Eurotour Vipava

Without a doubt will this year's first Eurotour competition stay in our mind for a long time. Meteorologists have promised us quite a nice weather with a little wind in the morning and calm and sunny afternoon. In fact the weather was something like that, but quite a strong wind lasted till late afternoon and just a bit sun. But on the other hand we had almost all possible conditions for soaring from surprisingly strong termals in strong wind and to conditions, where there was nothing else to do than simply and helplessly glide down.

Qanabiss-team competitors were Samo Leskošek, Marko and Emil Zubalič, Mitja Žerdoner and myself. Because the last winter was so long, nobody was in particularly good shape for flying. Samo has a new model, Mitja flies only »on his wife's permission« and the rest of us are somewhere »in between«.

My model was Electra V, with weight 1600 gram. Even in strong wind I had no ballast and to be fair, I have no space for it. Considering that I competed in very similar conditions a week ago in Italy, I didn't worry too much this time.

Until the wind changed its direction to north-west it was quite easy to catch some thermals, but after that it was really »a mess«. To catch a thermal became almost as hard as winning a lottery. Therefore the starting heights were much higher. For the 10 minutes flight It was necessary to start at least 150 meter high, otherwise it was much too risky. We finished 7 qualifying flights on the first competition day when it started to rain heavily. You can imagine, that the night was also quite strenuous.

Sunday morning started with a lot of sun and without a breeze. But before the last, 8th qualifying flight, the clouds covered the sky and blocked the sun which already started to dry the soaking ground. As I suspected, all four groups of pilots simply had to glide down, because there was completely impossible to find even a slightest thermal anywhere around.

Soaring conditions in the »fly-off« fights were also something special. The sun was too weak to produce good thermals. In the first flight I managed to find a weak thermal, but unfortunately I was too low to gain something out of it. In the second flight It was much better, but the thermal I have managed too find, suddenly disappeared 100 meter above the ground. So I had to flew more than kilometer, to find a week thermal in the middle of the flying field.  I stayed in it until it finally became stronger over the container. There is nothing much to say about the third fly-off flight, because it was much like the first.

The competition was conducted flawlessly and smoothly. All thanks to the organizers from MD Ventus for a good food, drink and of course great company. See you next year.

Hajnsek Sebastjan