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Aug 3

Written by: Jeff Shapiro
8/3/2010 3:16 AM 



This place has fantastic flying. The comp is well organized and the task of getting 150 pilots off the hill safely has gone so smooth, sometimes, it's baffling how well they pull it off. Of course, having unlimited set up space and the ability to launch from just about anywhere helps.
There has, however, been some interesting issues to overcome. Some can be categorized as lessons to learn about flying big comps in Europe but others make for a challenging parameter compiled on top of trying to fly a challenging task.
We were warned that there are a few airspace considerations close to the area we are racing in. During the first day, the task would fly us right through this airspace on the way to the last t-point and all the way to goal. We were told that within a limited oversight, we would get one warning and then, the next infraction would result in a zero for the day. At the end of the day, I was on the warning list and Dustin, unfortunately, was zeroed.

Food in Italy has been amazing.


On top of that, I was unaware of a start rule in "Section 7" that says, if you fly into the actual waypoint of the entry cylinder, even if you fly out of the start circle and reenter, your start would have already commenced. I am still confused as to how it happened but this might have been my problem as I left with Jeff and Zipp for the 3rd start but was scored for the 2nd, causing me to lose 20 minutes and more than 20 places in the results for the first day. It stung a little but, it's all about learning and I will try not to make that mistake again. I doubt it will be hard to remember;-) I need to practice my "entry" starts as we most often race "exit" starts in the States. My confusion ended up biting me in the ass. Still, great day and amazing flying. Climbing up under cloud base over the ancient village of Gubbio was memorable, to say the least.



Today, another amazing task. We flew a 100+ k route that had us jumping deep into mountains and occasionally, taking climbs coming out into the flats. The start gaggles were intense and the swarm of pilots were all aggressively attempting to gain position and altitude. At the start, I think it was one of the most intense gaggle days I can remember. It's funny, at home, it can feel like 10-12 pilots in the air is a good group but to fly with 80-100 guys all in the same thermal is a fairly epic experience. It can be madness but engaging and fun at the same time. Maybe others didn't have that experience but I felt it was an "on your toes" kind of start. We had a good run for most of the task and it was great flying all day with Zipp and Jeff after Dustin got the jump on us about half way through. He got a strong climb we missed and was able to skip climbs while we could not, gaining k's quickly. The last t-point was deep on a big face but because of airspace, we weren't able to get high before flying toward it. Jeff and Zippy (and others) went for it but I was a bit lower and pushed a bit too hard. I had to fly through a rotor to clear the front ridge and got extremely low, thinking that I would have to land. Luckily, I found a bullet and climbed out, ran into the turn point and got another solid climb allowing the time loss to be at least controlled. It was the slow point of the day but I must admit, I thought I might have to land so to make it in was satisfying regardless. It's always the same. You spend the entire task making decisions that hopefully gain you little bits of time, but, one mistake can lose it all and more SO QUICKLY!! Fun game we get to play. Enjoying every minute of it.

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15 comment(s) so far...

Re: Italian Lessons

Although my European time is limited at best, among some of my most experienced colleagues the airspace d'Italia has a reputation as being somewhat difficult, even for Europe. So it's unsurprising to read that even highly competent attentive pilots still have trouble over there in various HG comps.

You guys are doing a Hell of a job. Keep it up.

B-) 3D

By 3D on   8/3/2010 11:02 AM

Re: Italian Lessons

"On top of that, I was unaware of a start rule in "Section 7" that says, if you fly into the actual waypoint of the entry cylinder, even if you fly out of the start circle and reenter, your start would have already commenced"...
I can't believe this is true, nor can't find it on the Section 7. The start time should be the last time you cross the line, regardless if it's an entry or exit type of start. You should check your track to see if you did not got that "second start" trackpoint outside the entry start.
Also reading the ozreport of task 3, Davis says that he grabbed a thermal inside the entry start, and then went out to get the first start... If the start was as you said, then Davis "jumped the gun"... Still he did not make it to goal so we couldn't say that he has been sanctioned for speed points.

Anyway, keep the good work and Luis told me that you helped him big time to tune his t2c. That was nice too.

By Daniel Velez on   8/4/2010 3:15 PM

Re: Italian Lessons

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