2014 World Cup – Argentina: Conclusion

After, again, a 30h trip, I am back home in Paris. I will disclose a little secret: I prepare the frame of my blog entries before I leave for an event. So that on top of my list of articles right now is this one: « Argentina, conclusion ». I have not much of a conclusion to share because I draw almost none. My flying is there, my motivation is there, my equipment is there, my energy is there, almost everything was in place to look for a brilliant outcome. But, for the second time this year, a dramatic event touched me at the heart and the mind just before taking off for the first task.

Now about the comp! The town of Mina Clavero is lovely, plenty of restaurants and shops, quite safe. Local people are awesome and kind. The area is very nice to fly around. But that is not an easy place for a world cup. The take-off, the first thermal, the wind, the sudden changes in conditions make it pretty difficult to manage. Maybe that is part of the essence of our sport, surfing over absolute uncertainty. Maybe not, at least for high end comps.

The general atmosphere in between pilots, organizers, association was much more relaxed than it used to be during previous weeks. Was it backlash, weariness, resignation, but everything went real cool. Like total absence of weight control. Or use of radio by national teams, still not enforced. By the way, during my two years in the Committee I could not make this rule enforced (just as many other of my proposals failed to see light, but I feel no anger or bitterness, that is life and business). Now my point of view on this particular topic of the radio is the following: why not stopping the farce and authorize a second unit, as long as the first one is on the safety frequency?

As for the safety side, one helicopter was needed on day one, it never came. Unfortunately, no ER French doctor was on site. Big thanks again to Joël for assisting and insisting. It is sheer luck that the land extraction by wishful firemen of a friend, tied to a board by climbing ropes, has not increased the damage already done. Or the next 4h in ambulance over winding roads. Or the change of hospital the next day for finding a decent IRM machine. Or the stupid administration of insurance companies that delayed surgery. But in spite of this chain of events, still crossing fingers, we have a happy end.

Being appointed for the Task Committee has been a good experience. Not knowing well the place, with limited weather input, I approached Task Setting by asking questions, by trying to avoid mistakes, to limit risks, to find consensus, to restrain the adamant willingness to demonstrate the maximum potential of the site, to keep it simple for the pilots to elaborate their tactics. Now, what comes next on my paragliding radar? May, with the World Cup of Coeur de Savoie, the place where I learned flying… or a surprise in April. We will see!