My 2016 Season – News from Silvia in Portugal

My 2016 Season – News from Silvia in Portugal

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In June, less than a week for the beginning of the national competition season, I was prepared for the “fight” to get the best position on the female classification and also on the overall ranking.

I made my homework: since last October I started to read all the new articles. January I changed the glider to Triton 2 Light XS; starting to training visualization of getting goals, and also training on flights, and I made a beautiful beginning training season on that flight I showed to you – XC from Alcaria Ruiva to Monte Gordo Beach… Really amazing

Well, everything seemed so nice, but it was the first time that I was afraid of not going to make good results or validate the female national title (which was mine since 2003). After all, the pilots are getting very good on flying and all of them are changing gear to get more and more competitive also… But this is the year that I have the best equipment ever: Triton 2 Light XS, Genie light Harness, Flymaster Live SD, Beamer 2 parachute… so, why am I with doubts about me, myself and I ???!!!

Liga Nacional 2016


1) National Competition: Too windy, low thermal conditions… Same for all pilots, but some of them made better flights than others! But not my case – Final result – 3th on the female classification (I lost the national title!!! And I was so sad because of that, even thinking that is good to have new people coming… I really think that is no good have “permanently” the title for so many years… it says very much about the national condition of any sport….. but even thinking this, I lost my motivation mode for a while..

My flights – dealing with strong wind and all that no good flight conditions, landing with turbulence and wind – and ….whoouu – my first impression about my Triton 2 Light in competition conditions was incredible – “5 stars”. But even being happy with the glider, I realize that I had the very first important lesson of this competition season: The best equipment does not mean making the best decisions…. Must be the best pilot to increase getting better flights…

2) PWC Serra Estrela: Every day I was on top of the thermals with that many super pilots :) … but after start open…. Puff….they go away.

My flights – dealing with turbulence, and somehow I started to think that probably I was overreacting on the glider to avoid collapses … even that, launching and landing started to be very relaxing after some problems I had in the past…. And that gave me some confidence

3) National League: I was on the pilots comittee for the first time in my competition experiences, and it was interesting job, because we try to decide the best task to do. In this competition, I made goal both tasks: I was third overall on the first task, and I was 8th overall at the second task.

Overall results – 3 place overall :) …. But on this competition, many good national pilots were not there, so I had some advantage about that… 19 pilots…

Liga Nacional 3º lugar

After that, my competition season ended, and I am not so happy with the results, but soooo happy with the glider:

  1. I love the way on the launching time.
  2. I like the way  the speed brakes works. I control more than 80 % of the flying time with the speed brake system!
  3. I love the way I land with or without wind.
  4. I love the way of searching thermals when it gets weak conditions, because I can “survive” trying to find a lift for a while…..
  5. And I love the way that even needing active pilot reactions, it is possible to avoid most of the events, because it is a understandable glider


Liga Nacional EU


25th July – after ending the competition season, the day after, me and my husband with some friends, we went to Castelo de Vide – to fly …. 40º Celsius, on the takeoff. Two vultures came, 10 meters above takeoff and landed on the next rocks, right side…bad signal…me and my husband, we bombed out. At the landing field I think I had something similar to heat stroke, and we decided to go home! Our friends made 130 km flight. We made 250 km by car to get a good night sleep,  a good fish dinner at Setubal (our lovely town) and some rest – till next day. We made the 250 km again to Castelo de Vide to fly.

26th July –  I made a beautiful flight that I needed so much, to fulfil my confidence and to give me more motivation to continue flying. I made 151 km, from Castelo de Vide to Torrecillas de la Tiesa in  6h30. I stopped flying because I had the Guadalupe Mountain in front and despite having about 2000 meters it was not enough to pass the mountain at that late hour of the day…

We were four pilots flying and it was a difficult start. Very early on the day, with very turbulence bubbles (humidity on 11 % – too dry air conditions), not thermals… and was a hard job to survive….

After 20 km – In Valencia de Alcantara I was so low. My friend found one good thermal, with many vultures, but it was so difficult for me to center this thermal. I had no ability to deal with it. I simply could not enter, don’t know why… Well, I thought it could be better to go and try to get some bubbles on the leeside of this thermal. I think I believed more than the reality could give – but I was right!!! And I started to climb better. After that I lost my friends and made my flight almost alone, sometimes talking on radio to fix the better xc route.

After 40 km I flew into a convergence. Above the Tejo river there were many vultures – more than 30 – on 2500 meters. It was incredible. We were together getting the better lifts and all turning on the same direction.

At km 80 I found more vultures (or they found me?) and there were some eagles too. But they were screaming and fighting!!?? After that, they flew away and I started to feel alone. After a while one vulture appeared and it made feel happy and comfortable. Strange feeling if we realize that is “just” a bird…

I passed Cáceres, and after that, a big desert appears in front. Just one main road and nothing more. I made another 50 km, and then, almost suddenly, that big mountain appeared and I realized that I wouldn’t be able to pass it. My friends had already passed it earlier and were still flying. But I had no confidence to go over it. So I landed with 151 km – happily!

I still need to improve:

  1. Preparing the routes to get more information before the XC flights, because now I know now that I also can make good long flights.
  2. Trying to push second bar on my glider. I did not push the second bar, because I am afraid of it. Flying a CCC (it’s the XS size) is probably more demanding…
  3. …. Learn …


SKEW T 26 JULHO 2016 12H