Kocot team – Coming back to day 3

Published on
30 June 2022

It may be hard to believe, but there is really not much time to write many sentences during the race, and in the evening there is more than enough to do. Sleeping early is almost impossible.

Coming back to day 3, we started from what looked like a great spot to get directly to Accous (TP2) and so we began the ascent. We took a smaller path which ended up being a mix of mud and cow poo, turning into horse and goat poo in between high and wet grass. At the same time, clouds were building at multiple altitudes fully covering our summit.

After a long traverse and seeing no perspective of launching, we started a steep descent until the cloud base, where it was possible to take off. Unfortunately, I was short of the TP by only a few meters. The lift indicated by the birds wasn’t enough. Having no other options, I had to land in bushes that hid some rocks.

Time to hike up to the TP and next take off, and finally, the sky cleared and beautiful cumulus clouds came up. However, flying from Accous is far from obvious. From the south it is blocked by airspaces, cloud base is low and the valley is extremely windy. In big parts, there are no landings. When I found myself on a lee side, I decided to not risk further and land in a last big spot, without cables.

Now the real Pyrenees start – marked paths vanishing, blocked by bushes and barb wire. It took me 40 minutes just to get back to the road!

After a long walk, it is clear that I am 20 minutes short to still fly down the valley. The forecast for day 4 is clear: strong winds, 40km/h or more. Once again, we see those in front gaining a lot of ground from what started as a tiny difference.

During my first take off, I dropped my variometer, gained some meters without it and had top land to get it back. One vario lost less, and we would sleep 30km further. The funny part is that I’ve never dropped my vario before…

Without these guys we would not have the race.

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