12.05.24-28 - Swiss Masters @ Stans

What an event! Thanks to the organizers' amazing work and commitment, and even though the weather was not that great, we were able to race 3 tasks out of 5 days...Tonio (Antoine Boisellier) wins the Championship by being very consistent and flying a very nice 3rd Task won by Alessandro Ploner (by not much as they both came into goal within a few seconds of each other) while Christian Chiech lands not far from B1! Go Frenchies ;o)

 Photo by Jörg

The third and last task was an epic 95K task; We took off from Haldigrat and the thermals were so strong that Primoz and I spiral together for only a couple minutes before reaching cloud base ;o) Marcello (Bob) Ciarlo gets sucked in the the cloud, throws his reserve and finishes in the trees ;o( He was luckily retrieved without a scratch by the Rega (Swiss emergency unit) chopper much later. His glider was not so lucky and was left where it fell ;o(

After a good start, so close from the first turnpoint, I decide to turn around and land by the lake because of the rain. Primoz, on his way back from B1 lands in the same field a bit later and tells me that he saw the thunder strike in this area and that Christian Ciech has landed just below B1.

I quickly pass along the info about Christian on radio to motivate the other frenchies which ended up working for Tonio as it is the last info he heard before his radio died out while he was on a low point. Francoise lands with us a bit later with a broken harness ;o(. Saddly my compeo records an 18 Hours flight!?!? I mark no points for this task and Peter from flytec takes my vario away to get it fixed ;o(

The Stans area really is beautiful though with all the lakes and valleys but the aerology was extremely difficult to comprehend for a young pilot like me ;o(

As it was my first major international meet, I learned a lot and it truly was an amazing experience to fly amongst all these champions, at least up till the start opens because after, you don't really see them anymore until you arrive at goal with the retrieve ;o). Most of the European headliners were there and it was very impressive, especially the start of the last task with about 100 gliders at cloud base all leaving towards the first tunrpoint (about 25Kms away). I was a bit behind the front pack and the scene reminded me of the attack of the death star in star wars...wow ;o)

Fly safe and Happy Landings...Erick

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