Le Gong Show Arrivee,

Day 2 – Strong SW meteorologic wind, overdevelopment possible once inversion lifts, strong N valley wind as the day progresses. The plan was a straight run NE with the wind past Annecy to the border of the mountains and plains SE of Geneva, due north of Chamonix.

The result: one person made it back to the camp ground, one landed out twice (once on a road, once in a farmers field), the rest of us boated back and forth at launch while bouncing off the inversion like flies against an invisible ceiling. And so began the gong show….

One near miss collision by a wayward pilot with one of our group followed by a head on collision by the same wayward pilot when they decided a turn reversal mid-thermal was a good idea. Both crash-ees landed in the trees safely (well, given how angry the other participant was, our wayward pilot might have a few missing teeth and a black eye due to a post crash meeting of fist and face).

Following this act was a gent, for whatever reason, decided to full stall his wing right down through the trees. Nobody was sure what happened to him – the forest swallowed him, wing and all.

Then there was the student who decided that following in my wake turbulence wasn’t enough, that he really needed to rub the top of his wing against the bottom of my pod. Quite curious to see fabric appear below and to the side of you, with the upside down letters ‘Advance’ gliding on by. Seeing the student afterwards on launch, their instructor was sending folk off sans helmets and gloves. ‘Zis is zee French way, la!’.

So a few hours of airtime, an impromptu weather lesson from the current British Champion, Steve Senior, and a bit more familiarity with the wing (including tight 360’s, wingovers and a few collapses from thermals torn apart by the 25+ kph valley wind) – a good day all in all.

The kit is now prepped for Day 1 of the SIV proper, tomorrow.

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