Tracking: Flymaster or Airtribune
Here we are for the 14th Chabre Open.
The season again was very slow and stormy.
Until the week before the competition and just like last year it turned hot and good. The week leading up to the comp has been very hot; 38C forecast for Friday. Conditions have been a little stable, with the climbs fairly nice but the bases low.
The day before the practice task saw 38C on the ground, and thermals to over 4000m (thanks to the airspace being inactive). Some flew down nearly to Aix. Wow.
We are looking forward to some great flying for the the comp.
Day 0, Practice Task, Saturday June 29.
9:30 Safety briefing and ready for the practice day. It looks like we'll fly from Chabre today with a Southerly wind we'll go North.
The forecast was for a fair breeze from the South to South West and a predicted base of 3000m. Unfortunately storms were predicted for 16:00, and indeed they were right.
We had a short 34km task: Take-off at Chabre and goal at Veynes via Col St Ange and Orpierre. It was elapsed time with take-off opening at 13:20.
The wind on launch was a bit fickle but the climbs were anything up to 6m/s. The clouds were growing rapidly to the South, just to encourage some speed.
After Orpierre there was a choice.. the direct route involving no mountains, or off-track via the big clouds at Beaumont. Both routes worked, but going direct was faster.
Winner of the Practice task was Steven Montfoort (Ozone Alpina2) in less than 30 minutes (that is 57kmh average... wow). Second was Olivier Beytrison (Nova Mentor5) and third Oliver Markota (Ozone Alpina3). Top Woman was Kanan Thakur (Gin Sprint3).
We all had a lovely day though it was very hot. Now the clouds are here it is much cooler.
Tonight is the Apero welcome night, after a lovely de-brief of the day.
Day 1, Sunday June 30.
The forecast shows a similar day to yesterday. Probably a little less wind. Lets hope the storms hold off.
We had a task, but it was stopped at 14:39 for safety reasons due to over-development
The task was 63km race to goal from Chabre to Batie Neuve via Col St Ange (start), Aujour and Charance.
Take-off was a little earlier at 12:40 and the start at 13:20. The clouds were already established quite early, though the climbs were surprisingly light. The start saw many of the field, spaced horizontally and vertically, suddenly all stop mincing in zeros and head onward. On the way back east the clouds were sucking a lot better, up to 2500 base. They were getting a bit bigger. The glide to the East was lovely and blue, with most of the field getting to one crux point, Aujour. Around the corner and to the North with light climbs and a tail wind. But we were heading into bigger hills and bigger clouds and the task was stopped shortly after. No one made it to goal today.
Winner of the day was Hugh Burnaby Atkins (Advance Sigma10), followed by Alan McNab (UP Trango Race) and Colin Rathburn (Ozone Delta3). First woman was Isabella Lau (Ozone Geo5). Well done everyone.
Day 2, Monday July 1.
Another stormy forecast, though some forecasts were better than others. We had an early start and were on the hill to be greeted with blue skies and light winds. The task was set and we waited for the predicted towering cu-nims.
The task was set: A 48km Race from Chabre to Veynes via Col St Ange, St Genis East, St Genis West, Aujour and Aspremont.
Launch was delayed several times as the thermals seemed light and the inversion ever present. No clouds. Not what we were expecting.
Finally at 13:20 we launched, with a start just 3km down the ridge at 14:00. Everyone was off quick and the sky full of gliders ready for the start. Impressive. The glide to St Genis is long and a few didn't make it, but the climbs were reasonable and most got up. The next leg, cross wind, slowed a lot of people down and the field got quite stretched out. Around the corner to Aujour was time to get high, the trickiest section was to follow. From Aujour Aspremont was a long glide into the flats, then turn and run to goal... if you had the height. Many didn't and ended scratching or landing. A harsh lesson in putting on the brakes.
Winner of the day was Richard Meek (Ozone Alpina), followed by Alan McNab (UP Trango X-Race) and Joshua Sanderson (Supair Taska). First woman was Esther Dielissen (Ozone Swift4), who made goal but the task was stopped about a minute before she arrived. 11 pilots were scored into goal. Well done everyone.
Day 3, Tuesday July 2.
Here we are again. Another earlier briefing and up the hill quickly for a short task before the forecast storms. Same forecast as yesterday: SE Winds and storms from 15:00. It looked a little more stable to the East.. so thats where we went.
A 52.7km race to goal at La Batie Neuve, via Col St Ange, Aujour and Charance
A slightly different course line today compared to T1: hoping to avoid the development, and a little shorter.
