I've spent the whole morning here in Fuschl doing equipment and branding checks. The organisation here are checking every detail of everyone's gear - any modifications are being thoroughly checked - they seem to be being particulalry strict on harnesses. Some peoples kit is very impressive - the most minimalist I've seen so far is Vincent Sprungli's gear, including a very basic harness with no speed system, back protection, pod or even a stirrup! I thought I was doing well with minimum equipment weighing in at 8.7kg, but it seems some people have got it quite a bit lower than that! Still, the average is closer to 10kg so I'm happy.
Reserve loadings are being carefully checked, and here I need to move up to a larger reserve as I was a whisker over the maximum load for my reserve. Doh! The debate about 2-liners doesn't seem to be completely solved - it seems they are going to be allowed in the comp, but there may still be some hurdles for the pilots of these wings. Last thing I know for sure was from speaking to Martin Muller (R11 pilot) yesterday afternoon he undserstood that competitors on 2-liners may need to do some additional in-flight tests. Not sure that is actually happening now though as we received this email from Christophe Weber, race director this morning:
to solve the problem about not certified gliders competing in X-Alps 2011 we need a declaration of the manufacturer of the glider telling that you are having sufficient experience to fly this wing in the X-Alps competition.
Otherwise we have to force you to participate with a certified glider.
We will inform your manufacturer about this situation asking for the needed document."
Of course this is for all uncertified wings (which includes almost every pilot as we are all on lightweight versions of standard wings even where we are flying 'serial wings'). So for example my lightweight M4 is a standard M4 except in lighter fabric and different risers, but that means it is not certified.