Thursday, July 16, 2009

Pre-race jitters

Of course there were going to be a few problems immediately before the race.

Several competitors have only just received their equipment. Harnesses and gliders are arriving in plastic bags and factories from around the world. It's a bit late for major modifications, but a few grams can be trimmed here and there. Vincent Sprungli was not happy with the glider sent to him, so he's decided to use his glider (a Boomerang 5) from 2007.

I managed to get things wrong today by not noticing a tangle in my lightweight risers on take off. The line lengths on paragliders need to be accurate to within a few millimetres but the tangle meant that one set on the right-hand side were shortened by 10cm. It didn't really fly very well in this configuration, I couldn't even fly in a straight line and so I ended up in the trees below launch. Thanks so much to Alex for organising getting me out and for Jurgen (one of the safety team) for getting me and the glider out unharmed. I need to replace the lines but that's the only damage. A simple modification to the risers will prevent this happening again.

This morning we had a briefing on the rules: the Race Organisation are going to be very strict on a number of rules this year, including airspace and the number of supporters.