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2009 Paragliding World Championships - Task 10

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   Task 10 - 116.9km (982.3km through 10 tasks) (view in Google Earth) (download Google Earth)
   Download Eric Reeds Track Log

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Download the Valle De Bravo Waypoints in Google Earth to follow the summary and interviews.

February 5, 2009 – Task 10

Task 10 was another long one. The forecasted wind was supposed to be strong out of the northwest, but they day turned out great. There was less moisture which made for less clouds than yesterday, but it was a great day of flying here in Valle.

The task committee came up with a 114km task with a 5km enter cylinder around Sur1 which is close to Llano. Sur1 was also a 400 meter turn point. The start time was 12:45pm, and the remaining turn points were Three Kings, Saucos, and La Pila. Campos Verdes was set as a 4km end of speed section cylinder and goal.

I apologize for the late post. We were in town at a dinner party, and we just got home. We also experienced some audio difficulties today so we have only posted the videos where we had audio. We will straighten all this out for the final day. The good news for Team USA is that Farmer won the day, and Eric was 4th. Brad made goal as well, and Kari had a great flight coming up 12km short of goal. This means that all three of our guys won a task at the worlds which is quite an accomplishment. The following summary is how Farmer remembered the day.

Right from the start we worked our way out to the west edge of the cylinder. There was a group of maybe 10 gliders to the west of us trying to get a big climb, and it didn’t really pan out for them. We had climbed but we weren’t super high. The armada that came from Crazy Thermal, and all the different groups essentially converged, and most all of these pilots got a good start together.

After getting the start, we pushed straight to the Three Kings on a line that took us in front of the Espina spine towards Diente. We got a good climb there, and a few small climbs on the way to Three Kings. We weren’t taking these climbs too high, and the lead group was definitely pushing quite a bit. We weren’t mashing tons of bar, but just leaving climbs really fast, and only getting high enough to make the next move.

We all got pretty high at Three Kings. Some people made a move towards Cerro Gordo, some went down the middle of the mesa, and I went to the stairs or St. Augustine. There was a small group of us out front, but the chase gaggles were extremely close. There was around 10 people out front at that point.

We hit the convergence pretty good at Sacamacate, and there were lots of fires burning showing us the way today helping out with the haze domes, and you could also see pretty clearly where the air was mixing and where there might be good lift based on all the smoke form the fire that was behind Sacamacate.

We pushed out into the flats towards Saucos, and it worked pretty good. It was one big glide clear to the hills behind the Ramon LZ. We got a nice climb there, and the convergence wasn’t as evident today because there wasn’t as many clouds.

Snagged the turn point pretty high, and it was kind of the same deal on the way back. I had maybe two climbs on the way back into Sacamacate again. The convergence was set up real nice, and we drove straight across the top of the mesa and connected up with Crazy Thermal.

We got real high at Crazy Thermal, and took a big glide out towards La Pila. On the glide out towards La Pila, Yassen was pushing off to the left. He pretty much went off the end of the spine and took the left line. I think Luca was with this group, and he was in a pretty good position. Heli was there, and Urban had all of us completely done. He had been out in front higher than us through a good portion of all this, and that translated into him getting this sick glide clear to La Pila.

When we got to La Pila, the three or four of us that were in there pretty fast were all very low. We had to climb right off the top of La Pila, then just past the turn point there was a big climb waiting for us. Meanwhile, Urban was several thousand feet over our head. He snagged the turn point without climbing, and dashed downwind to try to take the day.

Our group caught a really hot climb. Yassen was in the mix, and I think Luca was there, and Anders had showed up, along with Stefan Wyss, and Heli. There were a few from the chase gaggle that were pretty close to us, but the majority of them were still back at Crazy Thermal. Our group climbed really high there, and we lost track of Urban at that point. We just figured he was on his way to goal.

So we were what I felt was the chase group at that point, but I guess we were actually the lead group because Urban had kind of gone and slowly dirted himself ultimately. We decided to make a move for the Three Kings. I had a sweet gliding line coming in there pretty much right over the tops of the Three Kings. We caught a pretty good climb that was to the east of the Three Kings.

I was with Yassen and Heli on top at that point. Yassen left the climb early trying to stay out in front of us. Heli and I stayed and climbed another 500 feet or so when Yassen left. Yassen took a small cravat on his glide and had to stall it out and probably lost himself another 500 plus feet, and got some bad sink so he had to make a dash for Cerro Gordo to try to keep going. That didn’t work out well for him at all. He got stuck for a while.

Heli and I were pushing out together with Stefan Wyss chasing us and a few others that were just behind us. We took a glide over Maguey, and then straight down the middle of the mesa for a while but it wasn’t really lifting so we had to peel of for Escalares. We took a climb there, and at that point we noticed that a group of people were coming form the launch route back through Crazy Thermal and what appeared to be Despue Launch. Some of them may have come from The Wall, and hooked back up with the convergence there, but this was a huge group.

Heli and Stefan Wyss, and myself, and a couple other people all converged with the huge group in the convergence right at Sacamacate. At this point there was a lot of people there trying to make the last play of the day.

A couple of us were trying to leave early. We were all making a move to try and catch one last climb before making the dash for the 4km cylinder. A large group of at least 30 gliders caught a climb before the hill behind Ramon. This was a decent climb and everyone stuck with this one for a little bit. Then I pushed it a little further with a couple of other gliders to the actual hill behind Ramon thinking it would have a little bit better climb for us which it did. This put us just slightly out in front.

Mickey was on top of the big gaggle behind us, and he saw us climbing, but he was still way higher than us anyway. He came flying over our heads, and just kept flying toward the 4K cylinder which was only a couple kilometers away at this point. When I saw him going, I decided to make a move for it as well.

Mickey wasn’t pushing much bar, maybe a quarter at the most. He was by himself just trying to push in there. Myself and another glider were trying to make a leap with him and snag that 4K cylinder before anybody else did. It was quite buoyant, and we got some good bubbles of air on the way to the 4K cylinder which gave us a little bit more confidence that we were actually going to be able to snag the 4K, and make it over the top of the ridge to make our final climb and to glide into the actual goal field.

Seeing how Mickey was being conservative not pushing hardly any bar, and it was pretty easy for me to push half or three quarter bar and zoom up to him and essentially snag the 4K end of speed the same time as him.

Once we had gotten the end of speed we backed off the bar and coasted into the ridge where there were light bubbles of lift. There was enough lift for us to have a good chuckle and congratulate each other, and to climb up enough to get an 8 to 1 to have a comfortable glide into goal. And that was the day I won a task at the Paragliding World Championships.

Rob Sporrer reporting from the pit

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Photo provided by Mario Arqué

Photo provided by Mario Arqué

Photo provided by Mario Arqué

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Note: we apologize for the poor sound quality on the following videos. We had technical issues. Better quality tomorrow!

Pilot: Eric Reed
Country: United States

Pilot: Matt Beechinor
Country: United States

Pilot: Greg Knudson
Country: Luxembourg

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Task 10 Individual Results
Task 10 Female Results
Overall results after 10 tasks
Overall Female results after 10 tasks
Team Results after 10 tasks

World Paragliding Championships Past Winners
Current Paragliding World Rankings

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