Feb
28
2014
0

PRE- PWC Venezuela Nirgua November 2013 – The video

One of the worst comps for me ever…bombed out every day… but it was good fun anyway

Pre-PWC Paragliding Open Nirgua – Venezuela – 2013 from Silvio Zugarini on Vimeo.

Written by Silvio Zugarini in: General |
Aug
26
2013
0

Pedro Bernardo XC – 24-25 Agosto 2013

Despegando en Pedro Bernardo 24 Agosto 2013 from Silvio Zugarini on Vimeo.

Las fechas eran para la celebración de una prueba de la Liga Centro pero como estamos en pleno periodo de vacaciones en la península, y la asistencia mínima de pilotos no estaba totalmente garantizada se decidió’ cancelar; entonces mirando previsiones, con nortes flojos decidimos ir a Pedro bernardo para intentar volar triángulos FAI. Volamos yo, Pana, Friki,Larry y David Pérez.
EL sábado planeamos un triángulo muy, muy ambicioso de 150km con puntos de giro en Madrigal de la Vera, Velada y Piedralaves.
Salimos y una vez remontado bien en el despegue nos dirigimos hacia la Abantera,; cuesta subir, todo esta’ muy roto y turbulento.
En la transición hacia Arenas de S. Pedro se nota que el día no rinde aun, son las 14.30 y es todavía pronto; hay dos capas de inversión muy fuertes, una a 1100 mt y la otra a 1700 y es difícil coger altura. 4 pilotos acabamos aterrizados entre Ramacastanas y Arenas; solo Larry sobrevive y sigue volando regresando a aterrizar en Pedro Bernardo. El día bastante pobre de condiciones.. solo a partir de la 17.00 el cielo tenia una pinta bastante buena. El domingo lo intentamos otra vez, esta vez solo yo y Larry. Salimos a las 14.00 del despegue oeste; cuesta mucho otra vez subir, la ladera esta’ muy turbulenta, las térmicas rotas; después de estar una hora recibiendo mucho y no subiendo nada (1600 -1700) Larry decide tirar para Buenaventura y el llano; yo espero un poco mas en la ladera y por fin sale una térmica buena que consigue ponerme a 2200 y con esa altura tiro tambien para el llano hacia Buenaventura. Desde allí vamos direccion sur oeste muy lentos avanzando con viento de lado..en Sotillo de las Palomas tuvimos un punto muy bajo pero al final remontamos; el llano esta’ también turbulento y en una vez la vela esta a punto de desmontarse por completo, hay que agarrarla fuerte todo el rato; llegamos a la zona al norte de Talavera, cuesta mucho encontrar térmicas buenas; por fin con mucha paciencia (estaríamos una hora volando en la zona del pantano al norte de Talavera) conseguimos subir a 2100 mt (el techo del día estaba en 2300) y de allí hay que tomar una decisión, si volver hacia Candeleda/Arenas y a la ladera para intentar cerrar un triángulo de 100km o irse con el viento. El viento es de unos 20km del nor-oeste y lo tenemos de cara, va a ser my difícil avanzar con estas condiciones; yo decido irme viento en cola; son las 17.30 y quedan aun dos horas de vuelo; con un poco de suerte podría llegar a volar cerca de 100km pero hay que considerar que la dirección de vuelo me llevaría dentro del TMA de Madrid donde hay un limite de altura muy bajo. Cruzo la ciudad de Talavera por el medio con la intención de dirigirme hacia el sur y los montes de Toledo pero hay una componente Oeste fuerte que me empuja hacia el sur-este; Voy volando bajo, entre 800 y 1350mt derivando todo; voy viento en cola a 60km por hora y ahora las condiciones son mucho mas suaves y nada turbulentas; son las 18.30 y empieza a entrarme la paranoia que me estoy metiendo en un espacio aéreo prohibido aunque este’ volando a un altura muy baja y decido irme a aterrizar en Carpio de Tajo provincia de Toledo. Revisando el track veo no había ningún problema y podía haber seguido volando hasta Toledo sin problemas, eso si sin subir mas que 1670mt (5500 ft) que es la altura máxima permitida en el TMA de Madrid por esa zona (TMA MAD10). 4 horas y media en el aire para solo hacer 55km (71km optimizados). Otro fin de semana dedicado al cross y sin haber podido hacer nada de vuelos largos o triangulos FAI :-( .. y la temporada se esta’ acabando; no tengo suerte esta ano con los vuelos de distancia.
Track del sabado
Track del domingo

