This year was the first time we went to Coupe Icare and most of all we were amazed by the size of this event (90’000 spectators). Despite the cold weather thousands of pilots came to this bright and colourful festival. It was so much fun to fly for such a big crowd of people. However it was not only about acro, there were paramotors, deltas, planes and of course the famous disguised paragliding pilots. Every evening there were light shows or you could let lampions fly. The highlight was definitely our heli drop. You can see a short video below. At this point we would like to thank the organisation of the Coupe Icare for giving us this great opportunity. It was absolutely fantastic to see everyone again before winter. What a great end of season event, we will surely return next year.
Just like Lea, I as well had to recover from my knee injury last year. However the whole thing did take longer than expected, which is why I did not feel well enough to compete this year. So while Lea took the challenge and went to the comps I enjoyed some relaxing holidays in Organya and Garda. Organya I had hear you could fly endless hours without having to land, which did sound quite tempting to me as take-off & landings bear the highest risks with my shattered knee. Yes and after a few days of parawaiting for the perfect conditions the magic was on and I enjoyed some perfect Organya days 🙂 The flying there truely is fantastic and you get a lot more practice in a short time, however you shouldn’t be afraid of flying in strong thermal conditions with a pretty scary power line close by, haha. Beeing able to topland helps as well, you can fly much longer if you can have a little break at some stage. Well for me Organya was worth it, I met lots of lovely people, got a lot of practice and valuable tipps to improve my flying – I guess I will return!
After Organya it was Garda time. Some friends had already stayed there for a few days and I joined up with them. Sudden switch from Organya lifestyle – staying up late/ getting up late/ flying until late – to getting up bloody early, needing more time to do runs and go to bed early :-) But still training over the lake is a lot of fun! Still my knee is not quite where it should be and walking too much does not help it… – keeping my fingers crossed that it gets better soon!
Thanks to everyone who has made this holiday such an unforgettable one! Here a short summary of my flying during those two weeks:
Organya & Garda
Finally, after not being able to compete last year because of my accident, I could follow my plan and compete at the two APWT competitions in Italy and at the French Open in Annecy.
The first competition, Acromax, took place close to Udine. For me it was the first time to travel alone, so 6 hours alone by car scared me a little. But my car made it to the goal :). I didn’t know what to expect from the competition and what is possible with my level of flying. So in the end the safety selection actually scared me the most. After all, if I hadn’t passed that, I could not have competed at all. After passing this first test everything else was peanuts :p. I’m kidding. Competition flying also means a lot of waiting. Waiting for the briefings to start, waiting for your shuttle to go up, waiting until it’s your turn to take off, waiting for the weather to get better,… Finally, I could fly my first run and I was very happy about it. I even made it into the first 30 which meant a second run the day after. And after two runs I ended up 28th overall and 2nd in the women’s ranking. This was really much more than I expected and I was super happy.
The next competition, Acroaria, was to be in Omegna some days after. So what to do in these 3 days in between? Some other pilots went to Gerlitzen, which was only one hour away from the first venue. So I gladly joined them and spent some days in Austria. The weather was not perfect, but I had a great time, getting to know more people.
And again, it was 5 hours of driving from one side of Italy to the other, to Omegna at the Lago di Orta, where Acroaria took place. We had great conditions on the first day and completed one solo and one synchro run. But, with the great result from Acromax in mind, I suddenly got nervous and my run was not so great. I did not get into the first 30 and this meant, Acroaria was over for me :(. Of course, we still all stayed there to watch the others. But the weather gods were not very nice and the second run had to be interrupted because of rain and strong winds. Finally, the run had to be cancelled completely because in the rules it says that all pilots have to have more or less the same conditions within one run. So on sunday they restarted run 2 all over again with only the first 20 pilots from run 1. I ended this competition on rank 33 overall and 4 in the women’s ranking.
Finally, I could spend some days at home and sleep in a real bed after 2 weeks of driving around and sleeping in my tent. The weather was not nice so I also had a flying break. But on time for the Sonchaux Acro Show the weather changed again and it looked really good for the whole weekend. And it was really good. For once I could just do show flights and did not have to think about what manoeuvres I already flew and which not. I even tried my first ground spiral landing which turned out great, I even landed on the raft with a lot of beginner’s luck :).
