26 July 2012

Annecy Delivers

I've just returned from leading my Pilot Development Week in Annecy in the French Alps. We had fantastic cross country flying and skill development for all abilities, 5 different sites; 6 days flying out of 7, even the 7th was flyable for the commercial tandems however we used it for ground-based learning.
Each member of the group identified their strengths and what they wanted to develop and this provided the focus for the week.
Every day presented different challenges and opportunities. Through the information provided and analysis, each pilot was armed with the knowledge to be able to get the best out of each day. It was absolutely great to see the proactive, independent decision making develop as the week went on.
One of the highlights was an evening with the new British Champion Steve Senior. His understanding of elite performance and how it applies to all levels of our sport is nothing short of awesome. And he certainly challenged all our thinking! A huge thanks to Steve.
Massive Astroturf launch at Annecy; Colin Porter ready to go.

High above launch; the Bauges Mountains to the south.

The Dents de Lanfon. Get high here and you can go anywhere!

Heading North. Far right - the high route. Middle right - the low route.

Plaine Joux launch with spectacular views of Mont Blanc

The "A" team. Nick, Brian, Ed, Ian, Colin, Richard and Ella.

Into the top 10

I sit here, exhilarated and slightly exhausted. The second and final round of the British Open Champs at Pedro Bernardo is Central Spain was a resounding success, with 5 great tasks. 
I had a good comp too and one of my best ever tasks at this level: I managed to be in the lead gaggle for the first half of the race and then in the splinter group at the front after that. At one stage I was third in that, but was lost about 6 minutes at the end when we needed to find a small climb to get us into goal. Still a great task! What was particularly gratifying that I improved my flying (and my score) with almost every task and finished in the top 10. This year has really fired me up to improve my racing futher!

The top 10; a motley crew?