Bion 37 - flying with the kidsAfter the xAlps we spent some quality time with the family and bought a new Bion 37 (Tandem from Nova). The kids love it and I am very impressed with the handling and performance. After a couple flights with the kids (and Penny flying beside us) we headed down south to Tolmin, Slovenia for the “Serial Cup”. I normally do not fly competitions at all, but this was a great opportunity to combine a couple things at once, such as meeting Brigitta & Dushan, getting to go to Slovenia and meet other new people. The campground Gabrje (at Gabrje) is new and has it’s own landing site and is beside the river (Soca) and below Mrzli.vrh (1306 m high peak). The river is cold, but the kids and Penny didn’t seem to mind, and with such hot days, they were in it every day! Mrzli.vhr is a great mountain to start the day, and there is nothing better to start it with a 1100 meter hike ending at a huge grass field to enjoy the 1st flight of the day. I was lucky with the weather and time to be able to hike it 3 mornings. One morning, Dusan and Idris ( from the UK) joined me, which made this even a better experience.
The comp was very well organized and it is very different and pretty cool to have everything organized for you.
Photo by Hans ter Maat This starts with: when to get up, when to get into the bus, where to fly and when to launch. And to top it off, you fly with a lot of very nice people showing you where it works or not.
The only problem I had was that I enjoyed flying way too much and it took me a while to get into the racing grove. At this cup there where a lot of pretty serious people and in a very short time it was very easy to get behind. First I felt a bit ashamed to be on the slow end but realized pretty quickly that only 1/3 of the pilots were flying up to DHV 2 wings. Now I fly the Mentor2, which is a great and fun wing, but when you race mostly on speed-bar beside the other DHV2 and 2-3 wings, you can see the difference. I was much slower. After I looking down to Tolmintalked to a lot of the other pilots racing very seriously

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about the flights, such as the Adriatic cost line, and certain peaks and other landmarks, I realized that most did not see and experience the flight like I did. Most of them could tell me how beautiful it was before the race started and after that they only saw their instruments and the other pilots, and did not even look around to enjoy the beauty and scenery away and beyond. Well, I guess that is what a race is all about. I think if you have flown here (or anywhere) a couple times, it is easier to get into this “race” mode.

I have to say, I really enjoyed this “organized x-country flying” where you do not need to think about the weather forecast, where to go, how to get back and you meet and party with a lot of new people.
The meet was great, we could fly every day, the organizers and campground staff were great and the rest of the family had a blast as well. Penny would have liked to have flown more, but she did manage to get a few in. We will be back when we are in Europe again.
After the meet we headed down south to Rovinj (Croatia) to spend a couple days at the Adriatic sea on the beach. It was like a different world and just fantastic. Rovinj is a must see town and we really loved to walk through the little streets and checking out the little stores and buildings. When we were heading back to Germany, we agreed to come back again.