14th FAI European Paragliding Championship 2016: Day 2 - Task 2

Semih Sayir reports on another good day:

"The task setters planed a 77 km task. The weather looked really nice with some cumulus clouds and strong climbs forecast. We had to move to the southwest take-off because of the wind direction and we were all caught unprepared…

In spite of the 1 hour 10 min gap between the start and the window, time was still not enough for 150 pilots. Especially when they hesitated to take off at the beginning in the absence of good wind-dummies.

Petra and me were the end of the queue without the priority and only 15 min to start which was 4,5 km away. It didn’t look good at all…

But we managed to remain calm and climb fast and take our positions near the start. Luckily all the guys that took off on time had gone inside of the start cylinder and had to come back, so we got even! The race was quite fast through the first turnpoint and I managed to stay with the lead gaggle riding better lines and using better climbs. We climbed together with another team pilot Michael Sigel 10 km from the second turnpoint and attacked from the base..7-8 min glide took us to next trigger point but the thermal was not so efficient. We had to spend around 10 min to find a better core but second gaggle had already caught up with us.

With more pilots, we were able to climb better and faster and took the 2nd turnpoint together with 20 pilots. The last turnpoint was the critical one because we had a 10-15km headwind. That meant more climbing to the max before gliding. The last big climb was like a convergence climb averaging 5-6 m/s – we made the most of it. When we had the second gaggle also pick up with us from a different angle we started to glide to last turn point 15 km away. I was in 20th-30th position and watching leaders going very low on a bad line. I decided to follow better lines and glide better. My glider was floating through a different line on the left and small trick that I know helped me to glide better than others. When you are in the leading group it’s a common mistake we do. We always go high speeds. That’s why we can never feel the lines and changes in the air. Soon I started the glide better than others feel more the air movements and this help me to find the only thermal on our route nearly at 3 m/s this was the game changing decision of the day. With the extra altitude I made I glided towards the goal and finished 2nd after Slovenian pilot Primoz Susa. My rival Frenchman Honorin was also in the leading gaggle and finished 4th on the line. We climbed to 1st and 2nd positions overall.

Petra finishing 4th and 1st in yesterday's task secured the 1st place in the female ranking.

Today 12th Friday is cancelled due to the bad weather. But we have good 8 days ahead to fly and fight for the titles."

Thanks to Semih for the photos!


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