2007 La Madeleine and La Muela
This year I travelled over with Vic Eldridge and Kevin Newton, to fly at the two F3F Eurotour comps at La Madeleine (France) and La Muela (Spain). We sailed on the ferry together from Portsmouth to Bilbao on the P&O 'Pride of Bilbao'. From there it was a short drive back over the border to France for the first event at La Madeleine in the Pyrenees, where we were joined by Mike Evans, as well as pilots from all over Europe.
La Madeleine (France)
Sadly, La Madeleine fell victim to poor weather. Despite some excellent sport flying in the sunny bits, not a single round of competition was completed in three days. The closest we got was on Saturday when 27 out of 32 pilots flew before the wind shifted. A shame not just for us but for the organisers who put in a lot of effort, including setting up three courses.
On Monday afternoon, we drove down in convoy through the Pyrenees towards Spain, via the 8.6 km Somport tunnel, only to be met with a blizzard and mudslide on the Spanish side. The following day, we reached our second destination, La Muela.
La Muela (Spain)
Fabulous La Muela was blessed with excellent conditions on Day One, during which three and a half rounds were flown by the 65 pilots. Day Two saw the weather gremlins return, with only half a round flown (the completion of round 4) before impending rain caused the organisers to call a halt.
The event was not without controversy. A number of pilots found themselves knobbled with a zero score on Day 1, due to an ambiguously worded local safety rule. Fortunately the penalty was rescinded after unofficial protests.
Top 10 as follows (for full results see La Muela F3F):
|1||Iñaki Elizondo Casado||2,808.11|
|4||Arturo Menéndez López||2,769.47|
|5||Sergio Sánchez Conde||2,760.42|
|6||José Luís Álvarez Fernández||2,754.41|
|7||Daniel Portella Doblado||2,671.93|
|9||Carlos Cantero Blancou||2,613.38|
|10||Sergi Subías Calleja||2,606.23|
The competition is only one part of the La Muela experience and those who stayed on were rewarded with better weather, some great sport flying and a warm welcome from our Spanish friends.
My sincere thanks to the organisers of both events. Also to my travelling companions Vic, Kevin and Mike and our partners for making this such a great trip.
Less competition flying than usual means that I have devoted more images to extra curricular activities. All photos shot in RAW with a Pentax *istDS (6 megapixel dSLR). Enjoy!