LCC 2003 by Steve Etherington

Steve Etherington - 13/06/2003

The Charity Classic a Dual success !

This year I suggested to Claire that we could fly the CC on our new tucan tandem.After the Ok from the COMMITTY we put our names down for what is always a great social event but this year it was also blessed with fantastic weather.

At the base in Grassmere registration and check in were swift and efficient, with the added bonus of finding three other tandem teams already there, we had a ready made dual comp as well. This year to ease congestion on the hills the tasks where split into A and B cats and sent off to different hills, we where soon on the way to Blease fell,and the others went for the big walk up Jenkin hill. I breathed a sigh of relive as one of Claire conditions for our dual flying is that I carry all the kit. We were soon airborne in buoyant gentle thermal and on our way to the top of Blencatra for a 21.2 km race via Skiddaw and Bewaldeth to goal at Wigton.

Knowing the area well ,we waited on Skiddaw for the first sighs of sea breeze before heading of, with the intention of fling the sea breeze convergence all the way to Wigton, unfortunately the fickle convergence petered out over Uldale leaving us in some very snotty air with the instruction from Claire to get out of it ASAP[the polite translation]we glided on towards Wigton landing 5km short of goal but with the pleasure of seeing only one glider go over us and that was my Windtech sponsor Carlo on his way to win the day.

The B comp also had a great day to Bewaldeth with a number of pilots getting to goal,leaving everyone in high spirits and ready to party in the evening.

In most British comps that would be the end of the story ,but Sunday gave us another glorious day, with the A comp flying an ambitious task from Jenkin hill to Dodd wood to the White Horse Inn and back to Braithwaite a 22km race via two TPs and the B comp flying another task via TPs from Blease fell.

After the mammoth walk up our hill the B comp were already in orbit above our heads as the task setting comity quickly got us on our way too TP 1. The flying required the stay high tactic and lots of patience as we watched the ebb and flow of the sea breeze on Ullock and in the imposing north bowls of Skiddaw, it took us four attempts to make TP! but a fantastic climb out over Jenkin put us high above everyone else giving an easy transition to Blencathra and on to TP2. Another great thermal whisked us back up over the fell tops and on a glide to goal leaving us 2 km short in second place for the day but overall winners of the comp with the added satisfaction of being the first tandem team to win an open paragliding competition and on a DHV 1/2 glider in my favorite flying area in the world ,on top of that the event was! ALL FOR CHARITY ,CLASSIC!!!!




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