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World Championships - Mexico




FAI World Paragliding Championship in Mexico has finished.

We congratulate to all competition pilots
and look forward next PARAGLIDING WORLD CUP, which will be from 21st to 28th of March in Brazil.

Mexico 2009
Oficial website : www.pwmex2009.com

1st day

First task


Today we had a 74.5km task.  First 17k to the West along the South ridge of the Mesa ("plateau" in Spanish) until the end of the ridge and the Antenna, then 11k to the South in the flats, then 25k back across the Mesa, 11k on the North ridge of the Mesa, and 6k to the lake and goal.

From Monarca Open I already know the place, so from the beginning of he task I started well, pushing in front along the South ridge and trying to keep up with Stefan Wyss, who took the lead until TP1.  At
TP1 we had to climb high before the long transition, so maybe 60 pilots caught us.  About half of those went first into the flats, including Wyss and Aebi.  They all sank virtually to the ground.  I was in the group a little on the right of them.  We caught a thermal in the beginning of the flats and gained more altitude in it, so we were comfortable into the flats and continued fast without getting stuck.  After another, strong, thermal at TP2 we turned back to the Mesa.  At that point about half of our group went more to the left.
Simon Issenhut was the first to take the right option, which was the better one.  I was trying to follow him about 200m behind him and a little higher.  After me was Donini, then the big first group with Maurer and Tomas Brauner keeping high and safe (but slower).  We had about 30k to go, but we had a beautiful cum street in front of us, so I decided to try to break away with Simon.  Unfortunately, Simon took a really bad line too much to the right and got stuck at the edge of the plateau, so I was alone in front with Donini breathing in my neck and the first group right behind.  I risked a little going over the plateau not very high, but relying on the cum street that continued in front of me.  Unfortunately, it wasn't working well, so I sank dangerously low on the plateau.  As the big first group was going past me on the right, I finally got a nice thermal and went up again, continuing my line on the left of the cum street. At the end of the plateau I overtook most of them and kept flying mostly straight, because I knew the convergence was already working in front and then back to the last turnpoint.  From then on it was mostly straight through the convergence, with small stops for the best climbs, until the beautiful finish crowded with spectators and media at the lake.
Erik Reed flew well again and won the day, just in front of Heli Eiccholzer.  I was about 40sec behind Eric, maybe 6th.  Greg was about 20, Gasper 30.  Tomorrow we keep going:)

Today was Aljas's birthday, so cheers with a proper glass of tequila!

Mexico 2009 - Magus 6


2nd,4th day

Task two


Today 93km, cloud base 3100 meters almost no wind and some cumulus clouds. Long task so no need to go too fast. t's Brad from USA who win the task! Tomorrow probably again blue sky and 90km task and after tomorrow probably so.... Still 10 task to play!

Cheers, Greg.
Task four
Today we had a shorter task - about 75k.  First it was to Espina (the
antenna), then a little back on the plateau South ridge and over the
plateau and to the Monarca mountain, then back to launch, end of speed section at a hill on the North side of the plateau, and finish on the lake.

Yesterday I bombed out and lost my chances of top position overall, so my plan for the day was, if I got a good chance to attack rather
safely, to go all out.  And I had that opportunity.  After the first
20km I was on top of the gaggle together with about 4 other pilots. In
front were pretty convergence cumulus clouds. Perfect.

I attacked, but unfortunately for me none of the other 4 pilots came
with me, so it was going to be difficult to keep ahead of the group
alone.  At the Monarca mountain I was about 4km in front of the gaggle, but there I found no thermal, so got stuck on the right ridge mostly soaring and finding weak thermals.  In the meantime the big group found a thermal on the other side of the left side of the ridge and slowly but surely went up and in front of me - way out.  I was with
Rafal Luckos, Torsten Siegel, and Karlo Bonacic, trying to get up and
back on track.  Rafal and Karlo bombed out a little later, but with
Torsten we managed to get up and continue.  Once I regained good
altitude I picked up the speed and started passing pilots on the way
back.  After the launch turnpoint with Eric Reed and Marcus (a.k.a.
"Magus") from Denmark we made a good decision and went to the Penon, where we got a solid 6m/s, which let us pass about 40 pilots more. Good one!  I needed to gain about 150m more to go safely to the end of the speed section cylinder.  I saw Greg climbing with two other wings at the perfect place on track, went to his thermal, 4-5 circles, and on to goal right after Greg.  For the day we're around place 15, five or six minutes behind the first.

Gasper for the second day in the comp missed the finish by just some
meters.  This time he couldn't get the end of speed section by 70
meters - the slope of the hill was in front of him and he couldn't
climb up because he was in the North lee side.  It's tough to bomb out
in such a long comp.

But tomorrow we keep flying and having fun anyway.  With Gasper and Greg we can fly our Maguses very fast, so almost anything can happen. Greg keeps his top position overall, and with Gasper we keep pushing.


6th-8th day

Task six

Black day.  Stefan Schmoker, one of the very best pilots in the world, crashed to his death today.  He was a very alive person, great guy.
His death made many of us think hard about what we are doing and how we are doing it.  Tough to know he's gone forever...  It was too early for him...  Terrible...
Rest in peace, Stefan.

Mexico 2009 

Task seven
First day after the two-day rest we had.  From the beginning I went my way, alone.  At first it was against the wind and all in sink, but then I got a good thermal and was well in the lead in front of the two main gaggles.  At TP1 Mads Syndergaard joined me and together we pushed still in another direction, again away from the main gaggles. At TP2 at the Evil Mountain (as I call it) with Mads we arrived first and quite high.  There I saw Gasper below us, trying to climb from the slopes of that mountain that works it seems only when it feels like it.  Two tasks ago it sank me, and today it sank Greg, who was with Gasper.  Gasper eventually managed to make it out of there.  But with Mads this time we arrived there high, and it was good.  Only Andi Aeby and Stefan Wyss managed to catch us around 25k from goal.  On final glide I left the last thermal with Andi and Stefan, but I pushed a little more and finally won the day.  Finally, vengeance is mine!!:) Too bad for Greg, though - he was third overall; now he'll probably be around 70.  It's tricky to play the game without discards - only the conservative pilots survive to the end, and I don't think we Magus pilots are exactly like that:)  Anyway, we keep going, we keep living, and life is good.

Task eight
Today we had a nice 114km task (in reality maybe 5-6k shorter, due to a 3k cylinder at one of the turnpoints). Good, smooth, strong conditions, with cumulus everywhere marking the good lines.

My start was not great, as I decided not to risk with the faster option of the fist group. I'd had enough bombouts in this comp, so I took it easy. Then I sped up and started catching up the leading gaggle. Just before half of the task with Gasper we caught them, and kept pushing with them. We were about 10-15 guys in the lead, and it was fast. At the final turnpoint we had about 20k to the end of speed section + 6k more to goal. I circled a bit in the strong thermal zone at the last turnpoint, and then went for it (final glide) first, together with Maurer, who started about 150m higher than me. For the first 5k we weren't sure how the line was gonna turn out, so we weren't pushing a lot, but then in the last 10k we were flying through some wicked, strong convergence, so we went all out, in continuous lift, going at more than 80k/h ground speed. It was a great experience to race like that with Chrigel - it's my first comp with him. He gave me a hard time, but I was slowly overtaking him, and just as I had barely passed him, about one k from the end of speed section, he had a small collapse, so I beat him by about 15-20 sec. For the day we'll probably have about the same points, as he was leading more than me during the day.

Gasper arrived with the first group, Greg just a bit later, I think.

So two tasks in a row for me. Quite satisfying, after all the bombing-out I did in the beginning. Good times.