Sky XCamp 2007
The first year of XCamp, held before the Czech Open, has started at Saturday. It is a light competittion, with every participant choosing his/hers own time of launch and route. After landing, the route bringing the most points is chosen in an automatic optimization of each flight. In total more than 68 pilots will compete for many prizes from own sponsors and the main prize, a new glider by Sky Paraglidiers - any solo type of the winners choice.
After yesterday, which most pariticipants used to train around Belluno, the pilots were greeted by a sky covered in cirrus clouds this morning. Later, the sun emerged and the cumulus clouds started to pop up along the ridges. Everyone eventually gets to the launch. As the conditions are not easy, it will be interesting to observe the tactics of the participants. Will it be better to aim for a triangle in the "horseshoe" to the left of the launch, or try to jump to the ridge behind Belluno? We'll see.
Finally, cirrus clouds did not prevent thermals to work and pilots to fly long cross country flights - although it was not easy today. Cumulus clouds with bases at 1900 m were slightly too abundant in the afternoon and covered the ridge towards Feltre in shadow.
Therefore some places were not generating the thermals as we expected based on our experiences from last year, and intervals with strong thermals were interlayered with fairly still air - hence it was not difficult to sink out.
Adam J. Dolezal managed to persist in the air for 6 hours, gaining the furthest flight of the day with 84 km out and return flight. Only a few km shorter was Miloslav Pokorny. Turning back behind Feltre, Michal Brabenec aimed for the most ambitious flight, but the return proved too difficult later in the day.
In any case, everyone had a better flight than we expedted in the morning :-).