We had to delay the start twice again as the inversion was stuck at 1700m (thanks Chris for hanging around above launch reporting the conditions). Finally we decided to go at 12:45 with the start opening at 13:45.
Climbs out of launch were fine and we had a large percentage of the field ready long before the start opened. Unfortunately there was a lot of milling with very little lift. After the start a great cloud formed on the end of the ridge, with 6m climbs to give us height to get across to St Genis. After a long glide the field split quickly, with the lead gaggle getting a good jump on the rest. Aujour was a lottery and the run up towards Charance proved too tricky for some and great for others. The clouds were pulsing and encroaching. The long glide to goal was too far for some.. you needed that little top up... somewhere. The task was stopped at 15:29 due to overdevelopment again.
Winner of the day was Richard Meek (Ozone Alpina) followed by Hugh Burnaby-Atkins (Advance Sigma 10) and Wessel Du Plooy (Ozone Alpina 3). First woman was Esther Dielissen (Ozone Swift4), who made goal with time to spare today. 25 pilots made goal today and another 13 were in after the stop time. Well done everyone.
We had a de-brief session in the marquee in torrential rain. Jocky also did a visual session on dealing with cravats and other incidents. Very informative and well attended.
The Pizza and Paella evening in Ribiers was damp but the rain had stopped and we enjoyed being serenaded by Henri & son at our tables. It was most fun.
Day 4, Wednesday July 3. Task Cancelled.
The forecast is for storms again. Light SW winds. We may get a task.
We went up Chabre, set a task, and waited for some thermals. Then we waited some more. After waiting some more the thermals came through and we launched at 13:15. The task was short: A race to Laragne Camping via Col St Ange, Orpierre (East end), St Genis E, St Genis W, Upaix and Goal. There was not much time to get to the start and there were not many good climbs. As the start opened there were not many in a good position as we pushed on to Orpierre. The clouds were growing fast everywhere except on the course line.. which was a good thing. Unfortunately it started to rain to the west of Orpierre and there were still pilots heading towards it. Too close. The task was cancelled at 14:01.
Day 5, Thursday July 4.
The forecast was much better today. Light winds from the West and South West with storms predicted from 17:00 onwards and cloud base over 3000m. We decided to go to Buc to launch, which meant a walk up the hill, which was very sociable.
We set a big task. 81km to Chorges via Chabre, Veynes and La Roche des Arnauds. The wind and clouds looked great for a 13:45 launch time.
When the launch window opened only half a dozen pilots took off to see how good it was... and scratched. It took a while for them to find a climb, and a couple bombed. As more flew quite a few didn't get up, the conditions were not as good as they looked. As the race started large clouds could be seen in the distance... we'd be getting closer to them shortly. The airspace for the comp was set to 2150m to give some margin for the real airspace above our heads. There were some strong climbs and some could not stay low enough. On course the leaders had got to St Genis. As the lightning and rain were on the course line near La Roche des Arnaud. The task had to be stopped.
Winner of the day was Hugh Burnaby-Atkins (Advance Sigma 10) followed by Sunith Rao (Ozone Rush 5) and Colin Rathbun (Ozone Delta 3). First woman was Eva Henneman (Ozone Buzz Z5). No one got to goal. But well done everyone anyway.
Day 6, Friday July 5.
The forecast was good. No storms, finally. NW to W winds and 3000m base forecast. It looks like a good day.
We had a task from Bergies, which meant we could drive up, hurrah.
The task was set: 52km race to Malijai via La Platte and La Colette. The launch opened at 12:30 and the first gaggle made it look very difficult. As more pilots launched some larger gaggles formed and almost as many pilots went down as up. It was tricky. Once up, it was then a case of staying below the airspace, and the cruise along the ridge was mainly buoyant. The crossing to 'Marky's Nose' split the field and the leaders pushed to get out of airspace and get high. The Ubac ridge gave no climbs (until a bit later) and people started to struggle on the ridge to the South of Sisteron. The going got slower and slower, and a little rough closer to goal.
Winner of the day was Wessel Du Plooy (Ozone Alpina 3) followed by Colin Rathbun (Ozone Delta 3) and Richard Meek (Ozone Alpina). First woman was Ali Matthews (Nova Ion 3). 18 Pilots got to goal. Well done everyone.
Provisional results are up. Please check them now.
All of the results are on the results page.
Task reports by Mark Graham