Written by Silvio Zugarini in: General |
Jul
09
2013
0

PRE-PWC Castelo de Vide (Portugal) Junio 2013

Pre-PWC Castelo de Vide 2013 from Silvio Zugarini on Vimeo.

No pudiendo participar en el campeonato de Espana de Pedro Bernardo, fui la semana antes a la Pre copa del Mundo de Castelo de VIde en Portugal; un sitio de distancia pura y dura con la esperanza de volar muchos km en el llano y hacer un buen resultado que me permitiera coger unas letras mejores para participar en 2014 a la copa del mundo.
Tuvimos mucha mala suerte col la meteo, el despegue de Castelo de Vide, con orientacion sur oeste- Oeste no se pudo usar ni una sola vez; toda la semana el viento soplo’ del este/nor este; adios al sueno de vuelos largos hacia extremandura.
La organizacion nos llevo’ tres dias a Manteigas en la Serra de Estrela, a 150km de distancia para volar dos mangas hacia Castelo de Vide. La primera manga del Martes fue de 110km, del despegue del Vale de Amoreira hasta Castelo de Vide pasando por dos balizas en el llano. En esta manga estaba volando entre los primeros despues del estart point cuando, dudando si habia hecho el start de una manera correcta, volvi a hacerlo (4km contra viento), perdiendo asi tiempo precioso. Un error (en el briefing no fue explicada bien la nueva regla subre el estart point) que me impidio’ volar la manga en cabeza; de todas formas llegue’ a goal en el puesto 14, despues de un planeo muy apurado (cruzando la linea por 10 mt). En la segunda manga de 127km no llegue’ a goal por 4km, solo llegaron 3 pilotos, yo en el puesto 13. Al final me quedo en la posicion 11 de la general despues de solo 2 mangas voladas. Un resultado aceptable aunque podia haber volado mucho mejor. La letra que pillare (creo una F) no es suficiente para grantizar una plaza en la proximas pruebas de la copa del mundo 2014… :-(

Written by Silvio Zugarini in: General |
Apr
08
2013
0

Pedro Bernardo 7-4-2013

Finalmente vuelvo a volar.. Fuimos a Pedro Bernardo el Domingo con prevision de viento del SW y cielos cubiertos con posibilidad de luuvia a partir de las 14.00. No llovio’ y el dia dejo’ volar un buen rato. Me di dos vuelos con la IP6 con el suspentaje Nuevo, el Segundo cogiendo buenas termicas de primavera.

Back flying after a long break. Went to P. Bernardo with a so so forecast, but the day allowed for a couple of flights, the second one pretty nice with some lovely spring thermals. Flew my Icepeak 6 with the new line set.

Flying in Pedro Bernardo 7-4-2013 from Silvio Zugarini on Vimeo.

Written by Silvio Zugarini in: General |
Apr
08
2013
0
Mar
05
2013
0

WIngs of Kilimanjaro 2013 – My videos

Aqui van los primeros dos videos que cuentan mi historia en la montana.
Here are the first two fo my 4 videos telling the story with images from the expedition.

Wings of Kilimanjaro 2013 PART1 by Silvio Zugarini from Silvio Zugarini on Vimeo.

Wings of Kilimanjaro by Silvio Zugarini PART2 from Silvio Zugarini on Vimeo.

