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2009 XC-Open Manilla

Competition Results  
pdfOpen Class 1 - Pawel Faron (POL) - Swing Stratus WRC
  2 - Kristian Andersson (NOR) - UP Trango 3
  3 - Cecilio Valenzuela (ESP) - UP Edge
pdfWomen Meredyth Malocsay (USA) - Axis Venus 2 XS
pdfSerial Class Kristian Andersson (NOR) - UP Trango 3
pdfSport Class Wojciech Maliszewski (POL) - Nova Ra
pdfFun Class Johnny Ho (HKG) - Skywalk Tequila 2

Reporters: Godfrey and Flygirl
Photographers: Andreas Rieck, Flygirl, Dominik Dusek, Pete Thompson, Thomas Nilsen and Hans Bausenwein

Day Eight - 21 February 2009 - We have a Task    

The final day in this competition....  Task 2 winner 170kms

The day progressed as forecasted with some large development scattered in the region. A light southerly wind sent pilots north when the window opened at 12h30. Scratchy conditions early on saw a mega gaggle stuck at Borah bouncing in the iso-thermal between launch and 1300m. A small group risked an early start with low height to be rewarded by being able to skirt around a slowly forming thunderstorm NW of Barraba. The later starters who tried to do the same at the 30-40km point were either turned back by the mammatus veil that sent out a warning or alternatively spiraled down well before when the suck got too much, to avoid becoming a potential statistic.

Given the generally wet conditions heights of over 2500m were still achieved and 8 pilots flew over 100km. The bulk flew to |he stationary CuNimb and either turned around to get more distance or landed with around 30-50km flown.

The winner of the day was singing Polish pilot Pawel Faron (Swing Stratus WRC) who managed 169.9km by the last task time of 18h30 - he flew on to the Queensland border to land at 195km. Second was Norwegian Kristian Andersson who also won Serial Class on his UP Trango 3 with a flight of 153.7km. Third was Cecilio Valenzuela of Spain who manged 150.0km on his UP Edge.

Best Female was Meredyth Malocsay (USA) on her Axis Venus 2 at 88km. Sport Class was won by Polish pilot Wojciech Maliszweski who finished 4th overall on his Nov RA (126km). Fun Class winner was Johnny Ho of Hong Kong with 52.2km on his Skywalk Tequila 2. The Polish Zuwiec crew won the Team category followed by Norway 1 and the Toy Pin Chao team from Spain in third.

For next years XC-Open World Series in Manilla extra bonus days will be planned into the calendar to ensure at least 4 or 5 valid days are achieved in the event of really bad weather. This is to take into account that pilots travel quite a long way to the events and generally stay a few days longer than just the 8 days of the event itself.

At least the farmers were smiling after this week in Manilla...


Competition dinner was at the RSL at 20:30, prize giving afterwards...

Some photographs may be found on these blogs 

Day Seven - 20 February 2009 - No Task    

Earlier today pilots went up to take off, only to be rained off the mountain...  

Task was on hold until 16h00 when it was cancelled.

There was late afternoon free gliding where pilots could test their glide and accuracy, landing on a cross at Godfrey's house.  There were zero thermals.....

We raced up the hill a number of times to take part, just to be in the air.

Plenty of free beer and viby music was provided by 'The Legend' himself.

Day Six - 19 February 2009 - Task not valid    

Task not valid. 

The day started with overdevelopment over Mount Borah, to the north and to the east.  Launch window was put on hold until the cloud moved slightly further east.  A task was set in the direction of Gunnedah, into wind, with an 82km first waypoint at Mullaley.  A cylinder of 20km was set at Mullaley.  After entering the cylinder a  pilot could fly in any direction.  This was to ensure that the pilots flew away from the rain clouds and into the blue.

At one point launch was suspended as a cloud dropped its rain directly in front of west take-off.  Pilots in the air dodge the rain cloud, climbed to cloudbase and headed west.  Those of us on the ground ran for the cover of the cars.  The rain quickly moved south east and the rest of us launched.  Many sunk out and relaunched.  We are waiting to see if 16 pilots flew the validation distance of 30km to validate the task.

Many of the top pilots landed at Lake Keepit, 15km away.  The lower rated gliders found making distance into wind tough, but thoroughly enjoyable, with Flygirl taking 2.5 hours to fly only 10km :-).  But what a beautiful 2.5 hours it was :-)  Air was smooth, the clouds impressive and the colours reminiscent of an artists canvas. 

