Goal Field with 30-40 gliders in on the last day

Task 7

Final Task, 100km cats cradle close to Valle with a 26km exit cylinder just behind take off. The size of the cylinder ensured pilots were quite spread out for the start. Also with two starts and the weather forecast to improve there was quite a spread on course. Steve and Wayne took the first start, Cyril took his own start which was the incorrect one and Gordon took the second in an attempt to catch the first star and break in to the top ten on the final task. Although downwind the first start to TP1 was a little slow and half a dozen pilots landed below the first turn point when they tried to punch back in to wind toward the next turn point without enough ground clearance over the high ground (10,000ft). Cyril was one of the pilots to land, unfortunately he scored min distance as he took a start too early. Towards TP2 pilots either took the direct route which looked a bit blue or they followed the convergence 20 degrees left of track. In the end a cloud formed in the blue on track and both routes ended up more or less at Turn Point 2 in the same amount time with the direct route maybe being a little quicker. The direct guys got a bit lucky with the cloud. Turn Point 3 was back down wind and across the convergence line. Pilots that made it this far only needed to get to cloud base in the convergence to make it in to goal. The final turn point was a 15km cylinder to position pilots for final glide away from the power lines (goal was the field Rich and Steve landed in on Task 5, photos below). Unfortunately Gordon pushed a bit too hard leaving lift before cloud base and going on glide in order to get a good time in goal, he landed on a bit of high ground on the way to goal along with John from Spain. Wayne left 1500ft below cloud base and got drilled on final glide and landed about 7km short. Steven left just below cloud base and made it with 500ft and was the second to last in goal. Unfortunately both his GPSs didn't record his entire track and the first turn point was missing so he also scored min distance. The goal field was pretty full with 30-40 in goal.

So pre-worlds are over and Valle de Bravo has certainly opened some eyes to it's potential, not to mention the risks involved in holding a world class competition here with strong conditions and limited landing areas. One thing for sure 7 tasks out of 7 days was impressive. It was certainly a challenging comp and was an experience.

Thanks for your support and we look forward to sharing our memories in person at BOS 1. From the Good, the bad and the broken!

1st Pedro Luis Garcia, Goal 1000
36th Gordon, 108, 402
39th Wayne, 103km 376
53rd Steven, 8km 49
53rd Cyril, 8km 49
Richard, DNF
Kathleen, DNF
Rob, on route back to Valle


1st Christian Ciech, 6274
2nd Zac Majors, 6090
3rd Antoine Boisselier, 5925
16th Gordon, 4818
43rd Steven, 2467
47th Wayne, 2328
51st Richard, 1977
58th Cyril, 1342
69th Kath, 393


Daily task briefing in the shade of the trees.

Task 6

120km dog leg course a bit like Task 2 but a turn to the south rather than North. Initially a long glide in to wind in to the 6km entry cylinder which was also TP 1. A few gliders getting quite low. Then a 60km straight line down wind leg to Turn Point 2 which had some welcoming clouds three quarters the way down. Richard got flushed in the valley on the way to TP2 before reaching the clouds. With limited landing areas he choose safety and made a bee line for the only decent landing field and only just made it. Even with the clouds progress was challenging with Steven unzipping his harness for landing in 3 separate places but somehow getting a low save. Base was 12,000 At the start but rose to 14,500 further on course. Gordon once again made goal but experienced gaggle suck at the end so could have been a bit quicker but still came in around 15th. Wayne did really well making it in with a few minutes to spare. Steven ran out of time, he left a good climb and went on glide to the deck landing at the task deadline 15km short of goal.

1st Zac Majors, Goal 1000
15th Gordon, Goal 702
37th Wayne, Goal 399
39th Steven, 112km 362
43rd Cyril, 55km 299
46th Richard, 49km 210
Rob, flirting with nurses
Kathleen, DNF


Today's task with Cyril's track

Task 5

After a few complaints about the initial task a 120km, 98km optimised route was set for the day. There were 4 turn points forming a box shape around launch and the Piano field (bottom landing). Start was a 20km entry to the first turn point to the South West. The wind was a little lighter than yesterday but the air was still pretty rough, St Andre air! The day was completely blue so quite a challenging task. Early climbs went to 11,000-12,000ft but half way through the course pilots were getting up to 14,000ft. With a 20km start the pilots were spread out a bit more. Steven took the early bird option today and managed to leave at the top of the stack with the lead gaggle but by the time the gaggle got to the first turn point he was at the bottom and was soon left behind! Gordon was also in the lead gaggle and stayed near the front the whole route and will probably be in the top 10 once more. Gordon is on the safety committee and during the task actually called for it to be stopped due to the strengthening wind at height as the task progressed. The organizers declared that strong wind wasn't a concern so the task continued. Richard had enough of the rough air and decided to land in the bottom landing field. Wayne unfortunately had a blonde moment and put a wrong turn point into his GPS. Although he flew the course and landed in goal his score will not reflect his efforts. He almost landed because he wasn't feeling well during the flight but battled on to goal. Steven squeaked in to goal with 1 minute to spare before the task deadline. Cyril landed at the landing deadline in a safe area, he didn't make the last turn point. A mixed day really, there are only 2 days left. It looks like it is going to be a competition with 7 tasks out of 7 days. One thing for sure Valle de Bravo is very consistent with regards to flying weather. All the locals say this is normal although they have also said it usually isn't this windy so the place has amazing potential. If anything it sounds like the weather hasn't been at its best during the comp even though we have had 100% hit rate with tasks.

