Tuesday, July 8, 2014

US Paragliding Nationals, Chelan

Since we left Jackson Hole early we opted not to stay in Missoula as planned and keep going as far as we can. Finally stopped at Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State park only 60 miles from Chelan, but in the morning our GPS navigator (Tom Tom) decided to challenge us providing a route via unpaved roads and wheat fields. I made it all the way to the river bank where "road" descends 2000+ ft. At that point I realized that if I get stuck further for whatever reason there is no way I can turn around and come back, so I turn around, shut off GPS and found right paved road just by memory, since I competed here in 2012. It was great to see many friends, who competed in 2014 US Nationals and fly 2 tasks with them. Unfortunately there was a fire south of us, which affected air quality significantly.

On Tuesday I opted not to tag last waypoint, which was deep in the smoke and by the time I arrived to goal task was stopped by this exact reason.
Climbing in smoky thermal
Wednesday task to Coulee City also was crossing large section of smoke, but we managed to climb above it and dropped into it only for few miles.
Flying above the smoke
Final glide to goal over Banks Lake
I made goal in decent time, but still slower than Dmitry, who become our National Champion in Sport Class (EN C wings and below), congrats!
Dmitry at goal

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