Last week-end was the FAI contest of La Muela. This year, the contest was not part of the Eurotour, however 40 pilots from France/Spain/Portugal/UK came to this mythic slope where all slope directions are available in a single place.
We have been able to complete 5 rounds on Friday, and 1 round in very light conditions on Saturday before the rain.
I started with a very good first round where I took all the risks in the turn anticipation to achieve the second time just behind Mike Shellim. This was pretty dangerous, because I noticed that the base judges were unexperimented and easy to distract.
For the second round, I got better air, and thanks to the Alliaj HM I was able to get 1000 points.
I flew the third round in a light air and manage a 53s against a 41s :(
The next round was a new 1000 pts, followed by a good 5th flight. On Saturday, I was flying in the very first pilots so because the wind was suppose to arrive this round was the round of all the danger !!!!
I flew in an extremely light air. Sometime the anemometer was indicating less than 4 m/s when the average during the round was more around 7 m/s. I did everything I could to obtain a 61s. But few minutes later, Thomas flew a blistering 46s in the biggest thermal of the day, making this round my discard.
Overall, despite some comments here and there, I think I got the same air than most of the people. I didn't have the best thermal, but I also didn't get the worse air. The rest is a matter of plane performances and piloting in order to extract the best from the air I got, limit the faildown in light air, only an half cut turn.
This is my third win at La Muela since I go there: (1995, 2009, 2010). Orgisation was fine this year, no technical problems with the timing system, backup timing system available, 2 slopes equiped in case the wind change of direction. I think we could have gain a round over the 2 days, but the 10 minutes break between each round was probably necessary to let the paragliders and hangliders to take off and fly away of the slope. The only point that could be better is the concentration and accuracy of the judge sometimes. This is not an easy task for them to stay all day long in the wind, so a big thank you to them all !
On the plane side, Alliaj HM appeared to be extremely competitive, able to keep the speed and energy longer that other planes, including the Freestyler. I have also flown the Dingo during the free flight slots was amazed with the speed and turn speed. I need however to modify the settings, because it showed a light tendency to stall when you try to do a sharp turn in light air.
Aside the competition, it was a great week-end with my french team mates: We eated wery well each evening, jumping from Tapas to Chuleton ! We assisted to the Eastern celebration downtown in Guadalajara.
La Muela is definitively like a pilgrimage for me for 15 years now !
More pictures on my Picasa Album