My First Competition Season

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. 11822286_928623113851138_5073619800300736639_n 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.

11226565_10153511340893638_5897356527953170099_oThe 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.

11729000_880050522049906_3242452120997630701_o

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.

11872172_10153524250994754_210767290905024368_oFinally, 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. 10625019_886155734772718_3150779432521627167_nIn 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!!!

Memories 2014

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”:

On Pause

pause_sign_goOnly 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

First Show!

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!

vlcsnap-2014-06-07-21h46m59s110 vlcsnap-2014-06-07-21h47m34s44 vlcsnap-2014-06-07-21h47m55s13IMG_3441 IMG_3443
Thanks to Yvonne for the pictures from the ground!

 

First Training Over Water

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!

vlcsnap-2014-06-01-19h24m57s5 vlcsnap-2014-06-01-19h28m28s59

New Season, New Team

At the beginning of this year we started training synchro and decided that flying together and therefore sharing all these wonderful acro paragliding moments completely is our thing. Ever since we have decided to start season 2014 as a synchro team we have been trying to figure out a proper name. Then, last week, we finally came up with “SkyDancers” – Why “SkyDancers”? Well because for us, flying acro is like dancing in the sky. The most difficult part is to get the choreography so smooth that it seems as if it was the easiest thing in the world.
Well now, enough talking – enjoy our Season’s trailer!