Written by Silvio Zugarini in: General |
Mar
05
2013
0

La Maliciosa 2227mt Hike & Fly Sat 2-3-2013

Fuimos a subir a La Maliciosa, una montana muy bonita en la sierra de Guadarrama, 60km al norte de Madrid. Esta era una ascension (desde abajo en la zona de La Barranca) que siempre quise hacer, y por su puesto bajar volando en parapente desde alli arriba. EL dia estaba precioso, buena temperatura , sol y mucha nieve. Subimos en dos horas y media. El vuelo fue muy bonito con vistas impresionantes.

I went to climbe La Maliciosa, a very nice mountain 60km to the north of Madrid – It had alwasy been a dream of mine to climb this mountain and fly down with my glider. On Saturday 2nd March Ifinally did it. The day was very nice, sunny with lots of snow. We climbed in 2 and a half hours; The glide down was beautiful with nice views of the SIerra de Guadarrama.

Climb & Fly La Maliciosa _Sierra de Guadarrama -Madrid from Silvio Zugarini on Vimeo.

Written by Silvio Zugarini in: General |
Feb
24
2013
0

Wings of Kilimanjaro 2013 – My story

Climbing on day 4 on the mountain in very good company

A very ambitious project, gathering nearly 100 people between pilots, tandem passengers, medical staff & TV crew plus more than 600 between porters and guides to climb to the summit of Kilimanjaro, the highest freestanding mountain in the world and fly down from the summit on paragliders. All this done legally with the permission the Tanzanian authorities and all this in the name of charity. The main objective indeed would be to that to raise money (at the end it was more than $ 500,000) to donate to local charities. This was the dream of Adrian McRae, a 37 years old Australian, paraglider pilot and construction entrepreneur.
One of the largest expedition ever assembled to climb Kilimanjaro consisted of 93 pilots and tandem passengers from 27 different countries , all with the dream of paragliding from the roof of Africa. Each person would raise a minimum of $5,000 for charitable work in Tanzania, thus raising over $500,000 USD and having an incredible adventure in the process. Sounds too ambitious? Without a doubt. Crazy? A bit but not entirely. As I came to appreciate both before and during the climb, this was a very well thought out endeavour involving truly inspired and competent adventurers. We were all up for the challenge and in the end all 93 people summited (100% and amazing result) and over $500,000 was raised for Plant With Purpose, World Serve and the One Difference Foundation ; three important Tanzanian charities.
On January 28th we all gathered at the beautiful Ngurdoto Mountain lodge hotel near the city of Arusha to attend the safety briefing and have all the details bout our adventure. We were showed the landing zone, a huge field near the town of Moshi, the glide ratio we would need; 4-1 to clear the great forest at the foot of the mountain; we should all carry satellite tracker devices and 2m radios to maintain contact with the staff at the landing. Our launch site would be Stella Point at 5780mt facing east-south-east.

