First competition

After my Laragna trip I was determined to keep pushing my hang gliding out from the Southern sites. All the people I met there were so friendly it gave me the confidence to think that the British Open Series competitions club class would be a good start. recruiting Dan Balla worked well to share costs and more importantly to share the experience.

Everything worked out well except one thing, the weather, and even that was okay as it was at least sunny and bright bad weather, the bad part being the wind. We did the best we could by making lovely big fried breakfasts each morning and going through the motions of briefings and even some visits to takeoff. Dan and I made some nice walks to visit some of the sites we could not fly, which in themselves were great experiences in this most beautiful part of the country.

Your first competition is one of these place made to learn from, to make mistakes and to help make the next one better. On this one I suffered from one or two mistakes the worst of which was to get the dates wrong when I was visualising the trip. I had thought that it was all to be done and dusted on the Monday so I had it in my mind that this was when we would be going home. Tuesdays forecast was looking only slightly possible and even then only later in the day. The night before I had looked up some synoptic charts and had decided that home was the best option. This was underlined when during breakfast we saw all around taking down their tents so off we went. Happy that we had tried.

Bad mistake.

The next day at work I watched with growing unease as I realised that the day was going well and at 3pm the window opened. Later after my italian class I learned that Dan had flown through the club class goal at altitude and was then languishing exhausted in a Welsh field communing with sheep. I felt genuine elation to find out how well he had done but this was tempered with a personal flux of frustration realising what I had missed.

I guess this bitter sweet flow of emotion is something to be expected when you try to schedule flying with the weather gods so I do take lots of positives from the experience not least of which was meeting the wider community of pilots and the internal certainty I feel about wanting to compete and to do well.

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