HG Worlds BBQ fundraiser

The Hang Gliding Comp Committee in association with the Auckland hang gliding club held a BBQ at Bunnings, Constellation Drive last Saturday to help raise money for our HG team going to the worlds in Brazil next month and to help promote hang gliding. 

A steady stream of sausage was sold all day and a third of the sausages sold were out gourmet sausages supplied by Naturally Organic with tomato relish or homemade Beetroot relish. People appreciated having the choice of organic beef sausages over the usual cheap ones. $414 dollars was raised and put into the teams account on Give a Little
Thanks to the Sausage Sizzling team of Mark, Aaron, Neville, Les, Stephen Steve for cooking up the sausages.
To date they have raised nearly $2000 to help them on their way to the worlds and NZ hang glider pilots have been very generous.
They leave for Brazil on the 2 August, the worlds starting on the 6th.
Good luck boys!

Worlds. Days 3, 4 and 5

Day 3 Task 3- stopped task.

Day 3. a 118 task was set. First heading about 35km west into virgin territory (as far as the comp was concerned) then back past launch towards Belluno to the east.
Conditions proved stable, with gliders struggling to climb when low but some good climbs were to be had above the inversion. On the way back towards launch, as a lot of the field were passing, a large cu-nim formed. Rain, hail and also a near miss lightning strike were reported on course and the task was stopped. One pilot managed to land in trees, from reports this seemed to be pilot error, turning too close to terrain and hitting sink, rather than weather or incident in flight related. Stuart, who was near the back of the field after struggling to climb headed out into the valley to land in a large field next to a service station on the main highway. The wind was 30+ kph but all of about 25 pilots landed safe. It was a big surprise to see Eva, Lukas and Mia, who had happened to be driving past and stopped to see the pilots landing!
In the end, Matt flew 52km, Louis 45km and Stuart 38km.

Day 4 Task 4 - stopped task again..

Another stable day, more stable than the last, at least down low. The task setters were more conservative setting an 80km task. While most of the field climbed up onto the back ridge, to wait for the start high, Stuart and another identical Zeno struggled in front of launch, managing to avoid most of the thermals. After an hour and a half of cursing they took the start 40 minutes after nearly everyone else. 
The first waypoint was to the south west in a small valley that we were told works amazingly well early in the day...so we were told. Being so late to the party, Stuart wasn't too displeased to pop into the valley and see 50 or 60 gliders scratching in a gaggle that ran from landing to 200m above the ground. After scratching with the survivors for 30 minutes, who had already taken the turnpoint, the valley went into shade so Stuart went on what was a final glide to the first turnpoint landing just as the task was stopped due to rain on the courseline close to launch where the handful of pilots left flying were passing.
Stuart and Louis flew about 17km and Matt 21km.

Day 5 Task 5 - 6 pilots in goal.

Out of the frying pan and into the fire.

The trend continues. We were told the day would be more unstable by our ever optimistic weather man... hard to believe after seeing the fog in the valley in the morning and the smoggy inversion. A 70km task was set. Another battle to get a climb out of launch and get onto the back ridge. Most of the field managed it and skyed out at the limit of airspace at 2800m.. others were not so fortunate, no finding a climb on the back ridge.. Stuart landed with 25 others after scratching all the way to the ground from 1700m not even getting the start. Some of those at 2800m went on glide to take the start, a long glide.. that ended with a bombout. In the end 6 pilots managed goal in the difficult conditions. Hats off to them. Louis flew 17km and Matt 20km.

Day 6 Rest Day.. There is supposed to be a storm later in the day, hopefully it arrives. At the moment it's hot, very hot. And of course stable.
Hopefully this front gives us better flying over the next days. Although it is forecast to be more of the same stability.
The team is catching up on blogs, videos and rest. Louis is putting some video together and Stuart is wondering if he needs to learn to thermal again and what he can loose to get down from 110kg, which is the maximum for his glider. Thinking about ditching his glider backpack as Louis has done. A good incentive not to bomb out far from a road..

to be continued..

Worlds - Day 2 Task 2

The weather has improved here so we stayed at Feltre for task two.
The task was to fly down the ridge to Belluno, taking a turnpoint in the flats then across the valley, back to the ridge, back past launch to take the last point before end of speed on the north side of the range to the south. A technical task to say the least. Base was again around 1500m an the waiting for the start was a bit like driving in a southern italian city.. hectic for those not so used to it. The start saw the leaders flying full bar down the ridge, some getting too low in the shade and bombing out but most having no issues. Around the second turnpoint the gliders split into groups taking the ridge and those opting for the more direct route in the plains. The plains choice proved problamatic for Stuart who eventually bombed out with 2/3 of his gaggle, the others eventually making goal. Louis persevered on the ridge but also eventually bombed while the hero of the day, Matt made goal about 30mins after the winner, reigning world champion Honarin Hamard, taking 70th place. 

Results on airtribune.

World Champs Day One.

After an amazing opening ceremony (more on that in a later post when we get the video up) and a practice task today the competition officially started. 
As the forecast was for very low bases and risk of thunderstorms here in Feltre we were bused over to Bassano for the task. Bassano is just south of here on the other side of the southern ridge of the Feltre valley and given that it is open to the plains it affords more safety in case of rain or thunderstorms. 
The day looked like it was going to be scratchy with high cloud cover and not much sun but true to the weatherman's word the cloud cover burnt off and conditions improved. 
A 78km task was set with the start at 13.15. By 12.30 there were 150 pilots milling around at cloudbase trying to stay high and avoid going in the cloud. 
The task was essentially up and down the ridge, first east then west then back east but with turn-points in the flats, to make it a bit tricky and also give options if the weather was to deteriorate. In the end the weather held on for the task. Louis was the only Kiwi in goal coming in at 113th (provisional) while Matt and Stu landed near the last turn-point. 
Lets just say that we are glad that the comp is 25% FTV, which essentially means we get to discard one task in 4.