The safety committee headed by Peter Bowyer explained that with a favorable weather window, we should be able to take off with winds of 30-35km/ h, and be down and landed before 9.30 in the morning after a flight that could last up to 1 hour and 15 minutes depending on conditions. The last safety advice showed on the huge presentation screen was “DON’T F……. CRASH”… Scheduled launch date would the morning of February 5th, 2013, and could be extended to the 6th , 7th and even February 8th. In purely statistical terms, they told us that early February would be the best time to take off from the roof of Africa on a paraglider since winds and jet stream would be weak; well Hakuna Matata then (no problem).
I decided to rent an oxygen system (as many other pilots) to maximize my chances of flying and taking off and with the necessary clarity from almost 6000mt. My flying equipment would be a small size intermediate glider (Gin Tribe ENC), an Advance Impress II harness with a pod, a lightweight reserve parachute and a Variometer/ GPS to navigate towards the landing zone. As we had two individual porters available for each person to carry the flying equipment plus another bag (max 20 kg per porter), flying with lightweight equipment was not my priority.
On January 29th we all gathered at the Machame gate, 1800mt high to begin this adventure of a lifetime. The journey to reach the summit would be through the Machame route, it would take about 7 days to almost circumnavigate and climb the highest mountain in Africa, 7 days (usually it is 4 or 5 maximum) for everyone to be well acclimatized and have the best chance to reach the summit and take off. Therefore in order to ensure an optimal acclimatization for everybody, the organization decided to go through the seven-day and very scenic Machame route stopping at Machame Camp, Shira Camp, Moir Camp, then Lava Tower and Arrow Glacier, descend down to Barranco camp, Karanga Camp, Barafu Camp, Summit and Crater camp). All pilots, tandem passengers and crew reached the summit, a 100% success rate, amazing!
We started our first walk in the middle of the jungle to our first camp at 2800mt, a four hours hike. Among the pilots and adventurers who were part of the expedition there were a few top class and very experienced (Mike Kung, Mario Eder, Babu Sanuwar, Kari Castle etc), but also I have to say that there were several pilots who in my opinion, may not have had all the necessary skills to successfully complete such a difficult flight should consitions be leas than perfect; a flight that could indeed hide many traps (4200mt of vertical drop, strong wind shear, clouds hazards , turbulence during the glide down and on landing etc.). Some clearly underestimated the challenges and difficulties of this flight. Amongst the members of the expedition there were also several climbers who had crowned summits of 8000mt; a highly impressive field indeed. The huge number of porters, over 600, which would carry tents, equipment, water, food and even portable bathrooms) was dazzling to see. A huge line of walkers which could be seen for miles from high above the hill. The meals were three per day, breakfast, lunch and dinner) and were served in big communal tents.
Breakfast was usually coffee, tea, eggs, sausage, toast and porridge; lunch and dinner were usually soup, rice, vegetables, potatoes, and some meat. We were being well fed and kept happy indeed. Soon though health problems arose for several members of the expedition (me included) with gastroenteritis, diarrhea and viruses mainly due to poor hygiene and food contamination in the camps. The antibiotic Chiropoflaxin was widely administered and seemed to resolve most problems. There were three very good doctors available in the expedition who would be plenty busy in taking care of all of us. After 5 days up and around the mountain with very nice acclimatization excursions (Lava Tower, Arrow Glacier), we descended back to 3900mt Barranco camp where we had the first cloudless night of the journey; the view of the stars in the sky and the lights of the towns down below was truly impressive. A lot of laughter and camaraderie in the camps (where we spent several hours hanging around after several hours of hiking in the morning).Friendships that will last for a long time were being formed. In these first five days the weather did not cooperate much and started to give us some indications of the difficult conditions we might expect during the flight ahead; strong winds coming from the North and towering clouds that formed very early in the morning and rose quickly up the flanks of the mountain.
Kilimanjaro especially in the first 3 days started sending us early weather warnings of forms of huge downpours, thunder and lightening, strong wind gusts, powerful sunshine and relentless heat. Diamox was generously administered preventively against the dreaded altitude sickness. Doubts began to appear gradually amongst many about the success of a flight that would be performed possibly in borderline conditions and with little if any previous references, history or feedback.
In fact it was the more experienced pilots and mountaineers, after the first four or five days on the mountain, which seemed to have some concern. Instead of participating in the party atmosphere in the camps, they sometimes chose to carefully observe the weather and climate of the mountain, and soon realized that the area of the summit of Kilimanjaro was being brushed daily with very high winds and Jetstream. On top of this, each day the wind direction (North-North-East) was not the right one needed to take off (south-southeast) Weather information in the hand of the organization seemed mainly based on statistical values of the past and not on current and very accurate forecasts (balloon soundings, weather models etc..).

