Weather continues to disturb the beginning of the F3F season in France. After the snow the previous week, this time was the strong wind. Ardéche is like the south Alps, plenty of nice F3F spot and windy place. Up to now, this competition was missing a good spot for north wind. Yves and I combined our effort to identify a new spot. I worked on google earth and geoportail (detailed maps) to identify a new slope. Yves visited them to validate the spot the week before the contest. Like this, we found a new promising slope, with very little walk. This where all the competitors went on Saturday 1st of June. Problem was the wind reaching 25m/s during gusts, even is the average was within the FAI limits. But this strong wind was creating huge rotors above the landing field. After a long wait, we decided to start the competition, doing 2 rounds in the same flight with a crow start in order to save one landing. We managed like this 2 rounds with very fast time, fatest time around 31s, and almost everybody under 40s. But we also had lot of damages during landing. The landing was totally unpredictable. Hopfully the grass was very high so could smooth the final impact !!!
On Sunday, forecast was saying less wind, bu this is the opposite that happened. this time gusts were reaching 31m/s with an average around 22m/s We waited again, then decided to give a try, at least to validate the contest (48 flights, 12 pilots minimum, this is the rule). But after 2 pilots, the organiser decided to stop the contest because it was obvious that is was too dangerous for the planes during the landing, but even in flight.
In these conditions, I flew my Needle 100 DSL almost full ballast, considering that its empty weight was 2.6kg. It flew great, very fast and stable.
Overall the area seems very promising and we have already found another North slope, even better with a cliff that we need to validate for next year. But definitvely, this region can become the best place to fly F3F in france. A big thanks to Yves Tirand for organising this event and working hard to find the best spot for us to enjoy !
Below is a video I did in order to give you an idea about how fast is this slope:
TOA 2013 from Pierre Rondel on Vimeo.