2014 World Cup – France: Saturday 31, 47km Race to Goal

And we bagged a fifth tast for the Coeur de Savoie event! None of them have been easy to set for the organizers. This one in particular has played a lot with their nerves. Friday evening the weather forecast for Saturday was looking fantastic. Saturday morning the forecast dimmed to a nice day. And then we had to face real life when arriving at the HQ: fully overcast sky by a thick cloud layer. The departure of the shuttles was delayed hour by hour, until we drove up to Ebaudiaz at 1pm.

A clear memory of Xavier leading an ancient French Championship to the very same place, at the very same hour and with the very same weather conditions, popped up in the minds of French old pilots like me. Christophe had been the winner of the day, a good motivation for me to stay alert. After another period of parawaiting before the sky opened in the valley, then on take-off and suddenly we were thrown on a short task.

Waiting at cloud base, or within bells in the cloud base, was quite tense. Staying at cloud base for the first glide to Chamoux almost made the final result. Felix stayed the highest, the race was a sprint, and we never had a chance to catch him up. I am impressed at how much he can shake a paraglider when doing aerobatics and how calm and flat he behaves when flying XC comps. He obviously has got all the skills paragliding as a whole requires.

To properly finish the race and the competition, I had learnt from Friday’s task. This time the cone did not beat me. I found the right way to navigate to it, course and speed-wise, and made 6th based on time. With my teammates from Woody Valley we win the team classification for the task. But again, points were crushed by the lead build by Felix and my good place did not pay well for the overall classification. Anyway, top 20 yesterday, top 10 today, nice way to close that French event.

Within a few hours, I will post a short conclusion for the highlights of this week.

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