On the sixth day on the mountain, we finally got into Barrafu camp (4800mt) where we would leave for our assault on the summit the day after. The sunset view overlooking Mount Meru and the Mawenzie volcano was spectacular. Here several people began to feel the first nasty effects of high altitude. The morning of the 7th, while we were getting ready to start our climb to the summit, we noticed something different between the porters and guides as if something serious was happening.
We did not take too much notice and our entire group began the very hard climb to the summit, with the impressive result that everyone (some earlier than others) reached the highest point on the African continent (5850mt). I reached the summit at 12.15 on February 4th 2013, a tremendous joy and satisfaction. The views were breathtaking, especially the glaciers. One hundred meters below the summit, in the crater of Kilimanjaro, our next camp awaited us; we would camp the night of the 4th there and hopefully early the next morning we would have the flight of a lifetime; little did we know what was in store for us.

Some 150 between guides and porters had left the expedition after spending a very cold and windy night in Barrafu Camp, and would not climb any higher and camp in the crater, unless (seemingly) paid a lot more money than agreed. Many porters did not have adequate clothing to spend two or three nights at that altitude and with that sort of chill. A strike was on, porters and guides on the way down began to sabotage the bottled water and food on the way up the mountain; the result was that we would be seriously undersupplied for the hardest parawating days. Things began to get very complicated. The first night at Crater Camp was very cold and several people who were poorly hydrated by lack of water also began to suffer the effects of altitude and needed medical help. It was a night to remember for sure. In the early morning we got up and left our frozen tents heading for Stella Point our take off location in -15C temperatures; there the wind was gusting at 60km/h, completely cross, clouds already raising fast up the mountain; it was clear that nobody would attempt to launch in such conditions. We waited a few hours in the freezing cold and thin air to see if conditions improved but no chance; we then headed back to camp (about 1.5 km away from Stella Point) to wait. About 30 people, given the situation, decided to walk down the mountain, giving up the chance to fly( which would have meant to wait another night up there). The cold, altitude and fatigue began to show. Before we were served three meals a day and we had plenty of bottled water (at least two bottles a day per person) in a very efficient and organized way, while now we would only have one meal a day and the water was rationed to half a liter (the snow and ice that could be melt from the porters at that altitude). Water would have now to be treated with chlorine tablets and drops. Only one mess tent was there instead of the usual four, where we were usually crammed up to shelter from the cold in the hope of having a hot drink. Cups, plates and cutlery were not dirty and could not be washed. Most of us decided to spend another night in the camp in the crater at 5700mt in harsh conditions where the only way to get drinking water was now to melt snow and ice. Everybody’s concern at this point was people at high altitude; tired, with little or no food and dehydrated. The additional porters who were due to arrive with supplies had apparently been turned back by the porters heading down – they informed the new guys that the expedition was over and we would be also soon walking down. The helicopter drop of food and water had also been called off as a result of the bad weather in the afternoon. It was apparent that everything possible was being attempted to resolve the difficult situation we were in, but despite the best efforts, things weren’t really improving. February 6th dawns windy again and lenticular clouds in the valley can be seen, a clear indication of strong winds at altitude; several more porters began to abandon the expedition (we were told that they feared for their lives up there, dressed scarcely and with little food and water) and we headed back to the launch but it is immediately clear that none will launch in those conditions. For me it was seeing the huge lenticular clouds that made my decision easy but also very hard to accept at the same time (after all the time, efforts, money and commitment spent in this adventure) – Flying in those conditions would mean to accept a huge risk with a very high probability of having an accident. And a 6000mt mountain in East Africa is the least of places where you want to have one.

Everyone, at the orders of the medical team decides to start walking down the mountain at about 9.30 am, after a helicopter had finally succeeding in discharging water and chocolate bars for us. Only about 8 people chose to wait another day high up to see if conditions changed; I decided to go down as the weather forecast was the same every day and decided that unfortunately my dream of flying was over.

