Report from Norwegain Nationals – Vaagaa Open

Last week I was in Vågå to fly the Nationals. The report is long overdue, mostly because it is not that much to report from my side. The competition started on Monday and I had hoped to go up Thursday or Friday before the comp to get some flights before the comp, but the weather was bad and I did not go up until Sunday afternoon.

As I have not flown a topless glider in a year and very little hang glider flying overall this year I started the comp flying a Falcon 2 195 just to get into flying again. The national championship had 28 participants and with two Swedes in addition for the Open competition. Taking into consideration that there are only about 300 hang glider pilots in Norway this is not a bad turn up for the national championship.

Some pictures from the comp HERE.
Pictures from Stein Edgar Strandli HERE.

Day 1: The first day of the comp we went to Bøverdalen/Juvass but conditions were not good with rain and lots of crosswind at the launch so I never set up. This launch has late conditions and finally a tast was set with start about 1800. Most of the comp pilots got out but a few as stuck in crosswind at the launch.

Day 2 Tuesday: Rain.

Day 3 Wednesday: A high pressure area was moving in and the weather improved but late conditions at Vole, the launch of the day. I launched at about 1600 with the Falcon and got a nice 1 hour 19 minutes flight. I flew straight into a good thermal and soared to 1700 masl (the launch is at 1070) but after that I never got high again. Still, good practice and nice to be in the air again.

Day 4 Thursday: Also today we started from Vole. High air pressure and unusually hot. Today I decided to fly the T2 for first time since last summer. The launch conditions were good and I was not to nervous before the launch. I had a good launch and flew straight into a thermal (again) that took me up to 1650 masl. But from then on I never found more lift and the last part of the flight was just a long sled ride. I finished the flight with a pretty good landing i 0-wind.

Day 5 Friday: More SE winds today so we went to Salknappen, a launch further up from Vole at 1470 masl. Again it was very hot and stabile and late conditions. Today noone had any problems getting up. It lifted all over the place and I had to escape a couple of clouds that lifted more than I appreciated. I am not used to fly the T2 so I soon became tired and after 1 1/2 hour I decided to land, but ut was just impossible. I really had to struggle to get down and landed in turbulent conditions at the main LZ.

Day 6 Saturday and final day: Basically the same as yesterday. Nice conditions. In the evening it was a price giving ceremony for the competition. National champion was Nils Åge Henden, no 2 Bjørn Joakimsen, and no 3 Jon Gjerde. Complete results HERE. I did not even try to fly the tasks was I was more concerned about getting some time in the air, just to fly and get a good feeling for flying hang gliders again.

Sunday: More stabile and hot weather and late conditions, but I got an 1 hour flight from Vole. I could have flown a lot longer but chose to go down and land because I had to drive home and because my elbows hurt to bad to stay up any longer. As I was packing up my equipment a pilot crash landed witout any apparent reason and the pilot stayed down. We ran over to him and found out that he had had a bad launch at Salknappen with his feets hitting a number of rocks as he flew out. After this he had to loose more than 1000 metres before reaching the landing with what appared to be multiple fractures in his feets and lover legs. I just can not imagine how painfull this must have been.

So all in all a good flying week in Vågå. Still, the flying was cut a little short for me as I had multiple injuries. My left knee, right achilles and both elbows cause me some problems this week. It is not that fun flying when you need to take pain killers before flying and massive amounts of anti-inflamatory medication every day to be able to fly.

One Response to “Report from Norwegain Nationals – Vaagaa Open”

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