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Delta EM Monte Cucco, Sigillo, Italy

Tasks 8 and 9 / Price giving

Toni Crottet, 23. July 2022
Two more tasks were flewn at the 21st European Championships. The conditions came more and more fast with quite big convergence zones beeing famous for fast flying in the area. Zanoccos fabulous comments for the last day: A memorable sunny day. An awesome situation for cross-country flying in the whole area of all central nothern Appennines mountains. In the detailed weather information, he was stateing of forming of important convergence lines over the main ridges. Petsch's comment after landing on 4th place in goal after completing task 8 was: impressive 60km of almost straight flying. Raceing under these clouds was incredibly fast but exhausting. The weather forecast for task 9 was even better. So again, as usual within these championships, no sissy days in such forecasts. Another 187km was the last task for the championships. The winner was already quite obvious, Alex Ploner did an impressive championship flying without any mistake, and did never choose a bad day. But the run on the places below him was still on. Primoz did win the day with an impressive average of 67 km/h, and this over the entire 187km one leg to the north, one to south all the way to casteluccio and back to the goal in Sigillo. Franz on our side showed his big level and could make use of the huge experience (he is in the Swiss Deltaleague since 1985!). Always landing with the top gaggle in the very front top five at almost every task - ended up at overall place 14. Unfortunately he needed a checkup at the doctor on one raceing day, but showed up that nothing bad was producing his leg pain and he could continue raceing. From Petsch we could say he would be like the German Football Team, getting stronger while the Tournament goes on. Unfortunately for him, there is no KO system with a qualifying round. Every day adds up to the total end result. He could show that he is on fire as well - landed overall place 52 after quite a catch up race. Damien 36, stable and always quite on the front did poker too much at the last task, wanting to catch up the nations ranking, landed 4km too short on task 9. All the other tasks he showed that he is able to fly with the good pilots! Jean-Daniel, on of the rookies showed a potential of flying fast when the conditions are fast too. Landed on rank 53 right behind Petsch. Ubi, stable goal reacher as we are used from him on place 65 and Simon, the other rookie on place 85. Needs to be sayd that he made goal on 3 tasks and on the others he had to land short not long from goal, doing also an impressive first appearance on the big scene! Congratulations to all the pilots performing at such a level and keep the mood high! You guys rock and we look forward to see more from you! Not only the pilots went from hell to heaven during this championships, also the supporting team did have periods of downs and ups. The Team was lead after i had to leave back for Switzerland by former League Pilot Christian "Didu" Bärtschi. A huge thank you for your support, emotions, highs and lows Lina for the cooking and driving, Beni for the driving and marvellous coaching. The whole Team did a big work in joining the championships. The preparations did start already early this year. It is important in this sport to know the selection very early, the pilots need to organise their jobs and families, some of them are self-employed so they need to manage their company well during this long absence, already this is a big job that needs to be done upfront. We did prepare ourselves on different levels, not only technicalwise but also what every ones individual goal is, how we want to appear as a team and many more aspects. Knowing that ranking goals is not the main goal an athlete sets to himself. Sure, he can have them, but he needs to set underlying goals that better tells him what to do and how to achive it. This we worked out in several meetings and flying days during the events held in Switzerland (Newcomers Camp, Club Championships, and Swiss Championships). On the technical side, its been worked out on what we use for communication gear and more important, how and what we communicate in the air, keeping in mind to be efficient, not to disturb too much and also reminding that we speak french and german. So only communicate relevant things and this in an effective way. At the physical side, when the weather is good you need a strong physical condition at a base level but also at a flying level. You need to fly a lot upfront also to make sure that the back, the shoulders and the whole body is going well flying a lot for 2 weeks. Also feeling well and "home" inside your harness and knowing your glider by heart. Franz did get the additional role of the team-captain, haveing to communicate for the team in regards to the sport-aspects. Also, the Teamleader needs a partner to discuss decisions what affects the sport performance of the gang or individual members. The whole team finally went through up and downs, which is normal in such a setup. We cannot anticipate everything. Still there is a lot to do and we need to change things that we - as a support team and competition coach - can do. We learned a lot on what we need to optimize and did also mistakes. The impact of the team is still very discussed, but i am sure if it is functioning well, a lot can be done to make the pilots do better and more important, be more happy doing it. So for us the reflection work starts and needs to be done and already start to plan the worlds 2023 for next year, Krushevo, we will be heroes once again!! Some numbers The podiums: 1. Alex Ploner, ITA 2. Christian Ciech, ITA 3. Primoz Gricar, GER Nations: 1. ITA 2. GER 3. CZE Number of Tasks: 9 Scored KM: 1329.1 km / Average 147.6km per Task Number of competitors: 95 Number of Nations present: 19 from which 15 europeans Alex did win with overall points of 8642, average of 960 points per task (very impressive!) Fastest average: 67km/h, slowest: 40.5km/h. Average average: 48km/h.
Delta EM Monte Cucco, Sigillo, Italy

