Hang gliding worlds: Day 1

Jonas Lobitz writes

The first day of the 21st Hang Gliding World Championships in Brazil kicked off with a 104 km zig zag task ending with goal on the outskirts of Planaltina township (we didn't fly back into the city of Brasilia today in order to allow pilots to get a feel for the place before making the nail biting final glide into the heart of the capital).

The whole Kiwi team managed to score spots in the alternate launch so the three of us were some of the first in the air and spent the next hour thermalling up into position and hanging out at cloud base for the start to tick over.

The entire field took the first start gate (130 gliders) which made for some interesting gaggles early in the piece. I watched a mid air take place as two gliders collided: one spinning uncontrollably out of the sky before pulling his parachute (he landed safely under his canopy). But a big convergence line along the second leg split the field up which made for more relaxing flying.

The day turned out to be a boomer and we had climbs of up to 800-900fpm with base at about 12,000ft+ although airspace restrictions only allowed us to go as high as 11,500.

I was behind the lead gaggle from the very beginning due to a bad start and was playing catch up all day. I closed the gap near the last turn point and came in about 22nd for the day. John Smith wasn't far behind me placing 29th and Derek got super unlucky picking a bad line on his final leg landing a slim 8km short of goal. Tomorrow's another day!

Forecast for the week looks pretty awesome so we should be in for some proper racing conditions!

Day 1 results: http://www.cbvl.esp.br/evento/resultado/117

Make sure to check out the live tracking to watch the races unfold each day here:


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