Sunday, November 1, 2020

Autumn impressions from Hesselberg

I've been a bit lazy with blogging jn the kast years. Therefore I started to be more active in Instagram. Decided today that I'd like to somehow combine both in future. Here are impressions from yesterday’s surprisingly wonderful evening soaring at Hesselberg. 

I was a bit unsure whether to take off or not, since I hurt my shoulder last week and with the pretty strong wind didn’t want to risk that it’s getting worse again. Luckily some friends kicked my ass and I had the chance to enjoy those beautiful moments. 

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Bavarian Open 2018, Bad Hindelang

From Thursday, 31st of May until Sunday, 3rd of June the International Bavarian Open take place in Bad Hindelang, Germany. In the beautiful landscape of OberallgÀu it is a pleasure to fly. The weather forecast for all four days predicts some thunderstorms in the later afternoon - normal summer days. 79 pilots are participating from both, the German and the Austrian league as well as further international guests.

Day 4: Sometimes it’s over before it started
The last day the the Bavarian Open was supposed to be the best day of the weekend with less clouds, no overdevelopments and stronger thermals than the days before. I took off 35 minutes before race Start (a 80km task was set from Spiesser via Neunerköpfle over the flats to Mittag and back over Nebelhorn to the goal in Bad Hindelang). I climbed my way up to cloud base quickly and already felt that this day would be more turbulent than the days before. A small collapse made me chose another thermal. I went over to Iseler where the others were thermalling and waiting for the race to start. Unfortunately I went to the south west flank which - as a learned quickly - is in the Lee of The Valley Wind instead of going to the wind facing north side. I had a collapse followed by a cascade and lost quite some height although I managed to get my wing flying again quickly. Also my motivation was gone and so I was on the ground 33s before the race started. This was definitely not my competition. Let’s hope for better ones to come.

Day 3: Cancelled due to overdevelopments 

Day 2: It was all about timing
When we arrived at take off the clouds were clearing and it looked as it would be getting better for a short time. Due to the strong humidity however clouds were forming up quickly again as soon as the sun came in and when we finally had a task of 30km set, it was getting darker and darker. The window was closed again and the finally opened at 13:30. Towards Nebelhorn we saw some rain and thinking that it would soon come to us, I and a couple of others took off to not get wet. We tried to make some altitude but none of us succeeded. As soon as we landed, we saw a couple of wing climbing better and better. Those who took of later were in big advantage and made it to goal easily.

Day 1: Some day you lose, some day the others win 
After after an early briefing at 8:30 at the Head Quaters, the busses brought us soon up as close as possible to the take-off, Spießer. From the drop off point at Hirschalpe we hiked up through grassy meadows to the final take-off for half an hour - quite exhausting for the body in the summer heat with 25kg on the back, but quite relaxing for the sole with so many flowers and nice landscapes around. On the-off a 54km task was announced leading us from Spießer through Tannheimer Tal to Reuthe and back.

The race was going to start at 12:00 and around 11:15 the first pilots took off. The lifts were very weak at that time and so I decided to wait longer. When it finally went up, I took off around 25minutes before start. Unfortunately it still took quite long to gain altitude and so when the race started I still had to thermal for some time before leaving for the first way point. After the talley crossing to Iseler it was very tough to gain altitude again and sow and a few other pilots had to work for along time to finally get up. The leading gaggle was already gone for a long time and so we followed them on our own route. Over Neunerköpfle the clouds already started getting bigger and darker. After the turn point at Hahnenkamm I lost my fellow pilots that I’ve flown with together since they went a route which I didn’t chose due to the knowledge that the north flanks of the Tannheimer Tal worked well before. I started climbing my way up again when I saw two pilots on a Zeno spiraling down and with a couple of others going to land. Not having heard anything through the radio I nevertheless thought the task was stopped due to the darker clouds and decided to land in Tannheimer Tal as well.

Well, the task wasn’t stopped. The pilots who spiraled down have been close to the cloud and it sucked quite heavily. Other pilots that stayed lower at that pint didn’t have any problems and made goal easily. It probably was a good decision to land with the overdeveloping clouds all around, but I’m still sad and a bit disappointed about my decision as it would have been easy to make goal. Let’s hope for better three days to come.

And here’s some cat content for the good mood :-) (The cats at my B&B.)

