Saturday, August 2, 2008

First Comp

5:30 A.M. – Pre-dawn sky is clear without a wisp of wind. We come to the final day of the Chelan XC Open 2008. Eleven world class pilots have a shot at the honors but only if Mike Steed stumbles. XCSkys predicts top of usable lift at 2,700 meters, updraft: 3.6m/s, cloud base 3,000m if any, but likely no cu over the anticipated course, winds will be calm to very light out of the west. A week of work and only two days of flying, but today will be amazing. As a newbee almost one year into this sport I feel as though I have just started to sample the nectar of the holy grail.
Here in Chelan a community has regathered in a flocking similar to the annual rights of Capistrano. Switzerland, Peru, Turkey, Mexico, Canada, Venezuela, Australia, New Zealand, and United States pilots are vying for bragging rights as well as PWC points. An experienced senior staff of meet organizers, launch director, scoring, safety, task, etc., have mixed well with a support crew of new and experienced local and regional pilots, most nesting with Aerial Paragliding of Cashmere under the watchful eyes of Doug Stroop and Denise Reed.
Day one was a 58k task with 29 pilots making goal. Day 2, 3 and 5 were called due to weather. Day 4 was a 68k speed run north to Okanogan with 41 pilots making goal. I was pumped when on my second flight of the day, hoping to make goal, I surpassed 15 pilots with a 20.6 open distance personal best(12.8miles). The only problem with a personal best is if you talk about it at dinner you end up buying all your SIV instructor’s beer.
Today looks stellar and I plan on launching after the last comp pilot to join the gaggle prior to start. This presumes that launch goes fast and clean as it did on day 4. The crew has gathered at the Latte Da for breakfast and the day’s energy is beginning to flow. For me it is off to camp to break for the road. I will be on to Idaho tonight following the pizza fest and awards tonight. A busy day and more personal bests are anticipated. …… watch for more

1 comment:

Amy said...

I always knew you were crazy. I would question whether or not you are part of the family gene pool if it wasn't for the fact Kels is so much like you! Great photos, be careful! Amy