1st Pedro Luis Garcia, Goal 928
16th Gordon, Goal 691
33rd Steven, Goal 491
38th Cyril, 84km 328
49th Richard, 9km 88
50th Wayne, 8km 84
Rob, having an operation
Kathleen, DNF


Today's landing field for Steve & Rich was yesterday's goal field. It's the best landing field by far, even with the wires. This is the view coming from TP2


The view to TP3 and into the blue, no more nice clouds! The writing should have been on the wall for those that landed!

Task 4

98km optimised route with 4 turn points and a 6km exit start. The wind was stronger today and with that the air was very rough. The standard mass exodus for the 6km exit start. The first turn point into the headwind was pretty straightforward as with the second turn point downwind with a line of convergence. A real racing day up to TP2. Most arrived at the turn point at cloudbase at 13,500ft. The course got a little more tricky as pilots battled into the headwind and a blue sky. Even the lead gaggle got held up allowing some catching up. A huge gaggle formed at the mid way point of the course. Unfortunately a few pilots including Richard, Steve, Wayne and Cyril got caught out with the wind Richard and Steve not quite making TP3. They landed at yesterday's goal field which was a nice grass field the size of 4 football pitches. Although they only 30mins from Valle their retrieve back took more than 4 hours when they had to go looking for an American who had decided to fly into Death Valley in the opposite direction to the course. Provisional scores are up but some are missing.

1st Paris Williams, Goal 998
31st Gordon, Goal 695
43rd Wayne, 79km 317
46th Cyril, 74km 299
Richard still to score
Steven still to score
Rob, DNF
Kathleen, DNF


Map of Task 3

Task 3

A 159km 5 Turn point task with a 6km entry start and a 12km radius at the last turn point so 136km in real money. The task was set to avoid possible overdevelopment forecast in the North East. The day was a lot more stable than previous days and it was a challenge to get above 10,000ft in the first 30km. The start was once more a mass exodus but quite a few of the field went back for the second start after getting low at the first turn point. The air became more unstable as we flew East (as forecast) but it never threatened to overdevelop in the area. In fact quite the opposite as high cirrus came in and made the day quite tricky. The timing of the top cover was terrible, the day became difficult just when the majority of the field were flying over part of the course with limited landing areas. This was between the second and third turn point. It was a southerly track that was also into a headwind.

Gordon once again made goal in good time with only 10 people in goal he should score well. As the day closed down Richard landed voluntarily so he could choose a sensible area that didn't have such hostile landing options, Wayne landed 15km short of TP 3. Steven landed 25km short of the 4th turn point just before the landing deadline of 5:30. Even with time and altitude the landing options were still not brilliant. Kath had another rest day and Cyril damaged his glider yesterday so didn't fly.

1st Suan Selenati, Goal 969
6th Gordon, Goal 841
30th Steven, 88 444
36th Richard, 66km 374
41st Rob, 64km 358
49th Wayne, 58km 268
Cyril, DNF
Kathleen, DNF

Edit: For those who noticed the lack of detail on Rob, unfortunately he broke his arm on landing yesterday. I wanted to wait until he had communicated to his family before putting anything on the web. For those without Facebook this is his own words:

"The course line was headed for the higher wooded ridges and with a top up mid valley it now looked possible to reach the cumulus line sitting above.

Some gliders had now pushed ahead and were climbing, however instead of following directly I detoured to a lower ridge nearby into wind and sun. There was lift, but trashy and forced me lower…squirrel spotting as Gordon would say.

With the confidence of having picked out lift before I figured I could preserve but found myself losing altitude in a very tight little valley with a small clearing….which I overshot. Into the bank and hedge I flared hard just before impact, but was too slow in letting go my left upright.

I fetched up with a broken arm surrounded by lots of enthusiastic Mexicans keen to help. Eventually i managed to get free and out of my harness and even out of the field over a gate.

I was parked on a tractor-trailer on the barn with a couple of horses and a load of kids whilst we reviewed the damage.

One of the villagers was the local doc and he did a bit of first aid. The farmer whose field I landed in was that helpful it seemed only right to get the beers in as we waited for the ambulance (photo call!)

Just to complete the unusual scene, Raoul was despatched on horse back to go fetch the ambulance that was looking for. I wouldn't have been surprised if he had brought it back in his lassoo!

The medics Henry and Zach were great and arriving back at Valle de Bravo I was met by Kathleen, Joachim and one of the event organisors Agutter.

Kathleen was a gem dealing with the insurance company with all the hassle and forms being required. They preferred fax, which I didn't think still happened!

Had the X-ray and it needs pinning so they'll do that tomorrow"


It was decided walking gliders through the red bull gate sideways was a bit dodgey!

