XC Turkey 2010: Day five – long flights at last

Sunday 26 September, 2010
Mads airborne over the Turkish landscape. Photo: Olivier Laugero

Mads airborne over the Turkish landscape. Photo: Olivier Laugero

As yesterday dawned bright and clear, and with the rumour of the restricted zone being lifted for the day, it was clear that it would be THE day of the event. So in spite of a good breeze shaking things around on launch the relevant pilots were quick to get ready. The forecast was for 15-25 km/h from S and SW, and Murat quickly confirmed the rumour about the restricted zone, so Pal was off!

The next three or four pilots, me included, launched in a lull soon after, to be greeted by very stable conditions and actually hardly a thermal beep.

Rather than hang around at launch, which is after all around 2,200 m, one small group, with Pal leading the way, opted to check ot if there would be more action below the inversion, i.e. over the valley behind and to the E of launch. There very nearly wasn’t!

But we did finally manage to climb to some 2,400 m over a very turbulent little knob some 10km downwind from launch, and from there it would be mainly flatlands at least until Karapinar, some 55 km away. Only most of us never got so far, instead getting downed by the stable and unpredictable conditions in the flats.

Getting back was easy as usual, as long as one stayed out of the official retrieve vehicles which are always busy finding many more pilots aside from one’s self, but with the locals here so friendly and helpful it is really rare to NOT be picked up by the first car that passes by.

Back at the base we learnt that Sedat and Olivier had flown around 80 km, and that Dmitri and Trias were still unaccounted for. It later turned out that Trias had flown 185 km, to Cappadocia, and Dmitri flew some 110 km, on a slightly more Westerly route than the rest of us.

So these guys didn’t make it back to the mock prizegiving arranged by the governor of Karaman to award a few trophies to the pilots who had done best during this part of the XCTurkey.

Today we are going sightseeing in Cappadocia, and we’ll try to find Trias on the way.

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