Monday, January 5, 2015

Copa Intrepidos January 5

The first day of the Copa Intrepidos and we had a special treat up on launch...a native Aztec ceremony to purify the comp pilots and appeal to the gods for a good comp.  Complete with a tipi, shaman, and dancers, any bad spirits were banished.

Aztec cleansing ceremony
Today's task was just over 60km, mostly over the convergence area behind launch and up towards the Monarcas.  Due to the drug cartel issues to the south, we won't be using any turnpoints in front of launch, including La Pila and Aguila, so most of our tasks will be to the east and northeast.

Task 1: to Monarcas, Cerro Gordo, Mesa-D, La Casa, then Quintanillas
Lots of high cirrus was keeping conditions light but it was stay-upable, so I launched soon after the window opened.  Because it was so light, the usual strong punchy thermals were absent, and hanging out at the Wall and Crazy Thermal for the next 1.5 hours was actually the mellowest I've seen in a long time.  Pilots were very good as well, not being too aggressive and giving everyone lots of space, which was a good thing since cloudbase was around 3200m at that point and it was easy to get whited-out ;)

Looking over to the Mesa-D and the Monarcas it was totally in shade, so I knew the task was going to be tough and definitely not a racing day, more like a survival day.  And yes, after the last strong thermal at Sacamacate, it was into the murk and light sporadic lift only.
The rescue helicopter does a flyby (nobody to rescue, just to demonstrate).

Looking for lift anywhere, we slowly made our way to the turnpoint and then it was on to Serro Gordo.  A whole lot of pilots landed at the Monarca TP as it was totally overcast and not much lift anywhere.  A second group of us tagged the TP and then proceeded to Serro Gordo but I was pretty sure we weren't going to make it, as the lead gaggle was landing out ahead and we were next in line.

In the end I landed next to the main road, and within a few minutes the sky was raining paragliders all around me.  Nobody made goal and I'm not sure if anybody actually made Serro Gordo.  A bunch of Canadians landed by the Monarca TP although Alex made it as far as almost Cerro Colorado.  So I expect a pretty low-scoring day; hopefully the sun will return tomorrow so we can have some more classic flying!

Results, when they are available, should be here.

Notice how flat the skies have gotten :)

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