As promised, the final report of our Brazil adventure is available here. In contrast to the years before, we changed the concept a bit and pilots had to fly in teams of three. The reason is that we are more efficient in the air by being together and we can winch three pilots at the same time. The best XC pilots of Switzerland traveled there, and three teams were ready to fly as far as possible every days. Teams were:
- Michael Sigel, Patrick VonKänel, Michael Küffer (MPM)
- Peter Kleimann, Sebastian Benz, Pascal Bissig (PSP)
- Yael Margelisch, Clément Latour, Reynald Mumenthaler (YCM)
Once more, we were able to organize the event with Fly with Andy. A big thank you goes to Andy and his whole crew; without them our flights would not have been possible! We have the best winch operators from Brazil with us, had a spare winch (in case something goes wrong) and Eugidius from Parawinch was there for maintenance and support when towing up.
The first two days were rather weak from a wind stand point and it was mostly an acclimatization to fly here in Brazil. But already on 1.10. there was a great day with 3x474km (PSP), 490km for P. Von Känel and 501km realized by M. Sigel. The next day the wind was weaker again and afterwards, it was really calm. MPM went to the beach to kite, while the other pilots stayed in Caico.
On 4.10. the wind was strong again. Unfortunately MPM had to land early. PSP and YCM started 30min later and came through well. While Yael already set new world records (435km straight distance and 448km free distance with 3 turn points), PSP flew even further and landed after 481km.
Afterwards it was rather quiet again. However, from 9.10. the wind came back, as strong as it can be in Brazil. MPM are very early out again, unfortunately Sigel and Pädel had to land very early in the day. Also YCM did not survive to the first hour. Küffer set off alone, followed by PSP. Also Pascal had to land after 200km. At 17:20 Küffer crossed the point determined in the morning after 505km and set a world record with it (declared goal) and flew even further to 535km. Peter made it to 483km and Sebastian landed at 430km.
Then, our trauma arrived: while we had extremely stable but windy air, the Brazilians flew a new world record of 588km from Tacima. Congratulations to them for their strong performance!!!
That's why we wanted to hit right back on 11.10. Unfortunately, we couldn't start before 7:30 (some days, we can be already in the air at 6:30am or at the latest at 6:45am), but MPM were very fast on the way. They managed to fly at an amazing 60km/h average speed but it became more difficult after 300km. Sigel pushed too much and had to land after 400km, while Küffer and Pädel could continue flying at a slower pace. Unfortunately, it was quite overcast and they were slowed down a lot, so they had to land "only" after 555km for Küffer and 541km for Peter.
On the last day Sigel/Pascal/Sebastian and YCM delivered a great team performance. Unfortunately, the day became weak after 3 pm and they landed after 554km! Yael is the first woman to pass the 500km mark and has raised the bar again: woman world records are set now at 532km (straight distance) and 552km (free distance with 3 turn points).
Even if we missed the big goal of 600km, I consider the event as a success. The atmosphere in the team was great and incredible flights were made: 11 flights over 500km and 24 over 400km!!! . Five world records were broken: three are registered at the FAI (505 by Küffer and the 532/552 by Yael). The wind was definitely strong enough this year. Unfortunately, the days were much more stable than last year. As consequence, we had to take off later and the climb rates were rather slow and days stopped earlier than normal.
A special thank as well to our federation SHV-FSVL, which makes this type of expedition possible.
556km – Küffer
555km – Pädel
554km – Sigel
554km – Pascal
553km – Sebastian
552km – Yael
552km – Reynald
542km – Clement
541km - Peter
535km – Küffer
501km – Sigel
490km – Pädel
483km - Peter
481km – Pascal
481km – Peter
481km – Sebastian
448km – Yael
448km – Clement
474km – Peter
474km – Pascal
473km – Sebastian
430km – Sebastian
416km – Sigel
410km – Reynald
17 October 2019, Michael Sigel
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