New webcam on Chabre: www.creacast.com/channel/chabre
Here we are for the 12th Chabre Open.
Not the best week leading up to the competition, though we did fly every day but one. A mix of sun, wind, rain but no snow. Yesterday was good for a quick run from Buc to camping, though once you got there it was a struggle to get down; it switched-on big time.
We are using trackers this year, so Rego was not as busy as in the past. There are some people still to register so it will be a busy morning. The new technology (for us at least) is very exciting but can cause bedlam if we get it wrong.
You can watch the tasks live at www.livetrack24.com
Day 0, Practice Task, Saturday July 1. Cancelled
The usual Practice task is today. We will try to run a task like any normal comp day, but it will not score. This is to take the pressure off and let everyone get rid of their cobwebs and mistkes ready for the real deal tomorrow.
We will have to see what the weather brings, but it does look breezy from the NW at the moment.
The wind is going to be too strong so there will be no task today. It looks like most of the pilots are going to fly at St Vincent or St Jean Montclar where the winds should be lighter.
The winds were lighter but the clouds were bigger. Many pilots got to fly but a few decided the clouds were too dark. It was not hard to stay up. As the clouds got bigger the landing field filled with colour and chatter.
Back at camping we were greeted with Aperos: Snacks and drinks layed-on and served by the jolly organisation.
We were serenaded by Michel Pardieux and his 2 man band Tarkar.
Day 1, Sunday July 2: Cancelled
Day1 is already upon us. Again the forecast is windy
10:30 and it is still windy. Another St Jean Montclar day for a big boat and it should be sunny today.
We reached St Jean greeted by more wind than expected so flew a bit lower at St Vincent Les Forts. Most flew in smooth thermals and beautiful scenery.
In the evening a talk by Jocky on flying psychology was watched by a tent full of pilots soaking up the information. We are going to bed with positive thoughts for tomorrow.
Day 2, Monday July 3: Task1
Today is looking a lot better with wind generally from the NW. The forecasts are still a bit confused as yesterday's winds are still trying to pass by.
We went to Bergies and arrived greeted by blue skies and fickle wind. A relatively short 31km elapsed time task was set to Ribiers via two turn points, La Platt and Ubac. After a slightly delayed start the first pilots were greeted by light climbs to 2000m. The wind was light but from the NE, that wasn't the plan. All pilots were off in under an hour and heading into the blue cross-headwind. The day improved with some good 4m climbs making it harder and harder to stay out of the airspace which was overhead for the first 20km. Towards the end, climbs were going to 2600m making the glide to goal quite easy.
77 made goal, well done. First in was Anders Gustafsson on his Ozone Delta2, followed by Jens Cullmann and Gavin Foster both on Advance Sigma10s.
Day 3, Tuesday July 4: Task2
Today is looking good with light winds from the South; it looks like a Chabre day.
We went up Chabre and the sky was very blue with fickle wind. An interesting out and return was set. A 50km race with a pre-start turnpoint at Col St Ange then 11km start radius around Beaumont starting at 14:00. Next on to Beaumont and Bonnet Rouge. Then on to the East end of the volcano St Genis and in to camping.
The race start was fantastic, though a little spread out. The gaggles of gliders passed over Orpierre, some without stopping, and were greeted with 4m climbs on Beaumont up to 2700m. Bonnet Rouge worked for some and not for others, splitting the field even further as the leaders pushed a little low back onto Beaumont and back into orbit. The crossing onto St Genis was long and smooth. There were small clouds popping to the South and North attracting pilots to go both North and South around St Genis.
The final turnpoint and glide to goal was a matter of timing. If you hit the sink, it was hard with the headwind. If you hit lift you came in super high and joyous.
68 made goal, well done. First in goal was Martin Long on his Ozone Delta2. Second was Jens Cullman, Advance Sigma10 and third Hans Ter Maat, Nova Triton2. What a fabtastic day.
Tonight is the pizza and paella night in Ribiers. There will be dancing on the tables, beer and happiness.
Day 4, Wednesday July 5: Task3
The Pizza night was a bit quieter than usual, probably because everyone is expecting a big day today.
We went up Chabre having been given a very nice forecast, greeted with some wind that dropped to almost nothing. Blue skies, calm and warm.
The task was set: A 79km race to goal in Chorges via four waypoints with the start at 14:00.
As the launch window opened the thermals were coming through nicely and the field got away nicely. Waiting for the start in blue skies was a little tricky with a few gaggles forming along the ridge. The race started and, just like yesterday, some climbed on Orpierre and some went straight to Beaumont for the turnpoint. 2900m and on to the sailplane ridge the leaders had a long glide and struggled a little while the next lot took a moon beam and everyone met again on Aspres, which didn't produce much, except for the next bunch back, so a good number of people were pushing fast. The Veyne valley was blue, working for some but not for others. Over La Roche des-Arnoud there were small climbes and Charance was working well. If you got to 3300m there, you could glide the final 18km, but some didn't do that. The last km to Chorges can be touch and go but a good number got to goal.
54 pilots made goal. Well done to all. Winner of the day was Martin Long on his Ozone Delta2. Second was Anders Gustafsson on his Ozone Delta2 and third was was Jens Cullman, Advance Sigma10.
Day 5, Thursday July 6: Task4
Blue sky, no clouds light winds and thermic on launch. The forecast was similar to yesterday but with a lower cloudbase. A slightly shorter but trickier task was set.
A 62km Race to goal at La Battie Neuf via 3 waypoints. The same pre-start turnpoint at Col St Ange was set and then a 4km Radius around Orpierre. Next was a 3km radius around a point in the Veynes valley and on to goal. The choices were numerous: Straight from Orpierre, or via Beaumont or even around Aspres. We climbed to 2600m at the start and cruised across to Orpierre. There was no climb so then went straight from Orpierre over the volcano (St Genis) to Aujour. The number of gliders helped to find the climbs and the journey to the Veynes valley was fairly swift. The group got fragmented but the gaggles found good climbs. The glide to goal was a quite tricky cross wind with lots of sink. A bit of patience saw many in goal again.
43 pilots made goal. Well done to all. Winner of the day was Jens Cullman, Advance Sigma10. Second was Martin Long on his Ozone Delta2 and third was Anders Gustafsson on his Ozone Delta2.
Day 6, Friday July 7: Task5
The forecast was not as good today: Wind from the West and a lower cloudbase so we all went to Buc. The road up is a disaster so anyone who could, walked up to the top, it was a nice stroll looking for fossils.
It takes a while for the thermals on Buc and they started as the inversion broke around 14:00.
The task was an elapsed time race to goal at Laragne camping via 3 turnpoints: La platte, Ubac and Upaix. Slow climbs in the beginning made for a busy start, but once out airspace became a problem again, hhmph.
The North component of the wind made it very tricky and the field scattered. It was tough going on course, especially having to navigate the airspace. Then, the headwind in the valley towards Upaix was hard (and not predicted, sorry).
24 pilots were in goal, well done. First in was Grant Oseland on his Advance Sigma10, second Matthias Schmeisser Advance Sigma10 and third Fons De Leeuw on his Skywalk Spice.
All of the results are on the results page.
Task reports by Mark Graham