Monday, May 14, 2018

UP Meru - Love on first flight

Updated on 14.05.2018

Long was I roaming around on the search for a new wing that would carry me through good times and through even better times.... My search began last year in September, when I realized, my LM6 would need a replacement sooner or later after we went through many nice flights together.
I was on some dates with a Zeno or lets rather call it appointments since I didn't feel that romantic spark. The Zeno without any doubt is a wonderful wing, with a great performance and for many many pilots, probably THE wing, but somehow not for me. It was nice and gentile, sporty, beautiful, elegant..., but we somehow didn't fully connect. There was always a small doubt in my stomach. And so I decided to stay with my LM6 for some time longer.

Until at the BaWĂŒ Open somebody said to me: "why don't you try the UP Meru? I promise, you'll love it." And I thought, ok, why not. It can't do any harm to get to know each other and arrange some get together.

I asked for a tester and two weeks later received it, a day before the Mosel Open 2018.
As with every new wing, I was a bit nervous before the first flight. Especially since it was in a competition, with a lot of wind, on a new takeoff... not the ideal thing, normally.

I decided to take off late, to don't be stressed too much if I would struggle in taking off. Since the type of task was a race to goal with multiple start gates, I wouldn't lose too much time through that. The only disadvantage would be to maybe have to fly on my own or at lead with slower pilots, I thought.

Picture by Joel Debons
The take-off:
The take-off was quite a mess to be honest. The wing went here and there, but not really above my head where it should go. I was so late, that the last start gate was opening within 5 minutes. And not relaxed at all. After several attempts, I finally maded it in the air.
My learning: The Meru has no shooting tendencies at all during start, which, compared to the LM6 -  a wing that almost starts on its own - makes it slightly more inert, when lifting it up. The Meru wants really to be guided above your head but therefore doesn't lever you out. When reverse launched, it want's to be only lifted with the most inner A-line (not the whole riser). Once I figured that out, it was quite easy.

The flight:
After I was finally in the air, I went right from takeoff, into a thermal and minutes later I was above take-off and soon approaching top of lift. When I left towards the first turn point 10 minutes after the start gate, it was the first time that thought "cool, I'm under a new wing!". It was so intuitive, so easy to handly, so much fun to circle, so much "me and the wing as one piece" that a barely realized that this was something new. It felt like we were flying together since years, like we understood each other without any doubt. The flight went on like this, with strong winds, strong thermals, some tough parts that required a lot of patience in weak climbs... and throughout all that flight, I felt completetly, safey, secure, happy, one with the wing. I reached goal on that day as the first woman and 22nd overall and with a big smile in my fest. My best ever result. I can't say much about the performance in direct comparison to Zenos, Enzos or Booms, since I for long parts of that flight was on my own. On the next day, we had some close flying together and it seemed we were flying similar in terms of glide and speed.

On the second day, not long after the race started I could experience, how the Meru behaves, when things are not that smooth. The turnpoint was set in the middle of the lee of a hill and no matter how high you were, you have been washed down. When approaching that turn point, the Meru talked to me, loudly and determined. It collapsed for around 50%. But didn't even bother to turn. It was easy, manageable, trustworthy.

Well, it glides... very well. So you'd like to have some space. Thanks to it's direct and intuitive handling, it's however quite easy to also get it landed on the spot.

What else?
Is there a down side? So far I couldn't find a lot. Maybe, that it's only available in one color. The Meru is now available in two nice different color schemes ( and also in the making for heavier pilots up to 130kg.
For sure that it's only available in two sizes, which for me is not a big disadvantage, but for heavier or a lot lighter pilots it might be. Luckily it flies very well - also in turbulent conditions, also with strong head wind - in the middle of the weight range, which I'm exactly at on the MS size. I have the feeling, it doesn't have to be fully loaded and rather likes it a bit lighter.
The dyneema lines: Most lines of the Meru are made of Aramide, only the main lines are made of dyneema. Dyneema has a bad reputation, but also the Trango XRace uses this type of lines as main lines and so far I didn't hear any complaints. Probably UP found a way to solve the known issues. I'm pretty sure otherwise they wouldn't have used this configuration.

Am I going to fly it more?
I definitely will! For me the Meru has everything I was looking for as a wing: Intuitive handling, great ability to climb in both strong and weak conditions, great gliding performance, good handling on the B-risers, safe feeling, direct handling, great feedback. I know, I'm using a lot of superlatives :-) But that's how it is when you experience love on first flight!
I flew the Meru now also in heavy spring conditions with strong winds and lee side thermals in Greifenburg, KĂ€rnten during the Hessen Meisterschaft. It gives a lot of feedback in these conditions but not in an aggravating kind of way. It wants to be flown, but is honest in its reactions. I'm still excited! 

