Linda Salamone's Blog

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Linda Salamone's Blog

Women's Worlds Task 1

So the first day was so bad for me that I didn't even want to write about it at all because to do so would mean I would have to relive it. Knowing that attitude is the biggest game going I figured I would wait til I could handle it.

The task was a dogleg, mostly crosswind, to the south. I got towed up, but wound up low and downwind after half an hour so I decided to take another tow rather than fight back up and drift even further downwind. It was really strong and the climbs were weird- I still didn't have it figured out so starting at the first gate was unlikely for me anyhow. So I took a second tow and for some reason, the tug took me WAY downwind. I believe he thought he was doing me a favor- thinking that was the way we were all trying to go… If I wanted to go back to the field, I wouldn't even make it. I fought with it a while but I was so upset. I felt pretty screwed- everyone else took the first start and only a few rigids were around. They have an easier time with the long glides between thermals (into strong headwinds even) and they were not going to be too much help to me. So I blundered downwind of the courseline as far as I could. I never even made it TO the actual course line, and I had Rt 27 behind me and a steady 18mph wind. I was a wreck the whole flight. I just knew there was no way out of this. I did fight a good fight- but after a few low saves I had none left. I landed in a cow pasture near a mine and had one of the mine employees call the Polk County Sheriff. It was all okay so after giving every vital piece of information about myself to the cops (height weight eye color SSN DOB home work and cell numbers address blah blah blah!) for NO REASON at all, they let me leave with my ride. I asked what would happen next and the deputy was like, “well I suppose you'll fly tomorrow, maybe land out here, they'll call us, and we'll ask all the same questions and the next day will be much the same….” They don't care and they know we are not trying to cause trouble, but it seems to me that Florida is one of the most unfriendly places to fly hang gliders XC in the USA. Dana was a little freaked out by the turmoil… So I placed really shitty as the scores show this first day but that leads me to…

Women's Worlds Task 2

60 something mile task to the south- big cross wind task to Avon Park.

First tow- couldn't stay up. Wacky landing.

Second tow- couldn't stay up. Wackier landing.

Third tow- didn't have my VG set, sky-ed out on the tug, popped my weaklink, belly landed fully zipped right on the runway.

Fourth tow- (and they are surely getting sick of me on the launch line) tug bridle broke, leaving me with the rope at like 30ft. I am too low to do anything but what I did when I popped my weaklink so I try to roll it out straight ahead, but my right wing gets gusted and I am doing a huge wingover that turns me downwind and screaming across the ground with a couple hundred feet of rope dragging…. Wackiest landing.

I should say here that I am not the only one taking multiple tows. I wont name names but… oh yes I will!!!…Kari, Raean and Lauren… well lets just say the US team was getting their money's worth! Conditions pretty much sucked and the high overcast was just over us… some of the rigids were still towing and it was almost 3 oclock and they had to get to the Florida Ridge- 125 miles away….The wind at least wasn't quite as strong as I had seen in the forecast.

Fifth tow- finally I get all the way up and go on course line. I had my first decent 600fpm climb 5 miles out. Hurray- it is maybe going to be okay! I had all my teammates nearby except for Judy. We stayed together a little and I pimped off Lauren and Raean some. We parted ways and when I thought the day was spent I headed off downwind. We'd been trying to fight the headwind as much as possible so I was way upwind and had a lot of room to just glide. By this time I heard that everyone was on the ground on my team so I was just going for make-up miles from the day before. I landed 34 miles from goal but I think it might be pretty good for the day. (Shittiest landing of the day!!!) I landed in a field with ONE COW but it was otherwise occupied and left me breaking down in peace. Mark and Lauren came and got me and it was a much better ending than yesterday.

So that's it for now. We are so damn busy that it's hard to just e-mail or write this stuff up. We are comfy and cozy and its chilly so easy to sleep. I am looking forward to the lighter wind that is in the forecast.


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