Sunday, June 30, 2013

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Saturday, June 22, 2013

DeBeNeCup - Belgian weekend postponed

We're not lucky with the weather. After 2 flyable weekends in Stadskanaal and Hinterweiler, we're not getting the opportunity to finish it in style this weekend in Maillen. Strong winds and grey skies make it impossible to fly a comp task (probably impossible to fly at all).

The Belgian weekend is being postponed to September as most of us will be back from holidays then. So, mark the 14th and 15th of September in your agenda, it's going to be the final round of the 2013 DeBeNeCup!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Hinterweiler pics

Dirk Soboll was taking pictures during our Hinterweiler weekend and posted some online. You can find them here.

DeBeNeCup - Hinterweiler weekend

Busy times for me, because the BeNeCup is currently running for the second year and effectively has become the DeBeNeCup since last weekend's trip to Hinterweiler (DE). But, first things first: it started more than a week ago with a weekend in the northern part of the Netherlands, in Stadskanaal. Quite some work to get our Belgian trike over there especially because our traffic didn't want to cooperate. Almost 6 hours on the road for a local comp...

But we did have a successful weekend with two small tasks. Although not making goal and only managing 25 km, I won the first task, with Arne hot on my heels. What can you say, a 600 m ceiling isn't easy, is it? The second task was almost completely overcast and pretty windy as well. 700 m ceiling and I went out early and landed a few km shorter than half of the field. But in fact, the very low ceiling, with extremely smooth, gentle thermals made it an hour of pure joy. Short, but good fun.

This weekend, we headed for Hinterweiler in the German Eifel region. Saturday was forecasted to be windy and indeed it turned out to be just that. So we discovered some of the beautiful surroundings by foot.

We had a nice evening in a local restaurant and drank a few extra beers to please the weather gods for Sunday. When we woke up, it looked like the weather gods weren't easily pleased:

The predictions were for nicer weather, be it with quite some wind, so we trusted that and set a 92 km task downwind. If the weather cleared up soon, 92 km would be easy, but if it didn't, it could prove to be way too ambitious.

It turned out that it took quite some time before the weather cleared at Hinterweiler. There were cumi's in the distance all the time, but only by 3 PM it was time to give it a go. The sun made it's appearance, so there was no time to waste:

It turned out to be great flying. Not easy because it was a continuous fight to stay in the sun but very enjoyable. The scenery had quite something to offer as well. First the volcanic Eifel hills, passing the Nürburgring on the way, then into the Rhein valley and crossing the Rhein into the smooth hills east of it. 25 km from goal everything got shaded out and a sailplane flew low below me, coming right out of the direction to our goal, the Ailertchen airfield. The sailplane had his engine out, so that didn't bode well at all. Luckily the air was unstable enough to continue to produce light thermals and after 2h45, I made goal and turned out to be the only one at goal for the day.

The results are on the DeBeNeCup site.

The airfield at goal was pretty busy by the way. General aviation, sailplane and hang glider towing, RC model planes and parachutist all share the air there. I wish there was such a place in Flanders...

The tracklog of the flight, crossing the Rhein :-)

Finally, a big thank you goes out to the hang glider club in Hinterweiler, DFC Vulkaneifel. They were exceptionally nice hosts to our little international competition. We could camp on the field, they provided us with breakfast and loads of cakes and proved to be a very efficient launch crew. All of this in the beautiful Eifel scenery, what more do you want? Danke DFC Vulkaneifel!

Und jetzt die Daumen drücken für schönes Flugwetter nächstes Wochenende in Belgien!