Linda Salamone's Blog

Friday, July 25, 2008

The last two days of flying have been really great- it’s a shame I am not scoring better.
Day One- first attempt at pulling my zipper proved fatal- for the zipper. The slide completely broke, leaving me wide open the whole flight. Thankfully, Manfred’s wife gave me a makeshift safety pin so at the very least the top would stay down to where I placed the pin. We were launching from the back side of Monte Cucco to the NE. The flight was tough at first- seems like the rigids had the better part of the day to launch into. It was ODing and shading over as the girls were piling off. I got stuck behind a lot of people (note to self: get a better position setting up to be off the mountain earlier) and I watched them scratch and scratch and finally get up a little. Lisa got off ahead of me and I think I was one of the last off. I did manage to get up fairly quickly, but not high, and once I rounded the spine to the south, it got a lot better. I finally made it to cloudbase and I only have stuff in metric, so it was around 1200meters above launch. I think launch is like 750 meters above LZs and the LZs are like 600meters above sea level. Whatever. I got high enough to work some, anyhow. The climbs were strong and rough, and being only halfway in the harness was really tiring and annoying, but the view was awesome and I was having a blast. Delusions of grandeur as well… because I was tagging the first TP and thinking how easy this was, and then suddenly, it wasn’t. I tried to cross the valley to the west, and saw gliders turning ahead. By the time I reached where they were, they left. And the headwind was 38-40kph and I was getting drilled in place at times. Finally, I landed and cursed my foolish enthusiasm from earlier. Flights: 1, Duration: 1:30, XC kms: 31. Only Kathleen made it to goal- she is a tough cookie. Lisa and I spent the entire evening fooling around with my harness zipper.
Day Two- started off same as yesterday. Oh except that at breakfast the entire Italian team took apart what Lisa and I had done to the zipper and improved upon our handiwork. They also have a medic of a sort who has been working on my back problems. Adam H, if you’re reading this- he was actually saying the same muscle was hosed- the “souas” (sp?) and I have felt pretty good the last two days with my back.
Similar task as yesterday, but launching of the SW (regular) Monte Cucco launch. Rigids get up when it’s good, we go when it starts to suck. I pick a short launch line, only to find that it’s launching one glider to every three or so on the easier slope. Ah well… see above note to self… I watched while it seemed everyone was sinking out in front. Lisa launched and really had to scratch. I launched in a weak cycle (read:ran my ASS OFF) but got into the climb that she was getting into way to the south of launch. Climbing up really well after a few minutes and I reach for my zipper…. Aha! It doesn’t break… but it also doesn’t stay up. Damn, I need a new zipper. So this flight I alternate between holding the “up” pull in my hand, and then in my teeth- yes, my teeth. And sometimes I was just like, “F*K it” and let it all hang out. Once or twice, I got it all the way up and it stayed there, for a while. Until I shifted or hit big air… then it would just unzip all at once. I just managed to try to forget about it most of the time. My feet were a bit numb and sore but this flight was so much fun and I saw the Adriatic and flew straight under cloud streets for miles and had huge climbs… until I had to cross that damn valley again. I stayed over the mountains for a long time, way off courseline, and picked my crossing as wisely as I could. It was pretty good most of the way, and I pimped off a girl who got a little impatient, so when she finally got a climb almost to the Gubbio waypoint, I was right there. Except it was not as good over here and I struggled a long time trying to make that TP. I was below the low ridge and thinking I would land after I tagged it, and I saw a good field with a glider in it. I didn’t need to unzip… I already was…. And I tried to make out all the features of the field. I wanted to at least beat that glider on the ground so I swung really wide (remember that trick, OB???) but I got beepings… and more beepings… so I turned, and turned and damn I got up. I had been in Gubbio for so long I forgot to check where I was supposed to be heading. I was getting pushed downwind now, right to the next TP, so I just got very patient and went with it. I had such a sweet climb, the day was so late though and I started thinking about when the flight had to be over by. I think they said 6:30 and it was like 5:30 now… But this was so nice, getting high again, up under the clouds this late, and still getting around the course… so I milked it. I figured it to be my last climb and it was, only because after tagging the last TP before goal, it was just 10K further in. I looked at my numbers and saw I had it by 600meters so I just headed to the LZ that I had been able to see for some time now after making the last point. I spiraled down to land, watching a nice north breeze, until of course I was on final. Then it was dead, and I headed into the rough field over the gliders and Franciose was on the phone with her back turned to me as I started to yell.. coming in very fast now, but I had to let some speed off to get over her head, and then PILED into the ground. My head took most of the hit, I felt some pain in my right shoulder, but I got up as quick as I could and Tim and Nicole came over fast. I was embarrassed but worried about what damage I may have done to my neck so I talked to a medic for a few minutes but ditched them when they said they wanted me to go to the hospital. I will no doubt be stiffer tomorrow.
Anyhow, last in goal- but at least I made it. I had just about given up on the flight near Gubbio- I am so glad I stayed in the game. But I slide down two positions... well tomorrow is another day, and I am hoping consistancy will pay off and I will find my speed.
Flights: 1
XC Kms: 69
Airtime: 3:30
pictures later


  • it's the psoas muscle

    By Blogger Eva, at 10:32 AM  

  • p.s. Good luck!

    By Blogger Eva, at 10:33 AM  

  • it's the psoas muscle


    p.s. Good luck!

    By Blogger Eva, at 10:33 AM  

  • Thank for the entertaining writing.
    If there were a price for the best reporting, sure I´d nomiate You.
    Keep going ! W.

    By Anonymous winDfried, at 4:31 PM  

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