Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Vitacura, Chile pre practice for 8th WSGP Jan. 11-20, 2018.

Arrived Vitacura morning of Dec. 5th, 2017 (Tuesday). Just a quick lead into today. I received my invitation to the 8th WSGP final mid-Sept 2017.  The Chile organizers did their best to step forward and try to help me out. What transpired in a few days was the arrangement of an 18 Meter being shipped from Europe to Chile. Also, several new friends from Europe stepped in big time.
I can never express my gratitude for all the folks that have come forward to help me get to today. The list is long and today, the owner of an Acrus who has been flying here for over 30 years shared his knowledge and time with me. Needless to say, I now have even more studying to do yet feel comfortable better than yesterday.
As many of you know I have been flying gliders for some time and today, well all them mountains I had been flying over have just been actually "hills" compared to what we saw and did today.  But yesterday was spent getting briefed by the owner on his glider which I will be using. Philip Sturley is the owner, he's  a retired General from the Royal Air Force.  Between him and Andres Errazuriz Beeche (owner of the Arcus), it has been continuous entertainment with them passing on years of knowledge in this area to me.  Also, several hours of mentoring, doing paperwork and heading back to find where I am staying took longer than thought. My rental car didn't have navigation and I did end up  "getting" talked to which finally was understood that it was better for all to let me go so they would better enjoy their day!
Santiago has a very "large" population in a small space. A lot of what we did call "smog" is here and climbing up thru the morning inversion takes patience.
Today's thermal were "normal". Normal being extremely small cores and tightly steeped banks. Flew with several large groups of "Condors", now that was an amazing site for sure! Where we did go is called a "beautiful mountain" rather than try to rack up miles for the OLC. Flew for just over 4 hrs.
It's late now, about 12:30 am Chile time, 9:30 New Mexico time.

Here are some pictures. Just click to make them big. Best. Tom #711.

 Above is our working in deeper. One of the mountain ridges we ran looking for "thermal climbs"

 We finally ran North to a TP called IB77. Turned their and Andres told me if I stopped to thermal one more time he was going to put on the airbrakes. So, I had to fly the "ridges" back without turning...what a treat!
 Andres Errazuriz Beeche above and Philip below. What makes our sport are many folks, like yourselves, who step forward and do so much without ever asking for any recognition. Oh, Philip also has been many time Britains Team Captain. Ya, I am grateful to many for giving us so much towards what our sport does offer.

 Lunch above and today's dinner below. Excellent "Ceviche" made special by the chef!