COMPS

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COMPS

Postby andy » Mon Jun 16, 2008 10:22 am

Just getting a chance to write a little about Oregon. It was decent weather most of the week with the unstable cloudy conditions giving way to stable , blue, and +/- windy final days. We had one day when it was blown out and didn't even go to launch.
The routes were challenging and had a lot of new looks. The task committee/ Marty, Dean, Hayden, Brad, and Jeff Wishnie, did a great job of optimizing distance, difficulty, and fairness with the prevailing wind conditions. The second or third task had a long into the wind, lee side final leg that had a lot of pilots on the ground. I made goal that day but was 12 minutes past the end time. It was blowing me backwards about 6mph when I landed.
The racing was on, with everybody talking about trimmers and speed bar and making modifications to both, I am getting used to using the trimmers better than before the comp. It is like free speed when they are let out, but be prepared for the consequences in rough air. There were a lot of blow ups, but it seemed like everybody kept it together. The Niviuk sweep at Monarca has put quite a few more pilots on the XP that had been flying 2-3's. The UP edge was also a new addition and looks like a sweet wing. I really love my XP. The Niviuk peak also made an awesome showing on the podium.

Marty and Greg Babush were the most consistent pilots during the week. I was able to fly a lot with both of them on my "good" days, and I learned a lot from watching their tactics and skill, I just need to start getting more consistent. I seem to have good days, (9th,12th,16th) followed by a dirt at the start day.
Dean flew his new edge very well and was usually in the lead suffering from the fickle thermal gods when low, Brad was also a leader suffering from the .03 km from goal land outs.

The scene was a lot of fun with a good vibe at HQ, food, drinks, a pool, and the smoothness of retrieve. There were two eat out nights and one impromptu BBQ at HQ. The last night had two kegs, and most of the winners getting thrown into the pool mixed in with some good food and music.

We also hooked up with Glen Richardson and his girl Jen. They purchased the Applegate Lake concession and are living there in the Summertime. It is a cool setup, and he seems to be enjoying the Oregon weather.

Dean put on a sweet slide show at HQ, hopefully he will post his photos soon.

There will be a Bay Area comp at Dunlap this weekend if anybody is interested. I am going up, and will be sleeping in the bunkhouse. It is a great place to fly and the lodging is cheap.

Hope to get down to Pine soon, sounds like you guys are starting to get it there....AP
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Re: COMPS

Postby Dean S » Thu Jun 19, 2008 7:35 am

As usual, Woodrat keeps pumping out great flying weather. Since the field was split by having two different comps at the same venue one month apart, the event didn't have the same energy it usually does. Less than 50 pilots attended so it felt more like a league meet than an actual sanctioned event. Still, all the hardcore pilots showed up so the heat was on. All the tasks were difficult, but the patient and cautious were rewarded at the end of the week by taking home the hardware. The rest of us, including myself, just shook our heads in disbelief as we looked at our totals at the end of the week. Those who lead out and pushed hard found themselves in precarious positions or on the deck early, hard lessons to learn. Watching pilots flying over me, as I pouted on the deck, seemed alot like a wreck during a car race where drivers blindly drive through and around the carnage hoping they don't become part of it. The pilots that came out on top at the end of the week deserve their prize having deftly navigated the carnage all week. Marty, our local hero, flew very smart, extremely fast, and consistent all week representing SB very well by taking home silver. All in all it was a great week of flying and lots of fun,

Once again, the entertainment that was provided by Faoro and Pipkin in the past at these events was sorely missed. It's just not the same without the pranks and insults on launch.

I got plenty of photos and video - here's some cheap entertainment:
West Coast PG Championships:
http://www.pbase.com/fllspdahd/2008_wes ... p&page=all

Marty Devietti takes the plunge:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WeF6WijbyRM

Jack Brown takes a dip:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85-tV2UHz44

AJ Frye gets his share too:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNTc1P4Dg_M

Bad Brad throws down:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ky9kvPNU23I
When in doubt...TOP OUT!
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Re: COMPS

Postby Marty DeVietti » Thu Jun 19, 2008 2:16 pm

What an amazing comp for me. I was elected to the task committee and though it could have been viewed as somewhat distracting from getting ready to launch each day, it forced me to step it up a bit, get things done sooner and focus more. It was a welcome challenge, A hearty thanks to the others that helped to make it all come together: Brad, Dean, Jeff Wishne, Hayden, and occasional help from Josh Cohn was super helpful too.

The first task went well, but I thought I had blown it when I got low at the last turnpoint. Somehow I got out of there, caught up to the lead gaggle, and charged out front, low over the trees in the high country, and at the same time so did Greg Babush on a different line, the eventual winner of the meet. He took over the lead as I turned in light lift by myself, then he found a boomer and started to climb. I quickly joined him in what was felt like the best climb of the day, taking a few more turns as he left for goal thinking I would speed bar ahead at the end. I tried to convert my extra altitude into speed, but knew there was some turbulence ahead on Rabies ridge, and chose to go a little easy on the bar. Greg was on 3/4 bar on the final glide and was able to keep ahead just slightly all the way to goal...I figured it would work out in the end, and my lead points for the day put me one point ahead of him in the scores the following day, even though he was the first in.

In the days to come, it was clear that Babush was the guy to beat, as Dean and Josh and even Brad were not being rewarded for charging and truly leading out. They all deserve special mention, because it is when we all share the lead that we grow as USA pilots. Playing it safe and using everyone else can get you into goal but you may never make it higher than the top 20. I know this from my own experience. This time around, I chose to try and charge with the big dogs, and it helped me fly faster, and lead out more than I am used to when it made sense. It came with risks, (not the obvious reserve toss into goal) and that is what got me on the last day of the meet.

