So I am flying in, and volunteering with, the Open Distance Paragliding Nationals organized by Ken Hudonjorgensen of Two-Can Fly Paragliding. The competition is run out of central Utah, and the main launching area is Inspiration Point, also known as Squaw Peak Lookout above Provo. The "Open Distance" part of the competition means that pilots are tasked to go as far as they can in any direction from launch. The furthest track in a straight line from launch wins the day.
Our first day of flying was actually our 4 day of the competition, due to Tropical Storm Ivo remnants saturating the air and keeping us out of the sky. Even this day looked a bit iffy, but we went up to launch anyway and it turned out to be a cracking day for some pilots. By late afternoon retrieve drivers were sent out north, south, and east of launch, picking up pilots landing in Bountiful, Park City, and Salem, Utah!
Me...not so much. I was trying out a new wing, harness and helmet (I know, I know...never try something new in a competition!), and I couldn't get my flying to come together. I think I had the record for the most relaunches, making 3 flights from Inspo. I landed twice at the main Landing Zone (LZ), but then was short the last flight and did a sidehill landing on dry tall grass. At least my GoPro video of it looks cool!
Hoping for better things tomorrow and back to flying my old harness....less to think about in the air to focus on the thermals.
To check out other people's perspective on the competition, read Two-Can Fly's Blog HERE
And Chris Galli, the weather guru, blogs about weather HERE for the week.