After that it was again some days at home with a bit of flying in Mürren. Then I packed my car for the last competition this year and drove to Doussard at the Lac d’Annecy in France. This was no APWT competition anymore but an FAI Cat 2 in preparation for next year’s world championship that will be held at the same place. In the four days of this competition we ended up doing 6 solo and 4 synchro runs. So I flew more in this one competition than in all other combined :). After some difficulties in the first 3 runs (amongst other I crashed in the water quite hardly and ended up with a lost pair of sunglasses and a hurting back) I managed to get back to my best flying for the last 3 runs. I got my best marks in these runs and I was really happy! And with these last 3 runs I managed to position myself on rank 15 overall and 1 in the women’s ranking. Wow, what an end to my first competition season!
I want to thank everyone, that made this time so great. My employer, that made it possible that I could attend all these events, my sponsors AirG Products and Flugsau GmbH for believing in me, all my friends that gave me the moral support I needed to pull this through, all the pilots at the competitions with which I could spend a great time, Gabor for taking the time to give me some ideas about my runs and giving me feedback about my flying and last but not least my boyfriend, who didn’t get to see me in weeks and still always supported and pushed me.
Now I’m looking forward to a great season’s end at Coupe Icare and Ölüdeniz!!!
It was quite a difficult year for us. We’ve just started our first season as an official team when the first blow of fate struck us. Shortly afterwards came the second one and we had to prematurely declare the season 2014 as ended for our team. Nevertheless, we collected some very nice memories of flying and spending time together which Julia put together in a nice movie. Enjoy “A short summary of a season full of emotions”:
Only recently started, we already have to press pause on our synchro plans :(. We had a great last run of the day where we tried some new things and they worked on the first try. But then, I had a really bad landing on my behind. After my first flight in a helicopter, which I’d have hoped to be under different circumstances, they found that I had fractured two vertebras. Fortunately, the fractures are stable so far and everything else is fine. But I’ll still have to take some time to recover, which means that our plans to compete the first time at the Swiss Championships will have to wait until 2015. See you soon back in the sky! Lea
Today we did our first show flight as a team for the Fisherman’s Friend StrongmanRun in Engelberg, together with Team Flugeil and our friend Michael Stieger. Take off was from Brunni. So to have some height to work with we first walked up all the way to Schönegg where we had time to recover a bit and then start preparing the smoke bombs :). Our run was pretty simple since it was the first show we did and we just wanted it to look good. So we flew what we fly best, Sat Rodeo to Synchro Spiral, finishing with some wing overs. At the run were about 6500 participants and I don’t know how may spectators, so it was a pretty big audience. And it was a great feeling to show to other people what we love doing and spend so much time with!
Finally, since thursday the cable car at Klewenalp is operating again and the water temperature of the lake is warm 15 °C. Let’s go!!! But then, although the weather forecast was great, the take off was wrapped in some nasty thick clouds and we had to wait… and wait… and wait. And after 5 hours of waiting, finally, there were some holes in the cloud and off we went. And I could finally start to fly again a maneuver I was waiting for the whole winter, McTwist :-). And then, inspired by a colleague, I tried to fly my first twisters, and hey, it worked!!!
These first two days were just so amazing. The only thing missing was Julia, who couldn’t be there :-(, so no synchro action this time. But hey, there are many more weekends to come this year and some holidays in Ölüdeniz. So watch out for more news!
Just watched our Namibia video again and reminisced about this great holiday. Sun, friends and the biggest playground I have ever seen in my life.
One of the most beautiful flights for me was the one at the red dunes…after a really exhausting take off (kiting up this huge & steep hill of sand in the burning heat of the desert) a simply amazing and breathtaking flight in the sunset.
However Namibia was not only about flying but also about sharing an adventurous roadtrip through a country none of us had ever been to before. Seeing monkeys, zebras, oryx, making barbecues and counting the millions of stars in the seemingly perfect Namibian sky. I just absolutly fell in love with this country and hope to return to it sometime soon!