much flying either. Below is a little about the flying so far this spring and summer and something about the plans for the rest of June and July.

Report from the flying so far this spring and summer.
I have got some hours on my new Wills Wing T2 this spring, but not that many, and almost all flying seem to have been in very calm conditions or with very strong and turbulent thermals, so I feel that I have neither gotten familiar with the glider nor been able to adjust it to fit my preferences. Still, even without adjusting anything it seems like a perfect glider for me. The only thing I would like to do something with it the degree of high siding, and to increase performance a little.

Two weeks ago I got a flight from Heidalen, but did not fly well and the landing was a total disaster. I messed up a pretty straight forward light tailwind landing and ended up landing while turning and hurt my left wrist (and broke one upright). The weekend after was the start of a 10 day period with good flying weather, but I only flew Saturday to Mondag because I had to work. During this week it was several +100 km flight, also by paraglider. Still, with my wrist I do not think that it would have been possible to fly much more anyway, and hopefully it will be some really good flying during the pre-EM in Greifenburg.

Plans for Juni and July.
We will be 7 pilots participating in the pre-Europeans the following week. 4 national team pilots and 3 not, me included. I do not have high expectations, but hope to have fun and have a few good flights. The Norwegian team will stay at Sattlegger’s Alpehof at Emberger Alm. According to their web site they have Internet access so I hope to publish reports from the pre-Europeans. But if Internett access is a problem it would probably be daily reports at the national team blog, which can be updated by mobile phone.

After the pre-Europeans I will work a couple of days before going to Vågå and Vaagaa Open and the Norwegian national championship. Meet director will be lucky me, but fortunately we will be a team of experience organiser helping out so if the weather is good, I am sure that we will have an excellent comp in Vågå also this year.