Comps and Events, News

Paragliding World Championships 2011: Task 1: Mads makes 70km…

Tuesday 5 July, 2011

Keen readers will have worked out that I didn’t make goal today, writes Mads Syndergaard

The 154km route at the first task of the Paragliding World Championships 2011

The 154km route at the first task of the Paragliding World Championships 2011

Depending on when this entry gets posted the keen among the readers will have worked out that I didn’t make goal today – the trip back from Arcones is going to take a lot longer than that…

The task was a 154km race to goal to the official landing below the Arcones launch, some 20-30km E of Segovia. Start cylinder was an Exit one with a 20km diameter around launch itself. A very straightforward task, and a classic in Piedrahita – we did it from the Lastra del Cano launch in ’95 I think…

Take off on Task 1. Video: equidispar

The one part of the task that wasn’t so straightforward, at least for me and a very few others, was the prohibited airspace section East of Avila. Basically pilots had to put the NW corner of that airspace into their GPS and then make sure they skirted it on the NW side – a little like the old FAI sectors, only one could be MORE than 1km away (that wasn’t the case in the old days).

With the W wind being at times quite strong, up to 25km/h, you wanted to start making the move N as early as possible, and the leaders on the start gate went NW already there. That turned out to be a slower option, so even though the earlier birds at the start gate got a terrible start (because we were being blown into the race course and had to escape into wind) most managed to catch up
with the leaders again around Avila, simply because the S side of the Sierra de Avila worked better.

From there it was 90 degrees off the course line, North into the blue, to get around the airspace problem. My tracklog has me gliding from 3200m just W of Avila, to ground just NE of

But most of the rest made it, and it looks like it was an exciting finish in Arcones, with my team mate Marcus giving the R11’s a good battle on his tatty old R10.

I hear there was but one reserve deployment today, pilot is safe if unhappy since the wing didn’t appreciate the tree landing.

Very many pilots in goal today, hopefully they’ll all have made it both around the no-fly zone AND below the 10,000′ ceiling in place from around Avila to goal.

I would like to do better tomorrow 😀

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Mad Syndergaard is author of Flying Rags for Glory: An A-Z of Competition Paragliding

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