On the last task I was about 20 points behind Greg. I made a move at the start of the race and tried to get to the first turn point before the rest, trying to build up a reserve in lead points so that even if I landed side by side with Greg at goal, I could still overtake him in points. All was going well until the transition to the second turn point, Burnt ridge, where I got behind the leaders and would remain so the entire task. I was a glide and a climb behind them through each of the turn points and it was going into goal that I would try to make up for the difference.

The risk of leading for me on that last day cost me my position and put me into catch up mode. As I rounded the 2nd to last turn point at Rabies, I saw the buoyant glide across to Squires ridge like before going towards Purcell. There was only some broken and turbulent lee side scraps of lift SE of Woodrat Mtn., and two pilots were mapping it out with me and one other pilot. I could see the leaders dive into the valley towards goal, and they were sinking and arriving low along the ridges near the valley floor. I wasn't high enough yet to make my charge but I watched for an opening, and Babush was it, or so I thought. He was seemingly the only one to find a good climb among the others going to goal, and I charged on bar and trim out to catch the leftovers of his climb....no dice, nada. I was too late. I arrived as he climbed out to be able to easily glide to the last turn point and then turn back around into the wind and glide safely over the trees to the goal field in the middle of the windy valley below. I realized I would not win the meet this point, but I could still get a spot on the podium if I just make goal. So, I pushed out to the valley to make a few turns with someone else in some light lift, still lower than I wanted to be. After just a few turns the lift stopped. If I stayed here I might lose all the altitude I just gained so I left for the last TP with the altitude I had, and kept my eyes open for any help along the way. I made the TP lower than I wanted and knew I didn't have the glide to goal, but I pressed on. The sparse trees on the ridge in front of me provided no safe landing options but I thought I could still nick the cylinder and then turn back to a landing area close to the base of the ridge below the last TP, or peel out to the valley short of goal and land in fields there. I was at .6 km to goal and the 6030 was counting down...I just need to get to .4 and then run and land...

I was at .46 km the last time I snuck a peek at the GPS and returned my focus to survey my surroundings. Something had to give. I was too low, and was wanting to turn back and land, but I was sooo close to the cylinder. Then the glider started to sink a bit and accelerate into the headwind in what felt like the sink before a boomer, and I could feel the heat from the ground on my face. Maybe I will get a bump that will get me into the cylinder after all?

Then the glider went away...it looked like a frontal but ended up being a 70% right asymetric fold when the glider dove hard to the right. The blur of trees made my decision easy as I looked instinctively for my reserve handle, around 200 feet agl. I saw the reserve travel to full line stretch and then it was behind me. I returned my focus to where I was going and after another revolution or two I was descending below tree level. Two trees were in front of me and I was thinking about how nice a reassuring pull would feel right now...

I just missed one tree but heard wood snapping and fabric tearing behind me as the reserve caught on it, I noticed only a slight deceleration at this point and hopped I could avoid hitting anything solid until I slowed down more. There was a tree in front of me that my glider was draping around, the inflated left wing tip still diving me in a hard right turn. I saw the trunk of the tree in front was in my trajectory and was thinking I might be able to throw my weight to the right to miss it when I finally started to decelerate. I was still fully inside my pod and was unable to do anything but put my feet out and tuck in my chin for impact on the bark as I slowed down more, but would I stop in time?

To my relief, I was almost coming to a stop but still bumped my head on the tree in front of me, but only hard enough to realize that I had bumped it but not enough to bruise or cause discomfort. I reeled back from the head-butt and found myself supported enough from the reserve behind me and my glider in front of me, (both stuck in trees) so that I could not fall down. I was thethered between the two tees and balanced on my left foot, still inside the pod, and my right knee was pressing on the ground trying to get my balance to stand up. At that point I noticed my music still pumping in my ipod at a low volume level and then over that I heard my 6030 celebrating with an arrival melody...I made goal!

I was both relieved and disappointed. I was relieved to be alive and well (without a scratch) after a low level deployment in sparse trees. I was relieved that I would be returning home to my lovely wife and kids. I was relieved that I would be on the podium for the first time at a full length meet. But I was more bummed that I had to throw my reserve for the first time ever in over 17 years of flying. Bummed that I pushed it and didn't have a better margin of safety like I usually have, and that good fortune stepped in to make everything okay, instead of better planning, better judgement and more discipline on my part.

A bittersweet finish for me, but my wife Carmen and kids took it all in stride and were excited to hear all the details, as did my sister and parents....The lesson is there, and I hope this will serve as a wake up call for me and others who push it in this thing we call paragliding. As the saying goes: "You don't get cute girls or rich or famous for winning a paragliding meet", but for me, my wife never looked so good as when I drove home to her and my three cute daughters (and son), and my life seems richer and more precious than ever now, not to mention the fame of being on the SCPA...
Last edited by Marty DeVietti on Tue Jul 01, 2008 7:37 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: COMPS

Postby pengoquin » Thu Jun 19, 2008 8:31 pm

Fantastic! And I mean Fantastic!! These were some of the most exciting posts that I have had the pleasure of reading on SCPA. You can't help but to sense the escalation in the level at which you guys are flying. Marty is way over the top in this comp, consistant with a splash of extreme. Deano, sounds like just one more step in an incredible program towards world domination (like a pit bull who is leaning how many other dogs he can eat before it slows him down). Andy you are an inspiration, and I don't doubt that with your tenacity that the consistency that you are seeking is not far off. I am so looking forward to the upcoming Rat Race and Nationals. Thanks again for sharing your experiences! :D
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Re: COMPS

Postby Parma Chris » Thu Jun 19, 2008 8:41 pm

Great read Marty,

See what "Good Karma en" can do for you.
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