Keith Forsyth @rkforsyth traveling in the Tantalus Range, with his XXLite2:
Day 1: River crossing and approach to bivy at Lovely Lake.
Day 2: Thirteen hours of climbing route Alpha & Serratus (AD 5.7)
Day 3: Light glacier travel to launch from Dione col (8000’ descent to the valley)
“Chelan, Washington is one of the top flatland paragliding competition arenas in the World! This year the US National Championship’s final leg was held in this part of Washington where pilots get to fly through beautiful mountains, across incredible flatlands with rivers and hanging lakes cutting the wheat filled landscapes where a glacial explosion carved a swath from Canada through Washington and Oregon million of years ago. Passing over historic cities like Coulee City, which houses one of America’s greatest engineering achievements of the 1930’s, Grand Coulee Dam. Grand Coulee Dam is a concrete gravity dam on the Columbia River in the U.S. state of Washington, built to produce hydroelectric power and provide irrigation water.
Racing paragliders is similar to sailboat racing. In this competition 150 competitors launch in an hour-long window and get into position for the start. We then race for 2 to 5 hours across wide expanses ranging from 40 to 100 mile-long courses averaging speeds of 20-40 mph per day. The first person to come in gets 1000 points and one point for every second behind the winner is deducted from competitors who arrive after the day winner. For every four days raced, one day is dropped to take away any luck factors and after seven days the scores are added and we have a winner! It is a glorious game of real life aerial chess that is one of the finest sporting contests in the world, and the fact that we live in a time where we can race around the sky hanging from nylon and string is always celebrated at these events!
This year I was able to hang on and grab the second place spot! I am over the moon thrilled to be able to place with such a stiff level of competition and a huge congrats to Donizete Lemos who after 5 days of racing, deservedly, earned first!
Hopefully we’ll have a World Cup in Chelan next year!!!! “
Report Courtesy of Nick Greece @nicgreece
Photos by Nick Greece and Matt Henzi ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
For full results Hit the Link in BIO
"The US Open in Chelan, WA, USA opened with a 93km task. It was downwind with a short dog leg at Banks Lake and goal in the town of Wilbur. With organized climbs and long interrupted cloud streets the lead gaggle was on course and fast using the tail wind to hit speeds close to 90km/h.
Coming up on the turnpoint at Banks lake I saw a move to make and pushed hard. Coming in relatively low for the day at around 4500’ to be rewarded with a 7+ m/s climb back up to base. The cloud was dark and extended well over the lake downwind. As I left the climb on full bar I realized nobody decided to join me so I flew the last 40km by myself wondering if it was a moment of brilliance or a horrible mistake.
Only 3 or 4 climbs later I made it into goal and watched the rest of the lead gaggle come in about 8 minutes behind. My first 1000 point day and I thoroughly enjoyed the flight.
We finished the task with an average speed of 44km/h and task time of 2h04m.
Task 2 was equally exciting. With a cancelled task the day prior we had some high clouds to contend with and strong south winds ranging from 15-30km/h. With the wind direction consistently from the south, the task was set at 132km with goal only a few kilometers short of the border. The start wasn’t obvious with either Chelan Butte or the flats both viable. Challenging conditions and not much time to get established made the flats fairly risky with a few pilots landing early.
It was another day with great clouds and good climbs. With some cirrus doing some regional shading, climbs maxed out around 5m/s but the winds helped out reaching speeds over 100km/h. The course had pilots flying all different lines. Some in the mountains to the east and west and some zigzagging down the valley. Halfway down courseline a small gaggle including Donizete Lemos, Josh Cohn, Nick Greece and myself had pulled out in front flanked by some pilots further to the west off the optimized line.
Nearing goal and dealing with an increasing amount of shade, climbs became less abundant...” Photo and Text by the leader of the Chelan US Open, Owen Shoemaker @skyadventuresnorthwest
Read the full story, Hit The LINK in BIO
The Mantra M7 is a completely new design incorporating the latest Zeno and Enzo 3 technology in a tight, compact, 3-line package. The profile, planform, and arc are all evolved from the Zeno, and the aspect ratio is a more moderate 6.5. The M7 offer a level of agility, comfort and safety closer to the Delta series, with near-Zeno glide performance. Most importantly, it is an incredibly fun wing to fly!
For more Hit the Link in BIO.
“Last week, Pedro Bernardo in Spain hosted the British Championships. The forecast at the start of the week suggested there was a real risk of not flying all week, but after managing tasks on 4 out of 6 days of up to 100km, I managed both my first task win and overall comp win to claim the title of British Paragliding Champion!
I had my fair share of luck but I managed to finish ahead of the current world number 1, the European champ and the vice-world champ!
I’m now in Portugal ready for the the next round of the Paragliding World Cup!” Photo and text by Harry Bloxham @harry.bloxham