Brazil Governador Valadares 2003
Now in: All feedback
How many hours and number of flights, and what kind of experience did you have before you came on the 2003 Brazil trip?
About 130 hours, lots of flights. As for experience before the 2003 Brazil trip, really only one 'proper' XC season. The season before that involved some guided XCs in Europe, flops over the back in the UK, and one lucky flight in the UK of 27km under convergence from Parlick.
My best XC distances were: 42km in Piedrahita, Spain; 36km in UK, from Coombe. My longest flight time, around 4hrs+, and best height gain were both in Piedrahita. Although I can't remember exactly how high it was, it was over the pass, under a cloud street and very cold!
Why did you decide to go on this course (rather than any other), and what were you hoping to gain from the trip and our course?
I knew Carlo as an instructor from my first days in the sport, and I knew he would be a very dedicated, responsible, and sympathetic coach. I also wanted to fly with and learn from Mark, as he is well known as one of the UK's top pilots, and I knew and liked several of the others going on the trip.
It's all about people. The place is important, but when going to a new place one just has to trust the people making the decisions.
How did the course live up to your expectations?
The course was fantastic. I learnt as much if not more than I hoped. I flew farther than I hoped. My only disappointment was my own lack of drive to do better every day; I did my best distance about half way though the course and didn't seem to do quite as well as time went on. The heat getting to me could have been a factor here. Another may have been that I am used to being the least accomplished person in a group rather than one of the more accomplished (there were upsides to this as well though!), which perhaps meant that I didn't have such a clear 'target' to aim for - someone to keep up with and/or 'beat'. It is good to have discovered that I need competition.
How many days did you fly, and how many flights, hours did and XC's (give distances) did you do on the trip?
I flew 10 days over 2 weeks(with a day either side for travel), and got 16 hours airtime. I'm not sure exactly how many flights, to be honest.
I did several cross country flights. The shortest was around 7km, then there was one of 12.5km, one around 14km, a few around the 20-24km, one of 38km, and one of 70.7km (a new personal best for me).
If you missed any give reasons why (rest day, bad weather, etc... )?
I missed 2 days due to expected "OD" and a sore ankle (twisted whilst running for a retrieve with pack on back, not while taking off or landing).
What was you best height, and longest flight (time in air) during the trip?
Best height was 2400m QNH, in cloud (sorry!)
Longest flight was 3hr 40mn, I think.
How did you find the course?
Very good! Learnt most from:-
1. Carlo talking me round the big rough lee-sider with the silly small core. Not like the thermals I'm used to, and a different technique was required. Now we will have to see if I recognise the type when I meet it again!
2. Mark making me decide where to go next half way up thermals.
Did you learn anything? If yes, what?
I learnt what is possible, what I am capable of, what I need to do to achieve it, why I love it, and why every one should do it. (For specifics, see above.)
One more thing - Throughout the course I was always aware that the coaches were really taking delight in their students' achievements. I cannot tell you how much more enjoyable that made it.
The only thing I'd add in hindsight follows on from seeing what is possible. My success this season(2003) has its roots right there in GV with you guys. It's all your fault ;->
Thanks very much guys - real quality time!