The Ozone Chabre Open 2014: results
The week before the competition was very good. 5 straight days of South and West winds saw the pre-comp groups flying high and far. The day before the practice day saw some of the best flights of the weeek, from Bergies and over 3000m bases.
Friday night saw the usual GPS talk and Introduction to competitions to a full marquee; nice to see old faces (getting older every year unfortunately) and lots of new ones.... ready to go.
Day 0, Task Cancelled, Saturday June 28, the practice day.
The usual Practice task is today. Forecast looks strong from the South so we'll look at some better forecasts.
We went up the hill. We nearly set a task but as time passed the wind looked stronger and the sky less friendly. Unfortunately the day was cancelled. Some flew down, some walked down, some drove down. Ho Hum.
The evening welcome snacks and drinks went down well, while a few resorted to the World cup football.
Day 1, No Task, Sunday June 29.
Those camping got wet last night. The heavens were growling and the rain sploshed down. There is a vague chance of flying this afternoon.. We shall see. Jocky's introduction to competitions and strategy in the marquee went down very well.
The sky did turn lovely, but the wind was strong. A few buses went up and free-flew (the white ones flew best).
The Margherita competition during the Dutch vs Mexico world cup game went down very well and turned into a mega party.
Day 2, No Task, Monday June 30.
The drinking to the weather gods does not look like it worked. It is howling from the North. Briefing and decisions shortly said no go.
Free-flying at St Vincent, probably 80 people went for a beautiful boat around the Dormillouse.
France beat Nigeria, good for the locals.
Ed Ewing, editor of Cross Country magazine, did a talk on his top 10 stories of the year. Very entertaining as always.Day 3, Task1, Tuesday July 1.
The weather gods are smiling today. Getting ready for the briefing now and it is looking like we might fly.
A 37km elapsed time task around 4 turnpoints to Aspres was set. The sky was quite overcast and the thermals weak as the task started at 13:15. Getting to 2500m was possible but often slow. Tricky was the theme of the day and pushing cross wind to St Genis B33 proved too difficult for many. The wind was stronger than expected. The downwind glide to Aspres also decked many as the thermals were weak and hard to find.
Overall 9 pilots made goal and many very close. The overall winner was Stefan Bernhard on board his Ozone Mantra4. Second Luc De Meester (Ozone Mantra 6) and third Alex Raymont (Ozone Alpina 2). Top Rookie was Pete Chalmers (Ozone Delta2) in 5th and Top Recreation class and Woman was Anna Hadders 8th on her Nova Mentor 3. Very well done to all.
The results for task1 are here.
The Pizza and Paella night in Ribiers was funtastic. The band played late into the night, the dancing was classic.
Day 4, Task2, Wednesday July 2.
A cloudy day greeted us this morning. After lots of discussion Chabre got the vote and up we went.
Cloud was on launch as we arrived and the wind was fickle. Lots of high cirrus and big development in the distance. We waited as the cloudbase lifted fairly quickly but none of the weather forecasts agreed. By the look of the sky we decided a shorter task was sensible in case of over-development.
A 30km elapsed time race to goal was set around 3 turnpoints. Take off at 13:15. Climbs were good if you were under a cloud, slow if you weren't. Everyone was off in an hour. Some held back, some flew straight to TP1 on Orpierre which, as yesterday, was tricky. Base was only around 2100m which made the glide to Riou long and the next climb difficult from low down. Amazingly Montrond worked.. one of those "it never works there" places. Climbs on the shark's fin and in the valley saw 31 pilots in goal. The task was stopped at 16:15 due to rain in goal, but few pilots were still flying at that time.
Winner of task 2 was Stefan Bernhard again (Ozone Mantra4), second Pete Chalmers (Ozone Delta2) and third Luc De Meester (Ozone Mantra6). Top Woman was Catherine Bartholdi (Ozone Alpina2) and Top recreation pilot Iwan Van Staveren (Up Kantega XC2).
The results for task2 are here.
Day 5, Task3, Thursday July 3.
The forecast for today is quite good. I expect we'll go up Chabre and hopefully set the right task.
The task was definitely not bad.
We arrived on launch with wind over the back and a totally blue sky. Tricky to task it was. Having faith that the majority of forecasts were going to be correct we set a 54km task towards Gap via Orpierres and Bonnet Rouge. We wanted a race but unfortunately time passed by and no clouds formed making a race very difficult to set safely. So Elapsed time it was.. launching at 14:00.
The first climbs were disorganised and stopped at 1700m. More pilots launched but the day was very slow to start. Soon 2100m was achievable and people started to fly on course. Whispies started to form and 2700m at Orpirres then 3100m at Beamont.. the day turned very nice. Smooth strong climbs. At Bonnet Rouge most pilots went towards Aspres, some went straight to Veynes and cut the corner and saved a lot of time.. if you got up at the end. The thermals were good and the sink was bad. The early pilots got a good run into goal just past La Roche Des Arnouds.
Towards the end of the day a huge band of high cloud came over and the it all got very tricky. 35 pilots made goal and quite a few were a few km short. The day was fantastic after the tricky start.
The winner of the day was Stefan Bernhard again on his Ozone Mantra4. Second was Rick Van Der Sloot (Ozone Delta2) and third Hans Ter Maat (Nova Triton C). First woman was Catherine Bartholdi (Ozone Alpina2) and Top recreation pilot Przemyslaw Marek (Gin Atlas). Well done to all.
The scoring took more time than usual, with pilots scattered up the Veynes valley. For those that were home, the local cinema had been organised to show some of the Paragliding movies from last year's Coup Icare. Paragliders and locals were there in force.
The results for task3 are here.Day 6, Friday July 4.
The forecast for today looks windy and stormy. There will be no task today so the competition has finished for another year.
We had a task de-brief for yesterday's task followed by some SIV video and advice from Jocky. Chris White did some reserve re-pack tips and demo.
The party and prize giving is tonight.
All of the results are on the results page.
Task reports by Mark Graham