8 hours and 28km hiking; we went down in one go from 5700 to 1700mt and in the evening of the 6th of February we were at the hotel where we enjoyed the first shower after 9 days on the mountain and the luxury of a comfortable bed. The next day we learned that the seven pilots who had spent the night high above, are also walking down the hill, all but Nepali Babu Sanowar who already flew a paragliding tandem from the top of Everest in 2011 and was chosen by the National Geographic as the Adventurer of the year 2012; we suddenly get the news that he had successfully landed in a field near the town of Moshi.
Babu had possibly made the boldest, most dangerous paragliding flight ever attempted. In his own words he was happy and lucky to be alive. He said he attempted several times to launch his tandem glider in rotor and leeside conditions with gusts of up to 70km/h in extreme turbulence, with three broken lines. He spent almost an hour in a towering cloud without instruments to navigate, cell phone, radio etc. He said he was guided only by the sunlight that filtered through the clouds. He would head towards where within the cloud was whiter. He had his African porter with him, a guy who knew nothing about paragliding and who in all honestly I don’t think he may have had a very pleasant flying experience. They landed OK; Babu is already a legend, congratulations and respect. I did try and gave everything up there, but it could not be. Thanks to all who have supported me in this adventure and have contributed to the charities. We managed to raise over $ 500,000 for the people in need in Tanzania and this is the most important thing. We could see in the aftermaths of the climb, how the money was used to bring clean water to a Masai village or is used to build a school ; this was definitely the most beautiful thing to see. It has been a great adventure; I’ve met some wonderful people and made many new friends.
Thanks to Adrian and Paula McRae, who with incredible vision, hard work, determination and enthusiasm have spent the last three years of their life to organize an event that saw the largest group of people to reach the summit of Kilimanjaro successfully. An extraordinary pilot, Babu Sunuwar and his very brave African guide and porter managed to fly from the summit. The project is ongoing and continues to raise money to change the lives of many people in Tanzania. If you want to donate you can still do it on www.wingsofkilimanjaro. I am very proud to have been part of Wings of Kilimanjaro and I am already thinking about what can be my next challenges; the adventure never ends!

Advanced Preview Wings of Kilmanjaro 2013 by Silvio Zugarini from Silvio Zugarini on Vimeo.

Written by Silvio Zugarini in: General |
Feb
10
2013
0

Wings of Kilimanjaro 2013

Después de 9 días en la montaña mas alta de Africa, estamos de vuelta. Todo el mundo (100 personas entre pilotos, pasajeros tandem, staff y equipo de television) vuelve sano y salvo de esta “aventura de toda la vida,” Tengo muchas historias que contar, pronto montare’ mi propia pelicula sobre esta expedicion.. entre huelgas de porteadores (150 abandonaron la expedicion el dia de la cumbre), problemas de altitud, el frío polar, la falta de agua y comida durante dos dias a 5700mt en el cráter del Kilimanjaro, el ambiente increible, el companerismo en los campamentos y mil historias mas…

Mientras tanto, la clave… no pudimos volar por muy malas condiciones meteo con vientos cruzados de hasta 75km por horas y nubes que se formaban por la manana muy pronto y llegaban a altura de mas de 5000mt. Mucha mala suerte ya que en esta epoca normallmente las condiciones no son asi… Como sabreis solo pudo volar el nepalí Babu Sanowar, que ya volo’ en tandem desde el Everest! Babu hizo probablemente el vuelo más audaz, peligroso, jamás hecho en parapente. Podeis leer su historia en Ingles aqui

http://skyschooluk.blogspot.com.es/2013/02/babus-epic-flight-from-mt-kilimanjaro.html

Solo decir que despego’ intentandolo unas 40 veces en tandem con su porteador, despegando en rotor y sotavento con vientos de 75km por horas en condiciones de extrema turbulencia, con tres cordinos rotos y metido casi una hora en nubes de hasta 4000mt sin instrumentos, spot o celular orientandose solo a traves de la luz del sol que filtraba apenas entre las nubes.. Aterrizo’ bien y ya es una leyenda…Enhorabuena..con dos co…nes… Nosotros lo intentamos y lo dimos todo..lastima no pudo ser..ya estoy pensando en cual sera’ mi proximo reto…la aventura nunca

