I'm down in Oregon at the Rat Race. Yes, it's another competition and I thought I'd try & redeem myself after the disaster in Lumby, ha ha. The Rat Race is a learning comp though, with a mentorship program and lots of sessions taught by really good pilots. Hopefully I'll absorb some good karma from them!
It might be hard to see, but if you squint while looking at the first picture you'll see a few different columns of paragliders. I was in one just moments before (800 metres over the launch!), and then it shaded over and I sunk out behind the ridge(see picture #2). It turned out that most pilots lost it then too, with 3 others landing in the same field as me. I was *really* pouting a few minutes later when hiking out - all those weeds you see behind me are prickly starthistles. Ouch! I'm still picking the burrs out of my boots.
Tomorrow the real competition starts. I'm pretty excited about it - I never realized how much fun it was to fly in a big gaggle of gliders!