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Asturias Open F3F and La Muela

21st May - 2nd June 2008


Wild flowers in front of La Muela

Another Great Trip

This year, five of us - Kevin Newton, Mike Evans, Tom MacPherson, Mark Abbotts and myself - made the ferry crossing to Spain, to attend the Asturias F3F Eurotour competition at Gijon which was attended by 44 competitors. After the competition, Tom and Mark returned home, while Kevin, Mike and I continued to La Muela for a few days of sport flying.

Gracias a nuestros amigos en Espana - nos vemos en Galles o el proximo ano!


You can see photos below, or use the high res gallery on SmugMug.

1. Gijon, the Competition

The competition was very well organised by Club Planeador. Forty-four competitors turned up, from as far afield as Venezuela.

The slopes at nearby Capa Torres, though steep and clean, were situated next to an archaeological site, on a peninsular surrounded by a coal processing plant. We soon got used to the sound and smells coming up from below and the site grew on us as the days progressed.

There were two designated courses, on opposite sides of the peninsular, facing East and West. In addition, the organisers opened up a third slope facing North - it was the first time they had used this slope for F3F, and it provided a very interesting and highly technical course. Great stuff!

Unfortunately, rain coupled with a lack of wind rather spoilt the procedings, and only two rounds were run over the three days. A great shame for competitors, as well as the organisers who put so much planning and effort into the event.

See Club Planeador for the scores.

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2. Gijon, playtime

Gijon has lots of restaurants and bars, so our party took a taxi into town each night from our hotel in the outskirts. In addition the club laid on a fine banquet for the 44 competitors.

After the comp, Joyce and I spent the day in the nearby mountains of the Picos de Europa. The following day I drove down to La Muela to rejoin Kevin and Mike.

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3. The Drive to La Muela

The drive down to La Muela was a mixture of spectacular mountain vistas and flat landscapes, alleviated by flowers which were in full bloom. Beautiful!

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4. La Muela

La Muela can be guaranteed to provide a feast of flying of all types. This year was no different, apart from the weather which at times resembled a winter league event at the Bwlch. At least when the sun shone it did so with a vengeance and we all came back with the obligatory tans.

I managed to do some DS'ing with the Mini Ellipse, test fly the Skorpion, fly my newly-rebuilt Hammond Vector, and annoy everyone with my Longshot DLG. In addition to flying the Sting and Mini Weasel earlier. Fun!

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5. Guadalajara Street Shots

The occasional poor weather provided some opportunities to explore Guadalajara, our traditional base.

Guadalajara is a large town about 30 miles from Madrid, full of character (although not all the locals agree!). It has all the important facilities, i.e. a pizza joint, a Chinese restaurant (run by a Dutchman) and various other eating places which have slowly revealed themselves over the years.

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6. Final stop - Lerma

On route to Bilbao, we broke journey at Lerma, a rather pretty old town south of Burgos. All the Lerma shots were taken in a frenzy before breakfast. Following which, we made a dash for Bilbao in time to catch the ferry back to Portsmouth.

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All images shot with Pentax K100D

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