IMG_8838Airfield “Il Gabbiano”, San Vincenzo (Livorno).

The theme of the day seem trivial, it is simply to fly a task route of about 40 km over the water. We fly from “Il Gabbiano” to Piombino and on to the Island of Elba!


What’s more, IMG_9364the day is “seasoned” with steady 25 kt wind from the North. The trio is in considerable difficulty, the theme of today, perhaps the shortest ever awarded in a flying competition, is likely to be among the most difficult and demanding, especially on a psychological level. The flight conditions, in terms of prevailing wind, is close to the limit for lightweight aircraft like these. Even when taking into consideration the availability of the electric motor, the fact that our pilots will be self-launching and flying over water is challenge is not insignificant.

Stefano will break the ice, starting first, the track-oriented E-W and taking into account the strong northerly wind, off slightly diagonally along the runway center line, 50 meters taxiway and the glider is in flight. Riccardo follows a shortly after, in pursuit of Stefano. The latter, without losing too much time, heads directly for Piombino, using the minimum motor power to conserve as much of the the available energy as possible.

Meanwhile, Riccardo decides to proceed more cautiously, gaining altitude over the Tuscan coast and after some hard work is able to gain a valuable 1300 m to cloud-base, which ought to see him safely over the sea towards the airport of Marina di Campo. However it is precisely this sea which prevents Riky from completing the task. Who knows how many times he has flown is windy conditions and even over inhospitable terrain, but here the situation is completely different, its a sea crossing!
Stefano Ghiorzo reached the coast of Elba Island at about 250 m and there managed to exploit the dynamics of the north ridge of the island yielding good +4 m/s climbs, and a well deserved breath of fresh air!


From there, its a simple routine, just another few kilometers to the west, call the tower to announce his arrival, followed by a textbook circuit and landing. The advantage gained by Stefano on his pursuers, who did not complete the task, is now unsurpassable.