Davide Giovanelli | The 2000km weekend
Davide had an awesome flight in his Discus 2b last weekend. According to statistics on WeGlide, the flight on Saturday was the second biggest one in Europe with a standard class glider. Together with this masterpiece, he covered more than 2000km in one weekend! We asked him a couple of questions and fortunately, Davide gave us some insights about the amazing flight on Saturday.
How did you prepare?
I saw the day coming. In the previous days I analyzed the weather as best I could and prepared a 1000km task based on the possibilities.
Was the weather as you expected?
No, in the morning the humidity in Valtellina was too high and low clouds blocked the passage. I decided to leave the task and started in the opposite direction. The wave was a surprise. The air was still laminar and allowed me to climb and gain distance with the first leg to France. I knew the Valtellina would dry out and be good in the afternoon. For that reason and because I am not a wave rider I didn't go too far southwest but decided to head back to my area.
Did you need some extra logistics?
Yes, in Locarno to take off at 8 in the morning you need special authorization. During the week I was involved in a training camp in Valbrembo that ended with an Outlanding. A friend from the national team picked me up, but I arrived late in Ticino, and this required special support and effort for the mounting and the dinner.
How was it with the ATC?
Very difficult to coordinate, a lot of people were talking, and also on the way out I could not enter the upper airspace. Nevertheless, I thank them for their support during the airborne phase and for allowing me to fly high into Mt Rosa. Afterward, I stayed on the gliding frequencies.
What were the special parts of the flight? Any challenges to solve, critical Situations, or excitements?
The most challenging part was the wave departure. It is not my style and it is the first time that I use the wave for a distance flight. Especially on the first leg, I was not able to climb much and I was always on the borderline between the rotor and the wave with the fear of going out of the laminar zone and not being able to get back in.
The most critical part was facing the downwind of Monte Rosa and Valsesia after having a little hesitation. The air in the downwind areas was extremely turbulent and the strong wind would not let me climb up the slopes and take me upwind. Although I had a large safety margin, I risked ending the flight halfway up.
The most exciting part was the passage under the snow in Valtellina and as always the possibility to make dynamics above 3500m on the Adamello
The most technical part was to keep the high speed during the whole day and especially to set the leg to cover such a big distance. The results were a free 1000km on 4 legs and on 6 legs 1320.
The most motivating part is when halfway through the flight (6h15) you realize that you have already done 700km, that in three hours you will complete a thousand and that you still have 6 hours of flight left to make the most of.
Do you think there is even more possible in the future?
Besides being my personal record, it seems to be the biggest flight ever made in Europe by a standard class glider. With the Foehn, there is a lot of potentials. I would say that we can still add a few kilometers, trying to lengthen the days and choosing more continuous lines. We'll see, I do not like to make predictions. I prefer to amaze my friends, followers, and the gliding community.