Craig Morgan escapes the crowd but the day doesn’t play ball at the PWC in Idaho…
Day 3 Task 3.
Today Nate conjured up a 113km task over to King and up to Challis in a strengthening Westerly flow. There were a few capers on take-off before I launched and Denis Cortella’s wing got itself in an awful muddle only squaring itself away metres off the deck.
Joerg Ewald got flushed to the LZ and gingerly came on the radio to ask if a re-launch was permitted. “No” was the terse reply!
There were long pauses as the back wind dominated and flurries of activity as it ebbed. I caught a nice cycle and eased away from the sweaty conditions queuing on launch. Five good Karate Chop turns greeted me in the rotor as I fought my way through the turbulence. Big Andre Rainsford the South African pusher 50 meters above doing a similar job. And then smoooooth climbs and cool temps.
As the rest of the field struggled to take off, the conditions being reported slowly escalated from 1 to 2 to 3. The take-off was becoming just too dangerous and someone was gonna ‘buy it’. So the pin was pulled. And rightly so.
Had we gotten our shit together and selected the co-ordinates the handful of us at base could have flown to Jackson Hole some 150 miles away. A few locals did and I was rather envious as I have fond memories of ‘The Big One’ as it’s known in local ski lore. However, I digress.
It took us a good half hour to come down from 15,000 ft and over the town all hell let loose in mixing air flows. The conditions went nuclear. I lost half the wing at one stage and off we went for a dose of treatment. Hanging onto the Bs for grim death I countered the punches and rocked with the rolls.
Russ Ogden reported flying backwards and Guy Anderson took multiple cravats. The shit was hitting the fan but everyone acquitted themselves brilliantly and plopped their rides down safely. Sweat was in abundance in the LZ and goggle eyes told a similar tale.
We have a couple of funny tales to tell from the previous day’s shenanigans starting with Russ Ogden. He flew through some air with his name on it in the previous long task and took a blowout which required a couple full stalls and some ‘pilot input’ to recover. It happened at 13,000 feet odd and he lost some altitude. Now Russ deals with this kinda situation for a living (!!) and is calm in the face of adversity.
So under intense scrutiny and ribbing from us lot about how he must have shit himself when it happened, cool as custard, he replied “No, no, no – I think it must have scared you lot more than it scared me!!!!” Brilliant. With reactions like that it no wonder he pulled it all back together.
Also we have our English Country gent and wine connoisseur Guy Anderson. He’s been pissing about with this ridiculous bit of kit, a Samsung Galaxy Tablet, to navigate his way round the skies. Now Guy is a fine figure of a man, impeccably spoken, devilishly handsome and a product of England’s finest private edumacation.
However, he’s the first to admit he’s got a bit of a hooter on him! Anyhow, in places it was so ruff in the air today that Guy didn’t dare take his hands off his controls to fuck about with his instrument. So what does he do – he leans forward and uses his big hooked beak to scroll the map page on his Tablet and hey presto – safe navigation. Genius!! Oh, how we laffed.
That’s it. More tomorrow, but it looks like wind so stay tuned for more ripping yarns!
Incidentally, I’ve enclosed a couple pictures. In the one above I’m on the blue Enzo along with an unknown Icepeak 6 high over the King Range.
And this one is me sweating my nuts off at take off today queuing for launch. The white moustache is the oxygen cannula that provides the Oxygen. German ace Pepe Malecki 1st in the background and South African Ace Andre Rainsford in the far background observing the take-off circus from a cool distance.
Live Tracking throughout the comp: www.livetrack24.com
Info: PWC Sun Valley
Craig Morgan: Craig Morgan’s blog posts
Results and info: www.paraglidingworldcup.org
Discussion: PGforum thread
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