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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

French F3F championship 2011

Last Week-end was organized the French F3F Championship in the north-east of France (route des crête / Alsace). 27 Competitors over the 40 pilots qualified went to the 3 days competition. Weather forecast was not encouraging at all with low wind and rain.
On saturday, it was very cold with around 10 degrees only, but we didn't get any rain. We started with 3 rounds, and 2 cancelled rounds because of 30 minutes interruptions for low wind (under 3 m/s). Sunday, we spent the all day on the slope with a sunny and sometimes fresh temperatures. No rounds were completed but the big thermals here and there allowed to everybody to enjoy free flying, huge altitude gain, vertical dives, HLG, Light Foamies, etc ..

In the evening, the organiser prepared flammekueches to everyone. flammekueche is an Alsatian dish composed of thin bread dough rolled out in a rectangle (traditionally) or a circle, which is covered with cream, thinly sliced raw onions and lardons It is one of the most famous gastronomical specialties of the region.
At the end of the second day, we had only 3 rounds in the pocket which means a not valid championship. It was mandatory to complete at least one additional round on monday. But the weather forecast was very pessimistic with low cloud, and rain. We arrived at 9 am on the parking, in the fog and rain, but decided to walk to the slope around 12:30am with a very thin chance to have a window to fly. After 45minutes, the clouds climbed, and cleared the slope. The wind was low but over 3 m/s. The orgniser therefore decided to launch the 4th round. Lift was poor. We had 7 reflghts, but finally the 4th round has been completed.

Alexis Maréchal becomes the 2011 french champion. He flew his Alliaj HM very consistently and smoothly during the 4 rounds. On my side, I managed to finish vice-champion which is finally a good result considering the very bad start I did. In the first round, I got extremely low lift and marginal conditions, but not during 20 consecutive seconds so my time (62s) was valid ... too bad. It was the 26th times over 27 competitors. In round 2, I flew a good run (53s), but Andreas Fricke killed the round with a 42s. With two low scores, competition was very badly engaged for me. Fortunately, I killed the next round with Yves Tirand, doing a 43, when other pilots were around 50 and 60 s. For the last round, I was flying in second position in the starting order. I did a good 51s when most people were around 60s. This last round saved my competition with a very good progression: 26th after round 1, 20th after round 2, 7th after round 3, and 2nd after round 4 !
To complete the podium, Frederic Hours on Freestyler 3 was a bit unlucky as his 38s flew away with the cancellation of a round after a 30 minutes interruption.
On the plane side, the Alliaj HM was well represented, followed by the Vampire and then the freestyler. I flew the Vampire all the week-end and was happy with it and the settings I published recently. The Vampire demonstrated a very good capabilities to fly fast when empty or with very few ballast.

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