Friday, April 6, 2018

BaWĂŒ Open 2018 - 6.April to 8.April 2018

Day 1:
The first day of the first competition this year waited with sunny weather and a prediction for very stable conditions and a strong inversion. In the morning fog was lying in the valleys which quickly lifted up and brought us a bright blue sky.

After the general briefing at 9:00am and some waiting time we went up to the take off at Breitenberg near Pfronten to have the task briefing there at 11:30.

The task committee came up with a task along the Falkenstein ridge going 5 Times back and further over 7 turn points.

I took off around an hour before the race start which was at 14:00 in NIL wind conditions. With quite some running through the heavy and deep snow I was in the air and soon after above Falkenstein.

With steep south facing rocky flanks, Falkenstein is known to locals to provide turbulent but strong climbs being disturbed by the Bavarian valley wind coming in from north.

Additionally the day was providing a stronger easterly wind which provided additional turbulences. After being one hour in these exhausting conditions between 1300 and 1650m, between strong ridge lifts and inversion, the race started just when I had the lowest height. 

Additional cirrus clouds made the thermals on the south side of the ridge weaker and weaker and my impatience brought me back to the ground 10min later together with half of the other pilots. Only 15 made it slowly and patiently to goal with improving conditions later on the day.
On day 2 the conditions should be better. Let’s hope for more luck and patience!

Day 2:
The forecast for this day mentioned light Föhn winds. So I was sceptical at first how the day would develop. Having a deeper look into wind forecasts and the pressure difference between Innsbruck and Pfronten showed soon that there was nothing to fear for today. The day promissed to come with blue thermals with a max altitude at around 2200m and no low inversion like yesterday.

We went up to takeoff for a briefing at 11:00am and received a task of 60km from Breitenberg/Pfronten along Falkenstein to Buchenberg, Tegelberg, Trauchgauer and back over the flats to Pfronten. Weather on top was like in summer. Only the melting snow on the slopes along with NIL winds made takeoffs for many pilots difficult. Luckily I didn’t have any problems there.

The race was set to start at 14:00 with window open at 12:00. Having yesterday in mind I decided to start later to avoid staying in rough air before race start for too long. I took off 30min before start and it paid off well. I had a good altitude and Position when the race started and could easily make the first 4 turnpoints in the vicinity of Pfronten.

I then followed the Falkenstein ridge until the end towards Neuschwanstein and decided to cross to the next ridge at a point where it worked well on flights I did there before. From my previous flights I knew that not too much altitude was needed to do the crossing so I went on quite low. Well, today it didn’t work. Instead the valley wind washed me down in the lee within no time. I had to land after only 15km of the task and watch the others thermalling high above my head.

Day 3:
Today the forecast predicted even more Föhn than yesterday. When I arrived at the cable car in the morning I was pretty confident that we wouldn’t fly. Nevertheless a briefing was scheduled at 10:30 at take off so we went up. On the way up we checked the weather again and saw that the forecasts improved massively. The strong winds should now only start after 16:00 so a short task of 30km was set.
The race should start at 12:15 leading us over Falkenstein back to Breitenberg over Vils to Alpspitze and some kilometers into the flats to finally land at the official landing in Pfronten. I took off 38min before race start and other than many pilots at this time went directly to Falkenstein which again paid off. It was a bit chaotic right before start when all pilots were there since the maximum height we could reach at that time was only around 1600m.

Conditions were improving every minute though and so we could quickly make the first three waypoints. After that it took me a while to get up again but I found strong climbs on Falkenstein and could go on together with some other pilots. In the flats we found a nice climb again which brought as almost back to goal. Just some circles on the last turnpoint and we could make it - so I thought. In the end literally 3m lift were missing. I landed 20m before the goal line. I could have easily made it with just one circle more at the last turn point. But that’s the game :-)

I finished 90th overall. There’s definitely at lot of room for improvement.
Nevertheless it was a great end to this competition with a beautiful day and so much fun! I’m looking forward to the next (Mosel Open end of April).

Thanks to everybody who made it fun and especially to the organizers! It was really great!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Season 2017 - A Retrospect

I was a bit lazy with posting regular updates on the past competition season. I was kept quite busy at work and finished my doctoral thesis in the last weeks. So I rather used every free minute to fly :-)

Nevertheless, I'd like to summarize a bit what happened.

