Low Save, High Focus

Low saves are fun!

So why am I shouting “ne!” (“no!” in Bulgarian) over and over in this video? Because I’m in the middle of one of four FAI triangle record attempts I did last week, it’s the middle of the day, and I’m refusing to obey this stupid law of gravity, which appears to be at such odds with my ambitions.

And, man, are low saves intense! They wake you up, don’t they? I’m certainly awake here, as focused as a Leica lens, but the thermal is not releasing, it’s just bubbling at less than 50m from the ground, slowly, bubbling, testing me and the pink extension of my body and mind – this beautiful Enzo, which I’m unfortunately loading a bit much here for such a low-level bubble test, but I hang in it, and up I go, right back in the game, and it’s a major victory – but still I bomb out later, after 199km.

Later in the week however I did make it! After an epic battle against sub-prime conditions of (chronologically) low cloud base, major headwind, crossing a thick barely-thermic mountain, blue-sky anaemic flatlands, and finally 40km in the shade, I managed to squeeze an amazing 14-glide-ratio final glide back into the Sopot valley to beat my own Bulgarian FAI record by 1.6km, setting it at 235.3km.

Which equaled 235.3 in Bulgarian currency (lev), afterwards given to me by my local maecenas, Gabrovetsa, who has pledged to fund every new FAI triangle I make bigger than the previous record (233.6km) with one lev per km. It’s a modest taxi rate, but it makes the pursuit extra fun and fits especially well in corona financial times. So obviously more records are likely coming soon:D!

In the near-absence of competitions and money this summer, researching my own country’s terrain and pushing the boundaries of what’s possible by paraglider seems to be a very reasonable summer plan, and a challenge I’m enjoying.

If you wanna push your own XC limits too and explore the same XC record area of Sopot, you’re welcome to join me and Sopot guru, good friend and African adventure companion Niki Yotov, for our XC Sports Camp between July 26 and August 1 (yassensavov.com/sopot-bulgaria-26-july-1-august/). Cheers!