Dawn - Sometimes An Ultrarunner

Dawn - Sometimes An Ultrarunner

January 29, 2015

I MADE GOAL!!!! Task 1, Roldanillo FAI Open Paragliding Competition, Colombia Jan 27-Feb 3 2015

It's the first day of the 2015 Roldanillo FAI Open Paragliding Competition.  150 pilots are sitting on what is a very small launch, waiting for the clouds to lift, as they always do here in Colombia.

At the pilot briefing, it was a little stressful trying to input the task points into my GPS.  I managed to misread the task board right off, thinking the start window opened at 11 am, when it really said the Start Gate was 11 km wide!  (This turned out to be a big bummer, as I put in a 400 meter circle for the start gate).  Imagine my surprise once I launched, that the start gaggle wasn't going where I thought they should.   I really didn't figure it out, but went back to the gaggle figuring wherever they were going, I should too.  Whew.

Yvonne Dathe and I, the two women participants in the X-Alps!
On launch I met up with Yvonne Dathe, the other woman entered into the Red Bull X-Alps!  I guess we are both crazy enough to want to take on such a challenge :)

Everyone did all manage to get launched, with the start window opening at 12:35.  First day jitters were over.  Now to stay in the air.    It seemed like most of the pilots were able to do just that.   The task was 80 km long which is further than I've flown for a while.   And we did it all...some mountains, some valleys, some low saves, and plenty of other pilots in the air to show me the lift.

I did manage to get a very low save (my track log shows me 150 meters off the valley floor but I swear it seemed closer!).   It felt like I had a lot of low saves...with the airspace limit of 2400 meters meaning no score for the day if you go above it, I didn't want to get too high.  So instead I didn't get high enough sometimes.  In retrospect I could have gone quite a bit higher but....next time.

Nevertheless, I did eventually, and after much scratching, make it to Goal!  Jim arrived just a couple minutes ahead of me after staying high all day, and we were stoked to have both made it!  

A lot of pilots did finish the task, but in the end I was 49th!  We were some of the first Sport Class gliders to make goal, so that was really cool.   I was 5th woman out of 13, but of course it's very early in the competition.  Consistency is the key here, we have 7 days of racing and it's important to do well every day.

There may or may not be live tracking for this comp, but if there is it will be here: https://airtribune.com/roldanillo2015/blog

Results are here:
Open Class

Here's my flight, uploaded to XContest

Catching a ride back to the hotel with my new friend

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