Mosel Open 2017
After Trofeo Monte Grappa over the Easter weekend in March the next competition was the "8th Mosel Open" which was taking place in Zeltingen-Rachtig at the beautiful Mosel river. A wonderful four day competition with great organization. And despite an ambivalent forecast, we were able to fly three out of four days. Due to very weak conditions I bombed out two of three days early, probably only at 50% of the task. The last task I flew well and fast but made a mistake 8km from goal which brought me to ground early again. In the end I finished 5th in the Female Category and 65th overall.

Ammersee from above
After that there was a long period of cancelled competitions due to bad weather. I nevertheless had good free flying days. I flew from Schrattenbach to Ammersee, my current home, and had the possibility to first time fly in Pinzgau for a weekend. What a wonderful magnificent place with a convergence line over the main ridge and the snow-capped main alpine range to the south. I did some flights with close to 100km but didn't snap the magic line.

Picture by G. Hochmuth. Austrian Open Podium

On the first weekend of June, the Austrian Open took place in Zell am See (also in Pinzgau), where again an ambivalent forecast made many people think twice whether to go or not. We were able to fly on two out of four days, the first task with amazing weather and a long task which I again didn't finish by only 6km. The second task was with very weak conditions and in the end nobody made goal. I finished second in the female category by only 27 points behind the first and 53 overall. During this competition I had the impression that I finally found out how it works to keep constant and patient throughout the task. I had some parts where I wasted too much time to make height and was a victim to the cloud shadows in the end, which the first gaggle managed to avoid earlier.

All the following competitions mainly in Austria until end of July have been cancelled again due to bad weather and also the weather for free flying was - at least on the weekends - far below average.

Alsace, France
Finally end of July, the Palz Open took place one day later than planned due to rain, in Fellering, Alsace (France). On the first day we waited at takeoff until almost 4pm with strong winds, and barely sun. We didn't really believe, that a task would be possible. When we were finally in the air and started climbing to fly a 70km task, it was a big relieve. The wind calmed down and we were able to fly over Rhine river into Germany. I was in front with two or three others throught most of the task and only after Colmar took the wrong decision to go straight towards goal into the cloud shadow, making me land 8km from goal... again. The second task was a bit unfortunate for me from the very beginning. It took me long to gain height and when the race started I was still scratching below take-off. I landed after 30km.
Nevertheless, I  managed to become 3rd in the female category and 55th overall. And I had a good last training before the Paragliding World Cup in Disentis.

The PWC in Disentis took place in the first week of August and god was I excited to finally join my first world cup event. But as the weather was in the last couple of months, it continued during this week. We flew a task on Monday in strong southerly wind which I couldn't penetrate. I was forced to land after less than twenty kilometers. After that a week full of rain started and the mood of all pilots went down and down. On Thursday we finally decided to leave and head home to get the spirit a bit up again. We missed a task on the final day, Saturday, but it seems, conditions weren't that great on that day either. I hope, I'll have better luck with my next world cups to come.

ObermĂŒhle MĂŒhlbach
Frustrated from this week, I went home to AltmĂŒhltal and on 14th August I finally made the obligatory 100km flight for this year. From Böhming to Crailsheim, over Brombachsee and AltmĂŒhlsee, with a quite low cloud base this flight was simply magic. One week later a flew to visit my sister, another great day. It paid off for all the frustration from the last months.

Take-off at Monte Pelpi

In the beginning of September, another highlight of this year was waiting for me: flying in the Apennines in Italy, my second home, were I spent a great part of my childhood. From Monte Pelpi I did a nice little round, watching the sea in 30km distance. A place I always loved and I definitely will come back to.

Picture: - German Championship, Female Podium
The competitions season was finally closed by the German Open in Tolmin, Slovenia. And again, the forecast was not in our favor... The first two days out of six were cancelled right away. On Wednesday we then were able to fly a task at Lijak. Weak conditions, lots of shadow... not many made it to goal. On Thursday we  hoped for a task at Lijak again, but drizzle and strong winds made it impossible. With the forecast looking even worse for the next couple of days, we ended the competition on Thursday evening with the prize giving and pilot's party.
I finished 3rd in the female category and 28th overall. Despite the misfortune with the weather, my best overall result this season.

For now the competition time is over for me but flying will continue. I hope for some good days in the Dolomites in October and will be testing some new wings for the next season. My LM6 has close to 200 hours now and I guess I need to find something new :-)
Overall I managed to fly more than 100 hours since the beginning of this year and managed to get up in the top 1000 in the CIVL world ranking. There's still a long path to climb up, but I think I'm finally on a good way!

