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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Caussols FAI / Eurotour F3F

In 2012, the 2 french FAI/Eurotour contests are over 2 following week-end to allow foreign pilots to travel once and attend twice, with some tourism between. LAst week-end was the FAI in Caussols on the cote d'azur near Cannes/Nices. 34 pilots were present from several countries during the 3 days of contest (Czech Rep., Netherlands, Denmark, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, France).

Saturday, we went to the west slope. After a short breifing, we started the round 1 that stops before the end with the wind starting to blow from the left. we cancelled the round, moved to the main slope but quickly understand that the sea breeze will not win over the strong west wind, so we moved back to the west slope. This slope is in fact a south west slope, but the west wind is redirected by the valley, so it is possible to fly.

After doing round 1, we immediatly started the round 2 with some reflights because of marginal conditions. During round 3 we had some interruptions but never more that 20 minutes so we could resume the round.

We finished the day around 8pm.

Sunday, the west wind became north west wind and getting stronger. This is problematic because the wind is now very crossed to the slope edge. Beginning of afternoon, the wind direction meter and anemoter indicating a valid wind (following the definition given by the FAI, less than 45° and more than 3m/s). The 4th round was a nightmare for most of the pilots. Most of the time, the plane was almost stopped on the edge from left base to right base, giving time over 70s and sometime over 100s !!! Few time the wind was less crossed, allowing the pilots to be betwee 50s and 60s, and very rarely, when a thermal was popping, the wind was almost straight, so time was under 50s. the next round was even worse so the CD decided to stop the round after a pilot landed at the bottom of the slope in the valley.

Monday has been much better after the wind returned to its normal direction for the season, taht is to say, sea breeze from south, south-east. We have been able to do 4 additional rounds, so a total of 8 rounds. Caussols is a very thermal slope so time to time pilots could achieve very fast times.

Overall, to be in the top 5, you should fly very well, but also be very well served by the flying conditions. Lukas Gaubatz, Sebastien Lanes, Jean-Bastien Deguelle, Jean-Luc Foucher, Allan Cohen were very lucky. Lukas has been imperious all over the week-end, flying very consistenly, and even achieving his personnal best with 30.34s in the last round. Sebastien Lanes, a young pilot flew great on monday, and jumped in the ranking. Stefan Hölbfer, Martin Ziegler, Matthieu Mervelet had much less luck, which explain their ranking.

Personnaly, after a good first round, I got marginal conditions in the second round, was the last pilot to fly at 8pm in the third round with again marginal conditions. I did well in the "nightmare" 4th round. On monday, after a good 5th round, I got only average air for the next rounds so I finishes at the 8th position.

On the plane side, we saw lots of Pike Precision, Freestyler 4, Freestyler 4.3 (FS4 wings on a FS3 fuselage), Alliajs HM, Stingers, Needle 124. This week-end is the second round of the french circuit with Briançon. We will fly at 2400m of altitude !

You can find more pictures on  Tomáš's picasa album:

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