HG Class 2 World Championship starts with challenging weather
The 21st FAI World Hang gliding Class 2 has started in Aspres sur Buech in France. The event will be held from July 25th till August 06, 2022. It is organized by Adpul the organization dedicated to the development of Class 2 gliders sport with the support of FFVL - the national Aeroclub of France.
Lousie Joselyn reports from the event:
The 21st FAI World Hang Gliding Class 2 Championships is just underway at Aspres in the southern French Alps. The Opening Ceremony took place Monday at Le Chevalet Aerodrome, with local dignitaries and members of the FFVL executive, overseen by CIVL President and Jury President for this event, Stéphane Malbos.
Class 2 hang gliders often called ultra-light gliders primarily include the Swift-Light and Archaeopteryx. The last Class 2 Worlds took place in 2017, also at Aspres. The major difference this time around, is that these gliders fitted with a small auxiliary electric motor, used solely for launching, are allowed to participate.
This year, there are 12 pilots from 5 nations competing (FRA, AUT, SUI, LUX, USA and AUS). 9 are flying Swift-Lights, five of which have electric motors, and 3 are flying the Archaeopteryx, all with electric motors. While the ability to use an electric motor for launching eases the logistical issues for the organisers with the aerotow procedures, it complicates the task of the scorer. New rules have been introduced such that the self-launch gliders must turn off their motors before they reach the height that non-motorised gliders are released from the tow, and this must be at least 15 minutes before the race start is open. If the motors are re-started at any time during the task, the pilot will be deemed to have landed at that point, and scored back 10km with distance points only.
Monitoring motor use is potentially complicated, with various systems available, both in-built and added on. ENL (engine noise level) is one parameter and MOP (means of propulsion) is another. While the track for scoring can be taken from the trackers, provided by the organisers, the pilots with motorised gliders must provide a separate tracklog that also shows motor-on and motor-off.
Competitors started arriving a few days ago. The weather at Aspres has been stunning for weeks, with high temperatures and high cloud base. Local pilots as well as competitors have been completing FAI triangles of more than 350km.
Unfortunately, the Official Practice task that was due to take place today (26th July) has been cancelled due to a strong northerly breeze, forecast to pick up during the day, and low cloud base.