After winning in 2010 I knew that I would have to return to Borzhava once again, this time however I wasn’t there to win but party, see my friends, meet some new ones and fly tandem. All of these goals were achieved and what a great time we all had.The trip started 9am on the Friday before the comp started, from the lessons that we had learned the previous year we knew that we would be heading through Uzhhorod, this time it was even easier. As we approached the boarder crossing there were only 2 cars ahead of us in the queue. In addition to the good luck with the size of the queue, since our last crossing they had nullified the need to fill out paperwork at passport control which automatically saved us around 20 mins. the entire process lasted about 15mins which included showing what was in our oversized backpacks that do tend to attract attention no matter what part of the world we travel to.
Entering the Ukraine you automatically feel yourself drifting back in time, this is what the majority of Europe looked like 30-40 even 50 years ago. The roads are wide and relatively straight with less damage than would be expected seeing that the Ukraine is meant to be so much worse than Europe. one thing that I like in comparison to some countries in Europe you have straight roads for 10-15kms then you have a village and once again you have straight roads. I hate Europe’s littered look when your driving, at times you don’t even know when one town ends and the next begins its just one long stretch of buildings left right and center limiting your driving speeds and making coverage of long distances a nightmare.
almost 5hrs after leaving home we arrive at our destination, even though it is almost 30 degrees the air has been cooled by the mountain streams and forests, a refreshing change after driving through the flat lands with no AC. apart from the organizers we are the first ones at the comp, over the next few hours a couple more pilots arrive with their families. we settle down to a nice dinner and a couple of beers to chat with the locals about what has been happening over the last year since we saw each other last.
my normal travel kit, one pack solo comp gear, the second tandem gear, small pack in the middle clothes and electronics. sleeping bag, mattress, spare shoes all squeezed into any vacant space between gliders and harnesses, all this encourages you to go minimalistic.
Saturday brings with it some great weather and the remainder of the competitors, I head on up the hill with one of the girls to fly tandem. what a great day to fly with a passenger, cloud base at around 2200m ASL and very wide and calm thermals. flying 10-15mins in a straight line with constant lift is a nice surprise compared to what I normally fly in.
we spend just over an hour and a half in the tandem when my passenger decides that she’s had enough and would like to land, so a couple of wingover and spirals to finish the flight, big ears and hmmm we are still going up. I ask my passenger if she wants to land soon or if she can hold on? she answers “soon”. so we spiral away losing about 150m each spiral with a break in between for her to catch her breath. we finally land and head over to the comp office to stow away the glider and grab a beer before the opening ceremony begins.
The next week came up with 6 flyable days, 5 tasks 2 of which I decided to fly tandem in, great company and awesome parties.
More to come once I find some motivation to do a write up of each day but you will get the idea from the video