The Ozone Chabre Open 2012: results
The week before the competition was good, with more and more pilots arriving as the competition was approaching.
By Friday most of the competition pilots had arrived and rego was almost glitchless, apart from the plethora of never seen before GPSs.
Keep watching this page as the event develops.
Friday night saw the usual GPS talk and Introduction to competitions to a full marquee.
Day 0, Task 0, Saturday June 16, the practice day.
Just to follow tradition, The practice day was optional but open to all competitors. It was well subscribed with many showing-up to the morning briefing at 9:30. The forecast was for southerly winds and blue sky. Jocky did an entertaining safety briefing and the buses went up the hill.
A jolly 27km elapsed time race to goal was called for the practice day. The wind on launch started strong but dropped enough for safe and easy launching (unless you really wanted to throw yourself into a gnarly gust). Climbs off Chabre were good, and off TP1 at Orpierre even better, up to 2700m and more.
The village of Savournon in the valley suckered in a few pilots, and the long glide to goal a few more. Those that good climbs got in easily.
21 pilots made goal and then enjoyed some wine and beer and a debrief from Jocky.
Click here for the result for T0 the practice task.
Day 1, Task 1, Sunday June 17, Oooohhhh it looks nice.
Blue sky, no clouds, light winds predicted from the South. Getting a task looks very likely, hopefully we can set the right one.
The winds on launch were light from the South, but Wally the windtech (yes that is his name) was showing that there was an inversion around 1500m that didn't want to move. Launch was delayed untill 13:00 and then the 61km task to Batie-Neuve was set.
The first pilots found the inversion a complete pain and it was slow work to get to the start gate 5km away. A few climbs were breaking through to 2000m though they were hard to find.
The usual climb on Beamont, the second turnpoint, was going up to 2400m and most pilots chose to fly along the course line straight over the shark's fin and into the tricky flats where climbs were very slow.
Those that got to the ridges South of Veynes and were patient to wait for the big climbs were blessed with 2600m and 3200m later, but the cross wind meant the glides were slower and shorter than expected. This combined with the inversion continuing to slow the day down made goal a lot harder than expected.
Congratulations to Eugen Moldovan (Ozone Mantra4) for winning the day, second was Terje Stulen (Advance Sigma8), and third Anders Beyer Brattli (Nova Factor 2). Congratulations to all of the pilots who made good distance.
Click here for the result for T1.
Day 2, Task 2, Monday June 18, Not looking like the forecast.
Although the morning mid level clouds were significant, the forecast says we should have a similar day to yesterday. We are now hot-footing it up the hill.
As we went up the hill the clouds did indeed clear, but what was left was a sunny, quite windy launch. Much more wind than expected, which we put down to an inversion "trapping"the wind below it. The task was set to go to Col t Ange, Savournon, Aspres antenna and Aspres LZ. After the briefing we waited.
We waited until Wally started climbing and the window was opened at 14:15.
It was clear that the inversion had broken by the wind dropping significantly, good thermals coming through launch and big clouds all around us. The clouds had grown to the North West and North East but were far enough away.
The first pilots took off and were a little slow to climb, but then as the field launched it became obvious hat the climbs were good and smooth to over 2000m. From Col St Ange there were discussions before launch as to which route to take, but most pilots were in orbit and went direct across the valley towards Savournan. At this point it became tricky. The clouds had built significantly and were encroaching from the North and West. The area for the second part of the course was quite shaded with only a few good climbs.
As time ticked-by the clouds became too uncomfortable and the task was stopped due to threatening rain at goal.
Winner of the day was Simon Green (Advance Omega 8) followed by Anders Beyer Brattli (Nova Factor 2) and Paul Bingham (Ozone Delta). It was a long wait for a short flight, but conditions were good until they weren't.
Click here for the result for T2.
Photos by Martijn Van DijkDay 3, No Task, Tuesday June 19, The Grand Old Duke Of York.
Today we went to the top of the hill and came back down again. The forecast was not good but the sky looked fine and the wind looked fine. Given the unreliability of the current forecasting we decided to go up. It looked pretty grim by the time we arrived, with some gusts and a very grey looking sky and even some rain in the distance. We decided not to wait, cancelling the day almost immediately. Some of the pilots walked down Chabre: Nice.
Tonight is the Pizza and Paella night in Ribiers. I hope it doesn't rain... the forecast says it won't, but who knows?.
Day 4, No Task, Wednesday June 20, Thunder and lightning.
Despite extreme drinking to the weather gods and partying our socks off, the weather is really broken. It's currently raining dogs and antelopes and the day has been cancelled.
The chances of things clearing-up are slim but not zero.. we shall see.
Some of last night's dancing are already on facebook.
The sky did clear up, and after a talk by Jocky Sanderson and Russel Ogden on thermalling and mountain navigation, about half of the field went for a free fly; which ended up as a slow top to bottom.
In the evening we all had a chance to interrogate the whole Ozone design team and got to play with the new XXLite single surface glider. It is unbelievably light, would launch in the lightest of winds, but hanging by bootlaces will take some getting used to.
Day 5, Task 3 Cancelled, Thursday June 21, Looking better?
The weather today is looking very promising, though there may be too much west in it to go to Chabre. We will see.
We went up Chabre and the wind was fine, though the chance of over-development was high. A 43km race to goal was set from Col St Ange, Beaumont, Orpierres, St Genis East and into Camping. As the 12:30 window open loomed, the sky started to look big and the Beaumont waypoint was removed.
About half of the field launched quite quickly and easily travelled towards the start at Col St Ange. But the development above the turnpoint was very threatening and the field ended up waiting about 2km from the cylinder. As the cloud grew the task was cancelled and everyone happily flew away from the blackness.
As it was, within the hour the blackness had dissappeared, and most of those left on launch could go and have a nice fly. It seems like the weather was not smiling on the competition today, though at least we had a fly.
Day 6, Task 4 Cancelled. Last day, Friday June 22, Looking breezy for Bergies
The forecast is for strong wind from the North or North west, but we have decided to ignore it and look out of the window... and it looks fine. We're heading West to Bergies or Buc.
We were all on the top of launch in record time and ready to go, with the wind quite light from the North. The task was set to Ribiers via La Platte and Mison. The launch window of 12:45 was delayed due to lack of thermal activity, then at 13:00 a few pilots launched and demonstrated some amount of up with an equal amount of back. The wind turned out to be pretty strong up high (though not very high in reality) and too strong in the valley for the amount of thermal activity.
Shortly after a few pilots were on course the task was cancelled.
So endeth the 2012 Chabre Open.
Task reports by Mark Graham