THE 299,94 km FAI TRIANGLE !

TP 2 : Only the brave (and Swift pilots !) continue ! The Ecrins
The forecast for Friday 7th August was for 20 km/h south wind at Laragne, few clouds early on, and lighter winds and cumulus to the east of the Durance. This proved to be correct and it's an ideal situation for a big triangle flight from the Chabre.

My flight here



Lots of pilots from all over Europe are here as usual in summer, it's great to see that hanggliding is still popular with plenty of younger pilots too !

I took off at 11:58 and made my way to the west along the south faces ridges, I got quite low crossing the col Saint-Jean and ended up below the top of the montagne de Chamousse. I made TP 1 to the north west, just after the site at col de Soubeyrand, about 37 km  from the start. The next turnpoint was in the Ecrins to the north east, in the valley of Valgaudemard which should be out the south wind. The cloud base there was 3900 m and over 4200 m further into the big mountains, as the summit of the Barre des Ecrins was visible.
Le Plateau de Bure which Anne walked up

This first leg between TP 1 and TP 2 was only 86 km so the next one had to exceed 100 km. When I got down to just east of Saint-André, I had 106 km between TP 2 an TP 3. I didn't know what the distance was between TP 3 an TP 1 but I thought it was about 100 km (but in fact it was more !). So I didn't have enough for the  300 km triangle but it was going to be big if I get back to Laragne. It was 18:20 when I headed north west and back to the Chabre and it was 75 km away !

I stayed high getting on to the Cheval Blanc, but the wind wasn't helping me at all as it was WNW and more than 20 km/h headwind. I was hoping if I could get nearer to Digne the wind would still be south which would help me to get back.  Fortunately, this was the case, and I was able to take advantage of the SW facing mountains and ridge soar much of the way back. Landing at 20:18 after 8h20 in the air.
Soaring up the montagne de Melan, 23 km from Laragne

I flew over the camping with a few hundred meter to spare and continued just a little towards the Chabre, then turned back to land. Only later, when I downloaded my flight did I see the distance : 299,94 km. Oh no !! I missed it by 60 meters. Where I rigged on take off could have made the difference ! Anyway, it's not such a bad thing, I still have my goal to achieve in front of me.
It's a new site record for rigids at Laragne, and a new french record for the biggest FAI triangle.

An epic week at Laragne :
  • Sunday august 2nd : 237 FAI triangle by Bertold M., Germany, rigid wing
  • Monday august 3rd : 226 FAI triangle by Ulf. H, Swiss, rigid wing
  • Wednesday  august 5th  : 277 FAI triangle by me / 255 FAI triangle by Ulf H. / 253 FAI triangle by  Bertold M. and 244 FAI triangle on flexi by Alain C.
  • Thursday august 6th : 244 FAI triangle by Bertold M.
  • Friday august 7th : 299,94 FAI triangle by me / 261 FAI triangle by Ulf H. 
Great success also for Jacques and Pascal at Aspres with the class 2 competition. We had the best week of the year (so far !)


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