HG Euro 2022: Big Tasks Challenge
The weather in Monte Cucco for 21st FAI Europeans Hang gliding Class 1 Championship is at its best. So far 6 tasks were held of which only one was 91 km long the others reached over 100 km up to 201 km in task 4. That was an epic flight for many participants. 34 made it to the goal the first one being Primoz Gricar from Germany. In his interview on CIVL socials, he told that he has never experienced such strong thermals in his life. The currents were so strong that the glider bounced off not being able to enter the thermal core. The full version of the interview can be found on CIVL FB page. The preceding task was also a good preparation - 170 km were flown. That was kind of easier and 77 pilots reached the goal the first being Peter Neuenschwander from Switzerland. He confessed he was very content as in the previous tasks he could not make it to the goal. Tonino Tarsi, meet director says: "We have never had over 200 km task here in Monte Cucco. Usually 120 km. Only once we set a 196 km task but nobody arrived to goat. This time we had 201 km task with over 30 in goal - it is remarkable. I guess this is due to the very specific hot weather that we enjoy here now. Exceptionally strong thermals and cloudbase over 3500 m". FAI Steward Jamie Shelden says: "Monte Cucco has always been a fine hang gliding flying place, unfortunately at the past Worlds they were exceptionally unlucky with only 2 tasks flown due to bad weather. But now we have was is expected and even more. We have strong "Ozzy" type thermals in the valley but it is mainly ridge flying so the pilots can enjoy unlimited options while flying the task".
The conditions on the take-off are not easy though Sigillo flying area has 3 take-offs (Monte Cucco South and North and Tre Pizzi in the neighboring province of Marche) and the organizing team carefully selects one depending on wind conditions. The weather is dry and hot, with strong gusty winds. "It is not Italy, it is Australia!" said Jon Durant - a guest Ozzy pilot. The pilots are carefully checked before launch and also the support team of 3 people helps them to become airborne.
Though Monte Cucco is a famous Italian hang gliding destination we see that the first on goal every day comes from a different nation. The first task was won by a French David Gregoire, second by Grant Crossingham, third as was said above by a Swiss pilot, fourth by a German, fifth by Jon Durand from Australia, and only 6th by Italian - Marco Laurenzi. Still, Italian pilots were keeping the lead always so the victory of Marco gave all three places in current overall to the team. In the national ranking, Italy is first, Germany second and Czech fourth.
We expect 3 more challenging tasks in the coming fine sunny days.