Back home already. Summited Kilimanjaro (5850mt) on the morning of the 4th February but the weather gods weren’t on our side and high cross winds and towering clouds made launching our paragliders way too dangerous. I would have
stayed at crater camp (5730mt) another day (after two very cold and uncomfortable nights) in the hope the winds would moderate but it had become very harsh and risky due to supply problems of food and water Most of us came down the mountain on the 6th in one go from Crater Camp which is close to the summit. 4000mt vertical drop and twenty eight km. My legs are still hurting like hell . Took seven and a half hours to descend the mountain from top to bottom in one go. It was a great adventure and flying from Kilimanjaro would have been a dream, but it could not be this time; definitely not for lack of efforts on our side…The only one who could fly on the morning of the 7th was Nepali Sherpa Sano Babu Sunuwar who made several attempts to launch his tandem glider from the crater rim in the leeside with 75kmph winds and with his porter guide as his passenger he successfully completed the flight! The flight was done in extreme turbulent conditions according to Babu, who spent 45 mintues inside towering clouds in complete whiteout without instruments and only navigating with the help of the sunlight that weakly fileteres through the clouds. Babu had successfully flown tandem from Everest in 2011..Well done to him! Wings of Kilimanjaro managed to raise over $500,000 for Tanzanian charities and that is the important thing. After this great adventure I am already thinking at what can be the next big one!!! Thanks again to all my friends who supported me!!! Already thinking about the next big adventure!

Written by Silvio Zugarini in: General |
Jan
24
2013
0
Jan
13
2013
0

Colombian Open task 7

When everybody thought that we would not have a task, some light started to filteres through the clouds and the thermals switched on, although extrenely weakly. A 47km race to goal was called, all in mountain ridge. Survival mode was on for everybody who dropped all the ballast on launch before taking off. I managed to survive the big shadowing phase and got to the waypoint radiuous near LA Union with the leaders, then I lost them on the weay to Roldanillo but managed to stay on the game, I took the last climb to 2100mt to the wast of the town and tried to cross over but not taking the high mountain line (error) but the middle one , fearing that it could have been well in full rotor given the hour…instead I was greeted buy a strong head wind and faced with the possibility of not making the crossing to the other side I turned back and landed in Roldanillo .. 24km in 3 hours of flying…maybe top 20 in the task and top 30 in the comp I guess.
What a great competition, we flew everyday..Rolda delivers once again! Now off to party and celebrate. Good luck to the superfinal pilots. The race is on.

Written by Silvio Zugarini in: General |
Jan
11
2013
0

Colombian Open Task 6

Another day, another task, this is Roldanillo…Today the task was a 70k race to goal with a zig zag again in the flats and goal in Obando. The take off was crowded with a lot of Superfinal pilots but the task setters intelligently put a very nice start gate 8km away from it so that they would not be tempted to join in..200 pilots in the air at the same time thermalling together may be indeed a bit too much. I had a good start but then took the decision to go for the mountain line instead of the more direct one . I could not climb as well as the gaggle I was in and took the decision to hug the mountain ridge for a while scratching low.. a bad decision indeed as I was stcuk for a while trying to climb before the take off and getting all the turbulence when low… I managed to almost regain the lead gaggle in Toro, where I took a super climb (+7m) to base and then pullley to pulley towards the waypoint in the flat. This one had a big radio of 10km and I took the shorter route to it, I managed to catch up with the leaders but they were already climbing when I arrived low. It took me a while to establish myself on course again and could not catch them anymore. Then on the way to goal I climb way too high on the last thermal fearing a head wind and weak climbs on the way to goal, but it was boomign everywhere and I arrived in orbit…lots of pilots overtook me in the final leg of the task.. shame..I need to improve a lot in this respect. I may have arrived around the 26th position in goal. One day to go.

Written by Silvio Zugarini in: General |
Jan
11
2013
0

Colombian Open Task 5

GOPR1074 from Silvio Zugarini on Vimeo.