I'm looking forward to the next year in the German Paraglding League, this time even as part of the committee. I'll keep my fingers crossed for better luck with the weather then and hope to be able to take up with my learnings from this year. Stay tuned for more news to come :-)
Landing after 100km near Crailsheim

Friday, April 21, 2017

Trofeo Monte Grappa 2017

This year I was lucky enough to be selected for one of the highest rated competitions aside from PWCs: Trofeo Monte Grappa. The competition - like every year - took place over the Easter holidays near the beautiful town of Bassano del Grappa, which since I started flying is one of my frequently visited home bases.

The level of pilots was as expected very high and among the 150 participants, big names were roaming around everywhere. Aside from that it was a great occasion to meet old friends.

The weather forecast didn't look too promising from the beginning, but we were in good hope for at least three days of nice task flying. The area around Bassano is generally well known for being flyable on almost any day through out the year. Being shielded by the Dolomites, Bassano's microclimate allows often to have good flights even if Föhn is forecasted. Or as some say: The best northwind-ridge in the alps :)

The take-off which is used for the competitions, Rubbio, however was new to me. It offers a huge grassy slope with plenty of space for even larger competitions than this.

On the first day, our race started due to some organizing effort pretty late at 2pm.
The task was set to be a 71km task towards Schio, then leading south into the flatlands and from there to the southern ridge of Monte Grappa. Unfortunately, the cloud cover made the day weaker and weaker and many pilots landed after a bit more than 30km flown, and so did I. Only 25 pilots managed to get into goal.

 Friday looked again promising for the morning with more cloud coverage in the afternoon. As we learned later during the comp, however due to a NOTAM which was applied for too late by the organizers, we were not allowed to start the race before 1pm. This day the race was set to start at 1:30pm and we were supposed to fly for 73km. The task lead us from Rubbio to the end of the Monte Grappa ridge, back to Schio and through the flatlands to the landing in Semonzo. Great I thought, this ridge I know like my own pocket. And so I went with a great height all the way to the first turnpoint. Unfortunately, since again the day started to get weaker, I didn't bear in mind that the ridge works great from below on sunny days, but didn't at all on a cloudy day like this day. Flying high would have been the key... but again, I had to land short after 35km. 95 pilots made it to goal and my positioning was therewith out of range.

Saturday was forcasted to be a rainy day and the day was cancelled. Many pilots used the opportunity to go to Venice for some sight seeing. I went with some friends hiking up to Col Serai and a little bit of free flying in the afternoon.
On Sunday we had a task set but it was cancelled after less than 60min due to heavy rain on course. The task was therefor not validated.
Monday, the last day of the competition looked similar than the day before forecast wise. The temperatures decreased over night from 25°C on the last days to only 8°C. We were skeptical when arriving on take-off whether flying would at all be possible on the day, since the dark clouds were slowly approaching from the east. However, a task of 52km was set, which should lead us away from the dark clouds and away from the mountains, where thunderstorms were predicted for later in the afternoon. We were flying towards Asolo over the small foothills and I was initially fast and in one of the first gaggles. The task was again cancelled, this time after 65 minutes and for that reason valid.

It hasn't been one of the best competitions weather-wise and the fact of starting late every day was annoying, especially with the rain predicted for every afternoon. It also hasn't been one of the most successful competitions, position-wise (I ended up 132nd out of 150). But I enjoyed the challenging tasks in the flatlands, which I normally barely use when flying in Bassano. And I definitely enjoyed the company of so many great pilots and am glad I could learn a great bunch of tactical skills from them. I hope to be part of the game again next year. End of April, the next competition for me will be Mosel Open 2017. Stay tuned :)

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Breitenberg to Buchenberg (aka Breiti to Buchi) - Spring flying in the beautiful AllgÀu mountains

Today I was for the first time flying from Breitenberg in the beautiful AllgĂ€u. With just 11€ for one ascent by cable car, definitely one of the "cheaper" mountains. From the top station to take-off it is a 10min walk up the skiing slope, which was still covered with melting muddy snow. The take-off faces east.
The wind was light, slightly taily. With my LM6 though, which is a wonderfully-easy-to-start wing in nil-wind conditions, the launch was no problem.
From the takeoff I followed the south-facing small ridge until the top station building and from there headed straight to Falkenstein which is a lower mountain range 4km north from Breitenberg.

There I found strong but rough thermals that found a sudden end at around 1800m ASL thanks to a strong inversion. I took the chance and followed the Falkenstein-range further eastwards against the wind and towards the royal palaces Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein. Both castles worked well today and arriving at each at eye level, I was able to thermal up to around 1500m, not being unnoticed by the thousands of visitors there.

