St Andre Competition Report

The third round of the British Championships, along with the Dutch Open, was held St Andre, France from 17th August to 23rd August 2008

Day 1: Sunday 17th August

Day cancelled due to strong winds

We stayed on the hill so that another task could be set if the winds dropped; but the day was finally cancelled at 16:00

See the video for the one bit of relief in the parawaiting. Rod Cristy an ex paraglider pilot, who some of the longer serving competition pilots will remember, buzzed the St Andre launch in his glider.

Day 2: Monday 18th August, Task 1
A 70.6K race to goal via 3 turnpoints

Task 1 results all pilots

Here is Kelly Farina's report:

Monday was looking good, a 70km task was set around the usual route, after an average start most of the leaders were flushed with some pretty nasty leeside climbs towards the forst turnpoint. There were 2 routes to take from there towards the next TP.

I found my route ok but slow going and a few pilots went down on route, I split from the gaggle I was in and got a whole climb ahead but being too cautious from the last turnpoint cost me another 20mins and the guys caught me. After an arse clenching final glide glide 10km down the lake with almost no landing options I finished 45mins off the pace and in 32nd place for the day.

Quite disappointing really, but a nice day out if a little frustrating at times. Russell Ogden won the day 5mins in front of the next man.

Day 3: Tuesday 19th August, Task 2
A 61.6K Race to goal via 3 turnpoints

Task 2 results all pilots

Here is Kelly Farina's report:

A short 55km race was set and then changed to a 61k race as conditions were looking better. The start was fast and the first gaggle pushed out to the cliffs to the west, it was hard going but when we got there I realised that the wind was more to the south and this left us too early on this west side and with a wind blowing hard along it. Many pilots got flushed and it looked like the other route(normal) route was better/faster/safer. The climbs on the 2nd ridge were over 8m/s and pretty nasty really. One pilot crashed into the trees in this area.

After my second flushing I decided to have one more attempt at the turnpoint which was in the lee and then gave up. I don’t fly in the lee in Zillertal and try not to when I’m free flying. A very dubious turnpoint. Myself and Kai Coleman landed together totally in the boonies. Only 15k from launch but about 60k by road.

Day 4: Wednesday 20th August, Stopped Task
A 67.8K Race to goal via turnpoints B32, A03, B33 with a goal in St Andre.

The task was stopped because of dangerous conditions and increasing winds from the north. As no one had arrived in goal when the task was stopped it will not be scored.

Day 5: Thursday 20th August, Task 3
A 99.5K race to goal via 1 turnpoint at St Vincent le Fort

Task 3 results all pilots

Winner, Ronny Geijsen in a time of 2:49. 75 pilots in goal.

This video was taken by Dave Snowden.

Day 6: Friday 21st August, Stopped task
A 45.8K race to goal via 2 turn points

The task was stopped due to strong gust fronts from an approaching front. As no one was in goal when the task was stopped the day will not be scored.

Here is Kelly Farina's report:

A forecast of moderate SW winds and embedded Cb’s later on. A short 45k task was quickly under way. I put myself in a good position at the start, however the highest guys route under convergence to the first turnpoint was slower than the low soaring route.

After a 6m/s climb on the South flank of the Cheval Blanc I climbed out in a lee side with Russell Odgen and Mark Hayman. However to the NW trouble was brewing, a Cb had formed. We pushed on to the aerials and climbed again before heading east to the final turnpoint. I was in around 15-20 position at this time. We expected a straight line, fast glide to the Pic Chematte and back to goal. At this time the slower pilots still on the Cheval and Lambruise ridges were calling a ‘level 3' (dangerous conditions). Nigel Prior threw his reserve and landed ’safely’. The gust front had caught them.

After taking the turnpoint we turned into wind and the task was stopped. It was an extremely uncomfortable ride down going backwards in a 50k wind to land in a narrow valley. The weather came in extremely fast and it was a good call to stop the task, however 30mins earlier would have been better.

Day 7: Saturday 22nd August, Day cancelled

The day was cancelled due to high winds.


To: Kelly Farina for the reports, Raffaele Lagrutta, Soner Duzen, Brude Haines, Trelawney Burgoyne, Bhavna Patel, Matt Beer, Rik McHarg, Dave Snowden, Lucy Legget and Mike Johnson for photos and videos.