Back again with the “ambitious” tasks after yesterday’s flight of “only” three hours and a 55k task. I am still quite sick from the infection and at around 60% of my phisical capacity at the moment; however as soon as I take off the adrenaline kicks in and the pains and discomfort return only after I land. Today’s task was a 117km race to goal with an out and return on the ridge first and then goal to the north past the city of Cartago. We had to zig zag the valley again twice and then tag the last waypoint and head back south for the goal.The start is the usual strssful moment, there seeems to be with the superfinal pilots arriving ever yday more and more people i nthe air at the same time. After the start (not a perfect one for me today) we tagged the waypoint at La unione and zoomed to ridge making our way to the mountains to the west of Roldanillo. The ridge is very turbulent and especially if low, extra caution is needed to keep your wing above your head. When we headed to the flats I was with a large gaggle chasing the leaders who were always a thermal ahead an pushing like mad. We also pushed very hard, every climb to base and then pulley to pulley constanty trying to catch up. We finally caught up with a part of the leading gaggle who then chose (at about 22km left to the goal) the mountain line to the left. We decided to stay in the flats but at around 3pm and over 90km done the day sudddenly (typical here in roldanillo) switched off. There was nothing left to do for our group, but a group of pilots who where in front found something and stayed in that weak lift for a long time until it developped into a thermal and catapulted them very high; suddenly the goal was an easy task for them.. A very technical and difficult task, possibly too long; this is not the superfinal yet and the pilot level, although quite high, is not that of a PWC and there are pilots with different skills levels and intermediate wings; you must give them also a chance to complete the task. . The flying hours here are limited and with ethe day switching off early sometimes completing a task of over 100k is sometimes impossible or extremely difficult.. For me the first flight of 100k of the season, so not too bad for a bomb out. Two tasks to go.

Written by Silvio Zugarini in: General |
Jan
10
2013
0

Colombian Open task4

A “short” 55km task today as the pilot’s commitee feared a potential strong westerly comign down the mountain., Start cylinder at La Union, then Crossing to LA Victoria then on to the south and back for goal in Zarzal after having before tagged a 3km ESS cylinder to the west of the actual goal field. The usual traffic and stress at cloubase before the start and then a very slow start of the race (early for the flats to work well). I lost the leading gaggle in Zarzal on the way to the turnpoint to the south as I could not cimb well on a thermal. Then at the waypoint of Uribe peaje all of a sudden the day started to give it best Roldanlillo style conditions with climbs everywhere. The glide to goal was on constant lift. I arrived later than I would have liked, 38th in the end..not a very good result but it was important to get to goal after the debacle of yesterday. 3 tasks still to go.. I also went to the doctor today and he diagnosed me with a throath virus infection (Faringities) and he prescribed antibiotics which I am taking.. not ideal really but that’s the situation… off to bed now.

Written by Silvio Zugarini in: General |
Jan
09
2013
0

Colombian Open 2013 Task 3

Colombian Open 2103 Task 3 from Silvio Zugarini on Vimeo.

A strong inversion and a blue weak day.. 82 km task with a zig zag in the flats and goal in Zarzal. Everybody was waiting at the start gate, lots of traffic, aggressive flying and pilots crossing in the middle of the gaggle, stress levels very very high. This time I had a very good start of the race and I was in the leading gaggle most of the time..the flats were working very weakly and lots of patience was needed. Very slow going again. I was flying very well and feeling super motivated. We left the (turbulent ridge) around the city of Toro to cross the valley to Obando when I was with the leaders and left the last lift at the same height as everybody. During the glide I started to lose a lot of height due to a bad line I took ( a little more to the right of the gaggle) and when they finally (very low, with 70mt from the ground) hooked up the thermal, I arrived low, could not climb and had to land. I still don’t know what my mistake may have been (if any)… lots of anger on the ground and cursing my bad luck… but all of a sudden the smiles and greetings of two local kids made everything all right again. I seriously compromised my ranking position now, but I will try to give my best for the rest of the comp. More tomorrow

Written by Silvio Zugarini in: General |

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