Tegelberg with easterly winds was difficult to climb as usual and so I used some smaller climbs to extend my flight until Buching.
Nothing special, but a beautiful little spring-thermal flight on a wonderful day :) Thanks to all who where part of it and made it special!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Western Cape / South African Open 2016

From 9th December to 18th December, the South African Open (from 11th to 17th) should lead me for a short summer break in winter time to South Africa. Shortly after I've booked my flight I learned that a friend whom I know from the paragliding community in Singapore will be there for parts of the time as well. 

So I arrived very excited in Capetown, which many promised me to be the most beautiful city in the world. Although I arrived in rain, I already could guess what it meant. Nice little colonial style houses between Signal Hill, Table Mountain, the Lion Head and the Atlantic Ocean. 
Luckily the rain stopped around noon and after some lunch, my friend from Singapore, Stephane, and his wonderful fiancee gave me a sight seeing tour towards the Cape of Good Hope. The fresh air in my face with spring-like temperatures and watching the birds soaring above the cape's rocks made it a wonderful happy and refreshing day. Together we went for a beautiful dinner featuring the best steak I ever had in my life with some of Stephane's friends to a restaurant above the sea.


On Saturday, 10th of December, I got a morning ride with Flo (many thanks again!) from Cape Town to Porterville, where the competition was supposed to start the next day. We were planning to use the day for some training and getting used to the flying conditions there. We set ourselves a little task which a happily failed to complete, but is was wonderful to watch the endless flats and rocky hills from the air. And to finally after a long break get decent thermals again. 
In the evening we the first competition briefing took place.

The first task on Sunday, 11th a 81km task should first lead us down the ridge towards south and from there into the flats towards Piketberg and up towards north. I bombed out on my attempt to fly in to the flats with far too little height, hoping fore some decent thermals there (which there weren't). Some local kids came running towards me when I was just about to land and so my glider was packed quickly and retrieve already waiting (which is a big relief since temperatures reached soon over 40°C during the daytime).

The second task was a straight line from takeoff via Endekuil towards the north west of the valley. I was good on the way along the ridge and when heading out in the flats we had found some climb. The strong southerly winds  blew us up north with every turn and so, Bernd and I decided to leave the thermal together when it didn't lead to much of success anymore. I flew a bit more right than him. He found a thermal and I found myself in a 7m/s sink, not able to make it to the thermal against the wind. Minutes later I was on the ground and Bernd made it to goal on this day. Well, that's the game.

The third day was cancelled due tail wind on takeoff. So we went to the nearby waterfalls and climbed them up. What a nice and refreshing diversion. 

On the fourth day, a similar route as on day two was set, and strong winds brought me the same faith as on day two again. On that day, barely any non-CCC-wing was able to make it to goal.  

Photo by Stef Junker

Since the next day was cancelled again, this time due to too much wind, we made a nice little trip to Riebeek Castle, a small town with little houses, cafĂ©s and art galleries. And with a good sense of humor. 

On day 6, finally the luck was on my side. We had to fly a task of 67km which lead us first down south to Porterville and then up the ridge and into Citrusdal until the goal in constriction. I finally was patient enough to always make the required hight and I was finally flying full speed along the ridge. What a fun it was. And so I managed to get into goal only 25 minutes after the first pilot. Patience seems to pay out :D

Day 7 again found me impatient and the strong wind combined with not enough height made me land early again. Not the finish of the comp I was hoping for, but nontheless an experience to learn from.

Over all, the 10 days in South Africa have been amazing and the competition very well organized. Spending the time with old and new friends and flying this ridges and flats was just a big fun. On day 6 I seemed to have understood, how everything works and with this awareness I will go into the next portion of the winter-break. I finished 5th in the women class and 54th out of 98 overall. Not my worst result after all. 
To me it was a new style of flying again, even though I'm used to flat land flying. The strong winds sometimes gave me a hard time and showed me once more how important height and patience is. Also trusting the ridge to always provide climb, even though racing along it super low, was a new experience for me.

I hope, this experience will help me in the next comp season and I definitely hope to come back to this wonderful country and place again. 

Thanks to everybody who made this time so great and especially Stephane for the sightseeing and lovely dinner, Flo for the ride from Capetown, Kirsten for bringing me my radio back, Harry for the excellent shuttle and Bernd for some local guidance. The biggest thanks go to the competition organizers who really did a great job in making this whole week a blast.

The full competition results can be found here: