This can be a very busy site so please follow the local etiquette and instructions of the site monitor. Prepare you equipment off of the mat and get clipped in ready to fly. Only go onto the mat when you’re ready to take off. Be polite but sometimes you need to be assertive!. If there’s a group of you or you have a driver, help each other to layout on the mat.
You’ll often find a bus load of tandems will turn up and block the whole take off – It’s not worth getting into an argument!!
Ok now to the positive stuff…
Annecy is an afternoon site. For those wanting to go XC you will rarely take off before 13:00. Once the site starts working you will be taking off in thermo-dynamic conditions and often a slight cross wind. Feel the wind and be ready to turn your wing into wind. Make sure you are in full control before taking off and keep a solid hold on the glider until you are clear.
As the afternoon goes on the thermals combined with valley wind can become very stong and often don’t die down until the evening when the flying becomes really mellow.
It’s huge but it’s over 7km away so make sure you don’t get too low before setting off. In normal conditions it’s a downwind glide with the valley wind assisting you but with strong south or south west winds you might not make it from below take off height.
The field is shared by hangies and paragliders see diagram. It’s a massive field but still needs concentration you’d be amazed how many miss it!!!
The valley wind is often strong during the day so stay up wind as long as possible and don’t go beyond the back of the field.
In the evening pilots often get caught out by a katabatic wind coming out of the Bauges. You fly to the field in a northerly valley flow but the ground level wind is often 180 degrees out. Keep and eye on the windsocks and don’t follow the muppet in front. (top tip – if you feel convergence around the field – the wind is likely to change)
At Annecy these are usually marked by other gliders!
Strong thermals mixed with valley wind on take off can be very strong – don’t fly unless your ground and air skills are up to it.
Strong North and North Easterly meteo winds can assist already strong valley winds. If you see white caps on the lake think about going to land at Doussard.
Very strong westerlies can make the air above Doussard turbulent.
Strong south or south westerlies may cause problems reaching Doussard – make sure you’re familiar with the emergency field at Verthier.
Possible XC Routes
To be continued…..