Monday, June 20, 2011
Rat Race - Day Two
Well I've completely redeemed myself from yesterday...I made goal today! Todays task was harder & longer than yesterday with a lower inversion ceiling, and I still managed 3rd place woman and 14th out of 83! And if anyone doesn't believe me, it's all documented on TV.
A tv program (Oregon Field Guide? I think) is here to do a documentary-style show on paragliding. There was talk this morning of the tv crew wanting to fly the race on tandem while filming and explaining how it works, strategy, etc. I had forgotten all about it until landing at goal. After touching down & walking towards the other pilots packing up, one of my friends recognized me & started cheering. I let out a "woohoo! first time at goal!" and as I turned to put my wing down there was a tv camera in my face. So embarrassing, especially when they interviewed me right away & I was babbling a million miles a minute. But still cool that my first time in goal is well documented.
The flight itself was about 30 km and for those who know the area the task was Woodrat-Rabies-Burnt-Rabies and then a new landing zone near Purcell (in the valley on the way to Applegate Lake). With each valley crossing I was sure I'd sink out, but just kept repeating my mantra of the day "Never Leave Lift". It was really hard to battle my natural impatient instincts of just flying on when I feel I'm "high enough". I have to thank Sandy who I overheard on launch...he'd said that if he got over 6000 feet he would go directly to goal from Rabies without stopping to tank up at Woodrat. Little tidbits like that are invaluable and the reason I fly here with my vario set to feet (even though the course is measured in metric). I actually got my best climb of the day right after the last turnpoint (actually over China Gulch) and when my altitude read over 6200 ft I held my breath, stepped on my speed bar (which I had a good talking to before launch) and flew down the valley towards goal.
Of course my camera batteries died as soon as I tried to get a picture (boo!) but that's the worst thing that happened to me all day. I think I can handle the disappointment :)