Day Five - 18 February 2009 - Task stopped, not valid    

Due to overdevelopment and threatening rain, for the first time in the XC Open World Series, the Meet Director set a task with 7 waypoints to keep everyone close and safe : Mt Borah-Manilla-Upper Manilla-Mt Borah-Manilla, Upper Manilla, with goal at Godfrey's House. It was unlikely that anyone would complete the task before the clouds and rain closed in.

As predicted, the task was stopped at 1:50 pm with Thomas Skarpas, Hans Bausenwein, Peter Thompson and Cecilio Valenzuela in the lead at about 20 km.

The task was not valid because the minimum number of 16 pilots beyond 30 km was not reached…

Day Four - 17 February 2009 - free flying, no task    

It rained heavily overnight but the gloomy morning cleared to give pilots a chance at an XC flight.

The day was postponed until 1300 when the it became obvious the northern part of the region (and downwind of launch) would OD as per the forecast. Pilots received an SMS cancelling the day, but were OK'd to free fly. The conditions presented moderate to strong wind with rough broken thermals.

With the Discovery Channel film crew present and a lack of recent flying (read > desperation), many free flyers took perhaps too high a risk in the stronger wind conditions which resulted in many dodgy launches and potential close calls. No one managed to climb out more than a few 100m's above launch but the afternoon did clear well to give hope for a XC'able day tomorrow.

Most teams at the pilots BBQ tonight at the Royal Hotel were not drinking too much, perhaps an indicator that they too were confident of a half decent day coming up....

Discovery Channel Team are here to film the event over the next three days.  Burki gave an impressive display of airmanship, toplanding for camera in strong gusty conditions and giving an interview.

Day Three - 16 February 2009 - still no task

The wind increased as the region was perfectly positioned in a venturi between a Low and High pressure system. An upper level trough to the west is also interacting with the moist easterly air to produce showers and thunderstorms later in the day. The day was cancelled at the morning briefing as a XC-task did not look possible. Pilots on faster gliders went up for free flying, but conditions were too strong. It looks more positive for the rest of the week just as a film crew from Discovery Channel is due to arrive to shoot a feature on Paragliding.

Pilots are taking the opportunity to fine tune their equipment and train their retrieve teams, write paragliding exams and ground handle.  It is on days like this, that novice and intermediate pilots really benefit from the more knowledgeable pilots. A good day in that respect... but now we really want to FLY!

Day Two - 15 February 2009 - no task    

The sun did shine for the early risers, but low clouds developed with some blue holes and light winds by the time the morning briefing started. This gave some hope early in the day, however the high humidity has quickly created an overcast sky, as rain is still falling heavily on the coast some 150-200 km away. The task today is on hold until 15:00 for a final decision.
The day was cancelled by group SMS at 15:00 due to increasing rain showers in the flying area.
Some pilots from New Caledonia went for a well deserved flight after walking up earlier (the road was too wet to drive up).

The low pressure system is slowly moving away and SE across the Tasman Sea, which makes the outlook more promising for the rest of the week. Monday will be a 50/50 chance.
Flygirl reports:
Godfrey talks much about the great Polish Party and BBQ, but neglects to mention the House Party at his place. He is really proud of his thumping night club equivalent stereo system. I occupied the room next to the speakers. Ear plugs were useless against the Ibiza like celebrations, heavy vibrations and whooping revellers.

Day One - 14 February 2009 - no task    

Pilots arrived at the HQ for the Welcome & Safety Briefing to hear that the low pressure system has fully developed off the northern NSW coast overnight and was sending wet easterly winds over the whole of the East Coast of Australia. The Manilla region received over 10% of its annual rainfall (60mm/600mm) in just a few hours.
XCO series organizers Hans and Andreas gave an excellent presentation on the new SPOT messenger system and how the XCO website integrates it with new features being developed.


Registration Day - 13 February 2009    

Godfrey Wenness reports:

The 1st round of the 2009 series is about to start in Manilla. The event runs from 14th - 21st Feb. 113 pilots from 25 nations have entered so far.
We have just had 6 weeks of daily XC with flights up to 240 km achieved (by the Polish Team yesterday) and many personal bests each week. The forecast however is for the first 2-3 days having a low pressure trough in the region and rain periods - really bad luck. 

