Linda Salamone's Blog

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

This may be the last task of the 11th Women’s World Championships. Hard to believe it’s just about over. My flight started with a good strong launch and a sweet climb right out in front. I was worried about traffic but I seemed to be climbing right through everyone at first. I thought I’d be at base soon, but, just like every day we’ve flown on this north side, the lift would break off at around 400meters ATO. There were a few gliders stupid high though, so I knew there was a way to get through, but try as we might, it just wasn’t happening. Getting frustrated with the bouncing up and down, trading places with Jamie, I actually just started swearing and yelling at the air. I left the launch area and headed south and things improved only slightly. We were supposed to go to the eastern ridge on this task, a route I hadn’t yet really seen from the air, and the first valley we had to cross to get to the start seemed like a million miles wide. Getting nothing good on the ridge forced me to venture across. I saw a lot of gliders low and landing and I was totally psyched to get a nice climb right in the middle. Best climb so far… It was enough to get me over to the start and the TP, and things improved for a while. I saw a couple of other flex wings and one got very low. I began to get low as well when I saw two rigid wings in a nice field that even had a windsock. I thought, how nice, I’ll have company breaking down after an easy landing with a windsock. Surely if the rigids had gone down, it wouldn’t be too humiliating a finish for me. But as I rounded the field, I went over a factory that had a screamer of a climb right on top. I was thinking those poor bastards have to watch a girl rocket up right over their heads. As I climbed out (best climb of the day so far) it occurred to me that that was way too nice of a set- up to be for real. As I got above the nearby ridge, I saw a few other gliders in the air, and a whole bunch on the top of the mountain… Now I realized that this was Tre Pizzi, with it’s north/east launch, where we had spent a blown out practice day playing hackysack. It looked so different from the air. Well I was hitting 6.0m/s all the way up and thinking this was so great, but when I looked south, I saw a lot of shaded areas and OD in the sky. I knew I had better hurry to avoid the rain. I stayed pretty high all the way down the ridge, and with 7 K to go to hit the WP, I had to cross a narrow valley and a mountain and I got so low crossing I thought I could drag my feet on the bare summit. It was pretty freaky and when I looked over the other side, the valley where the WP was was anything but flat. It was sharp and creased and looked like Naples, NY- nowhere to land at all. I was under a fully OD’d sky, getting rained on now, and sinking pretty good so I just tagged the WP and dove for as many extra Ks as I could. That put me over a vineyard, and one small field with a 45deg slope…. Lots of power lines around ( to light up the grapes???) and it was Fly-On-a-Wall or nothing. No clue which way the wind was blowing, I’d been flying straight for too long and I had been getting every direction possible for miles… So I just did my “Italian Landing” otherwise known as “Flare, Tuck and Roll” (and take the hit with the glider instead of my body) and it worked out pretty well. I phoned Nicole and waited in a thunderstorm by the side of the road. I saw two gliders later that hit the WP and headed to flat ground- not in the direction of courseline. I know now that was Jamie and Kathleen. I had no clue how many girls made goal then, but at dinner I saw the score sheet and saw that 6 or so had made it and I came in 7th or 8th for the day. Still didn’t move me up any overall. Oh well, I had a good flight, a great launch, and a very exciting landing. What could be better- except for the freaking FOOD in Italy. Oh my God… the food.
More later.. I have just arrived home and copied this from a word doc that I wrote last Thursday! I will post a bunch of pics and some thoughts on the last (cancelled) day and the closing ceremonies. I have to stop crying first, in order to get some things done at home. ...


Post a Comment

<< Home