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Andalucia .Algodonales. Spring\ Summer  BGD Cure


Missed my blogs due to lack of time and a computer. Work finished and too hot to go out in the sun in the day here now. Between work have done some decent flying since my last post in Feb. Best flight in March was a nice Out and Return to Ronda.


April an interesting flight heading NE from Lijar into the boonies, highs and lows and a good tailwind made for a good day but with the last client down before Ecija it was time to land 63km.


May saw my tandem assessment and a nice XC tandem with Ross mate Steve. (a tandem pilot but only done coastal soaring) we had a cracking flight just short of Osuna 40km and Steve was amazed as he had never done XC before. He was gutted when we landed but we could not find another thermal.


Great to catch up with all the SWW members who enjoyed a great weeks flying getting in the hours and xc,as well as some partying thrown in.


In June got in a nice attempted triangle. Heading out East to Pruna then Arriate-Ronda where I hit a headwind. slowly I managed to work it back to Montecorto but decked it there 56km of an attempted 70km FAI.


A few days off saw me and Ross zooming up North in his car to Pedro Bernado. Spanish National Cat 2 comp on and great to fly with so many good pilots. Not entered but managed to stick a task in my gps. Completed the 80km zig -zag round the flats getting all the waypoints. I flew over the goal field but instead of landing carried on back to Pedro  Bernado to try and tag launch. didn't get the height to quite make it but a great flight.


Unfortunately we had to leave the next day. A day when a 165km open distance task to Goal North of Avila was set. 70 odd pilots (half the field) made goal> It would have been great to fly.


On break until the season starts in September now. Will be heading up to Piedrahita (Sun 23/ 3 weeks) to join Mike Thomas and more. Hoping for some good XC and circuit flights if possible.


You can follow our flights on the Livetrack 24 link on this website or the Flymaster Live site.




Happy flying to all back home. I am missing the green grass.
Piedrahita. (Pena Negra) 21 Jul- 15 Aug  BGD Cure




Escaping the heat of Southern Spain I sped up North with some locals in the van. C.I.V.A were doing a weeks trip and I wold join them for the Saturday flying before heading to Flypiedrahita with Steve Ham(3 weeks).


The group decided to fly Candelario, a site situated high above Bejar some 40km east of Piedrahita. A spanish Nationals comp had just finished there and some good flights had been done.


A tricky shallow take off which nearly had me coming back in below. But away in a good climb out front it was heading east down some Interesting landscape, passing over a dis-used ski slope and down a spine to a lower ridge.


A good solid climb here saw a few of us make it high over El Barco and onto the Piedrahita ridge. Passing launch its all working so on to the pass. Lack of patience and height I took a climb over and was rewarded with some rough broken climbs but not enough to work it back up. With a very strong wind down low,I picked a big field and was on the deck for 68km.


Met up with Steve Ham and the group. First few days were tricky with Northerlies it was direction Barco before the wind picked up.


Westerlies followed but no your classic Piedrahita days. Convergence lines always setting up in the Southern mountains, and the air was generally rough and thermals broken some days. Over the next days I managed to fly the 55km to Avila 6 times but always finding a headwind. Trying to fly back was thwarted by headwinds as well.


On Aug 1 another tricky slow day saw our gaggle struggling at the pass then slow flying in the Avila valley with tricky changeable winds again. There was talk of our gaggle opting to land at the usual cafe before Avila but beyond Avila sailpanes were climbingup and convergence cloud could be seen in the distance.


Also I had landed at Avila so many times I had vowed to buy a house if I landed there again Wink


We were all back in the game and I tapped the waypoint for Segovia goal field on my Gps.  I was chasing Steve and a client but soon overtook them as they got low before a large tree-lined river gorge and went back for a thermal.


After this big gorge I got low myself and had to patiently work a slow lazy climb back up along side the windmill hill before Villacastin. This payed off as then the second half of the flight turned into a much easier affair. Flying alone I climbed quickup to 2800m where I went on bar to try and stay below airspace height.


Sailpanes scattered around in good climbs and the boys voices onthe Radio showed there was still quite a few of us flying on Smile


With Segovia up front I was caught up by Neil Brown on his Omega x-alps. We passed over Segovia Hospital goal field with too much height and time left in the day to land so decided to carry on towards Arcones.


Unfortunately we were down some 10km on at Torrecaballeros in the same field. A hard fought flight and a PB for us both. 6hrs in the air and  125km 8)
5 of the other guys were down in Segovia so a great day for the group and lots of PB's.


Landing early some days  meant an afternoon flight. Sometimes these were great with lifty smooth air to watch the sunset. On one occasion were able to push out 10km from launch and just kept going up. Steve mentioned we should get down before dark and we really struggled. Steve on his tandem and me and Peggy above really had to work it to get down by 9:30 pm.


14th Aug looked a classic sky with streets of Convergence downwind.But strong wind over the back at Pena Negra and too strong at La Lastra in the day.


A nice afternoon at La Lastra saw us all take off at 7pm and climb over the back in smooth lifty air. Some downwind ridging and thermals saw us back to Piedrahita and out to Malpartida de Corneja. We then managed to push into a headwind to land at town. A beautiful afternoon flight.


A great trip this year and although conditions tricky and rough somedays, non flyable days totalled 3 days in 3 weeks. chances of flying twice a day. Hours for the trip totalled 45hr 45min.


Thanks to Steve and Puri and Esther at Flypiedrahita.




24/08  Poniente    BGD Cure


I've arrived back in Algodonales a bit early. Nobody around and its hitting well over 40 degrees some days. Me and Marc spot a decent forecast and decide to go up for 1pm.


Only the 2 of us on launch the cycles are good at 2pm and we launch our Cures and plan to stick together and fly NE direction Cordoba. Its starts off very slow with lazy climbs as we drift towards the foothills before Olvera. The usual climb there takes us up well above 2000m and it looks like the days warming up.


Another climb around Pruna and Marc is much higher and pushing on. I pass the El Penon mountain and fly towards Algamitas but the thermals and wind are all over the place. A mesage /pin from Marc shows he has landed further on.


I decide to try and fly back home, cruising around at ridge height (900m) for a while its rough and hard work. I drift towards the main road and the NW facing ridge. Its works and one powerful "hand of God" thermal picks me up. So strong some tension in the pod rips open the right hand pod zip ( a problem I thought I'd solved with new zips recently)


Safety wise no problem but its uncomfortable. I decide to carry on as its so lifty and getting high is safer. Its an easy glide over Setenil , Ronda la Vieja and then to Ronda. It's all going up and rough but I decide to take it slow.


No chance of completing a triangle to Algo (strong headwind. Not forecast) is a shame as blue sky base is nearly 3000m. I decide to 360 in sink which is not easy and land at the Don Benito Hotel (bus stop)


The trees below are bending over but landing is ok with the C risers and a quick run behind the wing. Its nice to be on the ground.


I wait at the bus stop but a car going to Algo picks me up. He says he always picks up hitch-hikers/ paragliders which is rare in Spain.


63km tracklog. I have failed this attempted 85km triangle twice now but will do on the right day. 3hrs50 airtime.