Tricky conditions at the Swiss Championship 2014 in Courtemelon
The weather report didnít look too bad for the four competition days. Sunny, high temperatures and quite reasonable south westerly
winds at big heights. I expected days where you need to have patience and the right glider, especially good climb.
Day 1, Friday June 6th. 80km Task with a 30km head wind leg towards west.
It was a slow start with weak climbs. The gaggle was flying very defensively and we took every little lift not to find ourselves on
the ground too early. But conditions got better and better during the day and thatís what Piero Zin and I realised a bit earlier than
most others. We speeded quite low along a 20km ridge which was working perfectly well.
It was a nice combination of thermal and dynamic drafts. At the end Piero was in a better position for the final glide. Unfortunately
he took a very bad line that forced him to search for another thermal. I could optimise my line and took over the lead and made it to
goal in the first position. Felt a bit bad cause Piero deserved to win that task.
Day 2, Saturday June 7th. My lucky day!
After the start gate we flew the same ridge like yesterday towards west. The main wind direction was just slightly different than the
day before. For me it was clear that the ridge will work again. It didnít! 20 minutes after race start I found myself on the ground
watching the others staying in the sky. Luckily for me, most others had to land as well a couple of kilometers later. Nobody made it
to goal. Buhh, Iím still in the game...
Day 3, Sunday June 8th. Aeros day.
Together with Franz Herrmann we took the lead from the beginning of the race. We worked on radio like a harmonic cycling team helping
each other out of tricky situations. Nobody else was able to hold our pace. I always climbed slighly better than Franz. At some point,
just before the final glide, I found a good lift while Franz had to continue track, he arrived a little lower. Lucky me, (again)
arrived first in goal after a tight 30km final glide. Francis Gafner came 2nd on Aeros Combat 12.7 while Franz was 10km short.
Day 4, Monday June 9th. Last day, 68km task and even more stable conditions.
After a slow start people were flying more and more aggressively. Especially Christian Voiblet, Piero Zin and Franz Hermannn were
pushing hard. I had to step back a bit, not to do some mistakes. Around the middle of the race I had a strong thermal that carried me
into the upper floor. From that time on I was once again controlling the race and leading. The final glide was quite nice but still a
bit Hitchock-style, arrived 100 meters over the goal line.
All in all I was very happy with the performance and handling of my glider. The climbing was incredibly good and the gliding
performance, especially the head wind parts, was outstanding! I never felt any pressure in this competition because I often found
myself in positions where I was able to relax.
To win a competition like that contains always different aspects. One of them was definitely a glider. And I've had such a glider!
Photos by Thomas Oetiker, SHV.
Photos by Thomas Oetiker, SHV.