Stay tuned here for daily reports and comments. We will have full results and photo's once available.
18 pilots are flying with SPOT messengers in this event (and free flying before/after) and the web site has links to them here : http://spot.xcopen.org

Training Day - 12 February 2009 - Pawel Faron flies 240km    

Flygirl reports:

Great day flying.  Pawel Faron from Poland took the honours on his Swing Stratus WRC (240 km), followed closely by countryman Henryk Zjawin on his GIN Boomerang 5 (238 km)
Pawel Faron:
'I started with five or six pilots in front of me. After 10-15 km I think I take the lead because  from that moment I do not see any pilots in front of me. At about 60 km I am low, a very difficult place. Many pilots land at this distance. Five or six pilots fly over me. After flying 10 km further I see Jumbo has landed.
After Narrabri at about 100 km, I fly with the Norwegian Axis pilot Thomas Skarpas. We fly together for maybe 20 kilometers before he lands. After that, at about 120 kilometers I was joined by Henryk Zjawin, who came in from the North West. At this moment, I am very tired because the conditions are not optimal and I do not think we will fly far today. When Henryk came to join me, this was very good for me because he is very motivated and has a lot of determination to fly far.
Flying together made it easier and we stay higher than before, but then at about 200 km we are low again and I see the only sun spot to the North.  Everything else is covered by clouds. We fly at almost right angles from our path towards the sun and find the thermal there. Henryk gets up quicker than me and he flies on. I stay for some minutes more in order to climb higher.
At about 230 km we join again and fly together, but I am 100-200 meters higher and have a little bit longer glide than Henryk and land at 240 km straight line distance, 255 km XC Optimisation.'
Approximate straight line distances for some of the pilots who flew on the training day:
Pawel Faron 240 km (Poland)
Henryk Zjawin 238 km (Poland)
Claus Vischer 170 km (Germany)
Thomas Skarpas 120 km (Norway)
Alex Raymont 118 km (Canada)
Mark Graham 80 km (United Kingdom)
Sebastian Benz 77 km (Switzerland)
Przemyslaw Wojtkiewicz (Jumbo) 72 km (Poland)
Grzegorz Fiema 63 km (Poland)
Burkhard Martens 61 km (Germany)
Kacper Kowalski 58 km (Poland)
Gaynor Schoeman 57 km (SouthAfrica) Female
Matej Belcic 56 km (Slovenia)
Dominik Dusek 54 km (Switzerland)
Ying Gu 52 km (China) Female

FAI World Online Contest link to some flights on 12 February 2009




The 4th Manilla XC-Open (FAI CAT-2 event) will be on
from FEB-14-2009 to FEB-21-2009
(8 competition days)

Thanks for making this competition possible to:

  • Manilla Sky-Sailors Club
  • Godfrey Wenness
  • HGFA (NAC for this event)

Manilla entry fee - what is included:
* The MSS Club fee is included in our entry fee,
* Rides from the 3 bomb outs (east, short east, west) to take off
with the 3 Mt. Borah Bashers are included during the competition
* A competition T-Shirt is included
* A map of the flying area is included
* A welcome party is included
* A prize giving party is included
* All scoring, FAI fees for cat.2
* Daily reports on the website
* SMS teammessage Service (in case of task stop or other important info)
* Safety team (in the air and on the ground as well as in the HQ) equipped
with multiple radio stations plus mobile SMS team message service
* Daily weather and task briefings by the best expert for the area (Godfrey)
* Free WLAN at the head quarter

... And hopefully 8 good XC-days again!

What you have to get for flying in Australia
(independent from flying in the 2009 Manilla XC-Open) is:
HGFA temporary membership for Australian insurance in case you are a visiting pilot and not an HGFA member anyway.

Retrieve in Australian competitions
There are many experienced retrieve drivers with and without cars available in Manilla. Pilots normally organize themselves for retrieve in the Manilla XC-Open. Ask Vic & Tom at the Royal Hotel in Manilla to give you contacts for retrieve drivers.

Some advice on renting a car or a Camper Van
We recommend to check out Thrifty for inexpensive car rental deals. When renting from Sydney you can safe the 15% airport surcharge fee by renting from their Alexandria branch about 5km from the airport. You can return the car to the airport however. For Camper Van rentals check out Travellers Autobarn or Wicked Campers. Good prices you can also find at www.camperboerse.de

Travelling by train from Sydney to Manilla
There is a daily train from Sydney to Tamworth and from there you can go the last 45km by bus to Manilla. The train leaves 10:05 am and arrives 16:17 pm. Price is about 59.00 AU $

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