Task 5-7

Toni Crottet, 21. July 2022
The Race and Championship is full on. Three more tasks has been flown since, 110km, 132km and 152km. Totalizing until now just under 1000 scored kilometers. Amazing what the Pilots do during this Championship every day such big flights. I would be very happy to fly a 200km flight in fiesch. Now imagine you do such flights every day for two weeks!! And the conditions are fairly fast, but not yet what it can be in this area, maximum average on tasks 5-7 of 46km/h. Such Championships are not just a bigger Open or a few days cross country flying. It is by far the biggest event in our sport. You have to show before thinking of joining, that as a pilot you are able to fly over 1000km within two weeks in a big field of the best pilots worldwide. Also it is an endurance test for the support team. They go from hell to heaven every day and i thank them all for their great support, Beni, Lina, Didu, you rock!! Franz is catching up everyday, always in goal with the first gaggle. Petsch struggled with Harness problems on Task 5 and now found his way into the competition as well. On Task 7 he could catch up from Rank 50 all the way to the front again. Amazing performance and shows what he is capable to. Damien is still on fire and the (i hope you guys apologize) rookies Jean-Daniel and Simon fight hard every day. There are two more days to go, so that means by far not that its over, now the hard work starts: Keep focussed, accept flying with aches and little muscle pain here and there and as usual, change only little things that need to be changed. Todays provisional task is announced to 180km!!! (I had to leave the championships, so thats the reason why there are less pictures and reports
Delta EM Monte Cucco, Sigillo, Italy

Day 5 / Task 4

Toni Crottet, 17. July 2022
Task 4 - Go Big Event tough the thermal plafond was announced lower, they expect a very good day once again. Task is set, 201km with a leg south, one leg north, one to the west and south again to goal. There are different sections, ridge raceing but also quite some cruxes. especially the leg to the west towards the town of Gubio. It turned out that there the big separation, after around 100km did take place. But event the ridges turned out be be cyclic as well, so the pilots could always catch up in between different gaggles. Franz and Petsch were at the front, Petsch always at the very front and Franz switched always between first and second gaggle. Franz did some good choices and he ended up a marvellous third place for the day. Petsch did a bad choice at a crux, when leaving the ridge for some crossing and couldn't get up anymore and landed short of goal. JD, and Damien where struggeling, since the day is running out (which is always a problem at such tasks, not only you should be fast to be better placed, you should also try to finish the task before the day ends). This speciality is something we see more often in hanggliding competitions and unfortunately less in paragliding. So finally they landed short to goal, cause they couldn't reach the main ridge within the time needed. Simon did a bad choice before the start and he was the first doing a restart. This is only permitted on Monte Cucco South takeoff and you have to land on the official landing field. Usually the Rules allow restarts, but you have to stay within the takeoff window (which was from 12h till 14h). So the Team worked well, Beni the driver was already at the landing and a team of supporters from different countries were waiting at takeoff to help Simon do the restart. 10min after arriving at takeoff, Simon was ready to go! Formula 1 Teams could have learned from that. All in all it was a big day, congratulations to all pilots takeing that challenge for that big task and keeping their mood high. Primoz did win the task before Alex and Franz, with an average of 42km/h. Today, sunday is a rest day. There is strong NE winds and very stable seabreeze kicking in. The Pilots, the Team Supporters and also the Organizing Team deserves it.
Delta EM Monte Cucco, Sigillo, Italy

Day 4 / Task 3

Toni Crottet, 16. July 2022
Task 3 - Turbo Boost Damiano Zanocco, the weather wizard started the day with following: A beautiful sunny day and I confirm a very interesting day: high base Cumulus (3.400 – 3.700 m), strong thermal activity, wind mainly from west of low or medium intensity, low risk of big Cumulus and risk of Cumulonimbus mainly absent. Additionally he added: I think that local pilots are waiting for this kind of flying day for a long time. So the task seemed easy, 2 turnpoints, one start one goal. The tasksetting team let the pilots go discover the beautiful area of Castellucio in the south and come back to the north of the goal in Sigillo and the goal at Sigillo on the foot of Monte Cucco, 171km. And Petsch is back on track. He was behind the leading gaggle and reached them only in Castellucio half way of the task. But then, he found that famous "Turbo Boost" button on the way back and lead almost all of the rest. Ending first in goal with almost the entire "sqadra azurra" on his back, reminding the famous chase scene from the movie "Super Max" from the 80s. The winners could fly the task with more than 53km/h average. Damien on the 19th place, could keep his overall ranking. Ubaldo on place 65, followed by Simon on place 69 and Jean-Daniel on place 71. Franz has a pinched nerve in his back and was takeing off a day. Congratulations to the whole Swiss Team, everyone made goal on this high classified competition. This is very promising for the future, cause overall the team is very young. We all are looking forward to see more from this super team.