Task 2

120km dog leg round the south of the 15,000ft Xinantecatl volcano and landing in Toluca. Rich took the early bird launch option so was one of the first off. He had no vario or glider issues so a much more relaxing task for him. Cloud base at the start was 13,500ft but the glide in to the 9km start cylinder was a lower blue base. Most started their glide from around 12km out from the visual higher cloud base. The Brits had a good start but Steve had to wait 10 minutes until sufficient altitude was regained. After the first turn point the 70km Westward leg was pretty straight forward. There were some good clouds on the high ground on-track so if you made it to them with 10,000ft you could make good time. About this time Steve's GPS decided to announce low batteries so he switched it off, only turning it back on to regain his bearings and for the final glide. Richard and Rob gave him helpful directions over the radio to steer towards the second point.
Cloudbase after turn point 2 was 15,000ft and the last leg had a tail wind. Gordon, Richard and Rob only took one climb and glided in from 25km out. Gordon did a good time today and will probably be in the top ten. The task was a goal line finish. There was a bit of controversy at goal as the line was placed in a field on the outskirts of the city short of the actual goal which was further in the city with limited landings. For sure there will be all sorts of protests with that one so we'll see how it pans out, I guess the task will either be canned or they'll draw a line at the first goal line. Apparently they used an old co-ordinate in the waypoint list by mistake. It will be a great shame if they cann the day! The good news is things did get better, 5 Brits made goal! Cyril landed on the way to the second turn point and Kath was still sore from her landing yesterday so decided to rest.

It was a long drive back from goal, stopping at a petrol station the altitude was 9,600ft! It was quite an nail biting drive too which I'm sure Wayne and Gordon will be having nightmares about for some time.

Check out Cyril's Blog (hopefully a new BOS pilot) who does most of his flying in Mexico has good pictures and maps of the daily tasks

1st Antoine Boisseller, Goal 994
8th Gordon, Goal 897
26th Richard, Goal 736
40th Wayne, Goal 561
42nd Rob, Goal 549
45th Steven, Goal 458
57th Cyril, 64km 27
42nd Kathleen, DNF


Valle de Bravo town and lake from 12,000ft

Task 1

First task 125km with 4 turn points. Start was incredibly busy with 90% of the field taking the first start all around 12,000ft. First turn point was pretty busy especially as regaining height was not straight forward. Once the gaggles pushed on there was good lift at the second turn point allowing climbs back to 12,000ft the lead gaggle were caught after the next glide but there was definitely a few splits in the field developing. The next 20km was pretty straight forward but approaching the third turn point the lead gaggle slowed again and the area claimed a lot of people. With the ground rising close to 10,000ft there was only 3,000ft to play with and the air was very stable with broken small climbs.

Most of us landed just past the 70km mark with only Gordon making Goal with 5 mins to spare and Rob the next of the Brits with 74km. Around 25 pilots made goal. Rich had a stressful start to the comp with his instruments refusing to switch on, then launching to find his glider had a right turn. Kath had a bit of a hard landing when the rare thermals in our bomb out area decided to release just when she was on finals to land. Thankfully nothing serious but might need a couple of days rest. So the first day is over. As the song goes "things can only get better" we hope.

1st Christian Ciech, Goal 996
17th Gordon, Goal 575
39th Rob, 74km 399
42nd Kathleen, 74km 393
43rd Steven 71km 370
53rd Wayne, 67km 302
56th Richard, 65km 279
57th Cyril, 64km 277


Valle de Bravo Launch, rigging in the trees and extraction is a bit of challenge.

The first morning of the comp

Early morning Saturday 1 March and the cacophony of noise begins. It's starts with nature, the morning chorus of birds and local cockerels. Shortly followed by the city of Valle de Bravo coming to life, drowning out the noises of nature. The traffic traversing the cobbled streets, the bin men hollering for rubbish, piped music which usually includes the Shadow's "Apache" and finally what can only be described as someone playing a giant game of pong. On top of this the cathedral's bells ring out at random times rebelling against anyone trying to keep time. Initially dressed for the morning chill in clothes that one would wear for a camping trip to Wales in early Spring. Slowly as the sun gains its power, raising almost in time with the noise, the heat arrives. A layer of clothes will need to be peeled off for each hour until left wearing shorts and t-shirt. The routine of the day is welcoming and comfortable. And so the competition starts. HQ for the transport up the hill departs at 9am. Anticipation, nerves and excitement are building lets hope we do our little hang gliding community in Britain proud.



Wishing Team GB at the pre-worlds hang gliding championship in Mexico a good run on the first task today! Go get 'em Gordon Rigg, Kathleen Rigg, Rob Gregg, Steven Blackler, Rich Lovelace and Wayne Thompson.

The web site :- http://www.faihgworldmex.com/
Gordon riggs facebook page. :-https://www.facebook.com/groups/640717932654961/
Sasha's Blog http://sashaz.com/
Oz report : http://ozreport.com/
Jamie's : http://naughtylawyertravels.blogspot.com/
(more to be added when i find them or others let me know.)


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