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Event info

Event will be held on JANUARY 14-20 2018
Online Registration Open 1 August 2017.
Registration and Practice Day January 14th
First task Monday January 15th.
Last task will be on Saturday January 20th.

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Flying site

Valle de Bravo is known for being not only a good place to fly but also for its consistency of many good and reliable flyable days. The best flying season starts on January and it goes until April when the rain season starts.

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How to get here

Valle de Bravo, Mexico

Event info

Event will be held on JANUARY 14-20 2018
Online Registration Open 1 August 2017.
Registration and Practice Day January 14th
First task Monday January 15th.
Last task will be on Saturday January 20th.

Venue
The competition will be based at El Peñon, Take Off in Temascaltepec.

Organization
The event will be organised by Alas del Hombre www.alas.com.mx

Sponsorship
The main sponsor of the event will be ALAS DEL HOMBRE, AT&T and OZONE

Flying site

Valle de Bravo is known for being not only a good place to fly but also for its consistency of many good and reliable flyable days. The best flying season starts on January and it goes until April when the rain season starts. Rainy days are also flyable for a few hours, just don´t expect the best XC conditions. Rain season ends in September and from then to December days are usually very mellow and nice to fly, perfect conditions for students, beginners or just relax flying.

Take off : One of the best flying sites in Mexico. During the months of December to March the conditions allow for flights on the 100's km order, with cloud bases of 4,500 plus meters MSL. The launch was expanded on 2008 by the government of the Estado de Mexico as part of the improvements for the Mexico 2009 FAI Paragliding Worlds Championship. There's a lot of room for parking and public bathrooms.
GPS coordinates, Take off: 19°3'41" (19.0616)N; 100°5'27" (100.091)W - Elevation : 2336 m.

Landing : The official landing site is a big grass field of 2.5km on the pleteu right in front of the launch. Snaks and drinks are available at the landing on the weekends and flying season.
GPS coordinates, Landing: 19°2'45" (19.0459)N; 100°6'32" (100.109)W - Elevation : 1775 m.

Going there: Take the road from Valle de Bravo to Temascaltepec and turn right in the Albarrada road sign. Follow the signs on the dirt road to the launch.

XC Routes: The favorite cross country flight is in the direction of Valle de Bravo, to land on the lakeside landing of Santa Maria, 14km to the NNW. Flying to any other direction is perfectly possible, including the big volcano (Nevado de Toluca). Auto retrieve by rural communal taxi cabs is easy and very cheap.


Weather hazards: From February to the beginning of the rain season (usually June) the conditions get stronger, with rough air and strong winds almost all day. During the rain season conditions are mellow, but there is risk of fast overdeveloping, with strong thunderstorms. Rain season usually ends on September or October, from there to December conditions are really good getting stronger every day. Most days on the zone are blue days with blue thermals, but expect really strong thermals on the flying season.

Flight regulation: Basically none, but pay attention to the small airstrip on the plateau were the landing field is, sometimes you can find hang glider towing operations. There's another small airstrip for small airplanes on the way to Valle de Bravo, common VFR rules apply.


Flying areas: Valle has two very different spots for flying; the first one is “La Torre” (The Tower), this is really close from town and just about a mile and a half distance from the landing spot right at the shore of the lake (30 minutes ride up). This is a ridge soaring area and then a flight over the town with a great view. This is the basic place for medium and beginner pilots and the usual spot for the commercial tandem flights.

The launch site is very small and steep, be sure you know how to properly do a reverse launch, it also might be too crowded during weekends because of the whole local tandem commercial operation, be sure to respect the order of the line for launching. Good kiting skills are also good for you and your glider; the concrete platform of the launch site is quite abrasive for the glider if you drag it around too much.

Beware the lake landing zone is small. If you are not used to small landing zones you might not want to land there. If you do land there be willing to go in the water rather than crash into a fence or trees. You can do your approach over land or over the lake, but I will suggest doing it over the water if you are not fully able to control your glide.

Most of the run over the landing zone is done basically sideways to the wind, keep this on mind for your approach speed and always remember to check the windsocks and water trails over the lake before landing, especially on the afternoon when the wind direction usually changes completely.

You will find plenty of kids at the landing offering you to fold your glider and put all your gear back into the backpack. Most pilots will reject this because they will not trust the folding to anyone else but themselves and specially not to a bunch of kids. Well, I bet you a beer at the landing zone, that most of those kids can fold your glider and setup your great much better than you do!

Use this service, make them feel useful, they are just trying to work, earn some money and be together with the paraglider pilots they hugely admire, share some words with them if you can, they will really appreciate it. Usual "fee" for the service is less of a euro, but you can give them more if you feel like or share them some candies or something.

The next flying site to discuss is the world famous “El Peñón” (The Big Rock). El Peñón is a competition level place and great for some good XC about nine linear miles or 14 Kms. away from Valle, XC from El Peñón to Valle is a local tradition. Some say this is the best place to fly in México (XC), and it’s actually were annual international competition “Monarca Paragliding Cup” takes place every year in January plus one FAI World Championship in 2009 and one PWC Super Final in 2012.

I would recommend flying El Peñón early in the morning when the day just starts to turn on or late at the afternoon glassoff to prevent the blasting of the turbulent thermals of El Peñón, at least a couple of times until you get familiarized with the place. Avoid launching between noon and 3:00 PM on sunny days of the high season. Flying mid day at El Peñón is about big air all over the place, some particular well known thermal trigger spots like The Wall, Crazy Thermal, G-Spot and many others, can be really strong and turbulent. Flying El Peñón is tricky; it has fooled more than one before! But if you can catch up with the Peñon’s ways, you can sure have some helluva ride.

The launch area is wide and grassy and it´s hardly crowded even with many pilots trying to takeoff. Reverse launch is a must and be ready for a bumpy ride from the very few first seconds of your flight, so no fooling around with your harness, brake handles, instruments or anything else at least until you get high, never right in front of the launch area. Try to quickly get as high as possible at the launch, they are many thermals coming up all the time wide spread, if you´re flying to the Peñón itself or to the back, try to gain at least 400/500 Mts. over the launch for a safe ride.

There are a few classic XC routes to Valle, but I would recommend trying first the Peñitas/Zacamecate/Jovan/CocaCola/Valle route which runs basically over the main road to the Peñón you will use to reach the launch, so it´s pretty intuitive. Peñitas would be the "backwards piano", kind of a tricky spot but plenty of room to land. Right next to Peñitas is the Zacamecate mountain which is a nice catapult to reach cloud base. The Jován is a small road restaurant which is easy to reach on your first XC with 2 or 3 thermal climbs, food is very good and cheap, and there´s plenty of room to land nearby.

The piano landing zone of the Peñón is quite big and it´s over a plateau called "Africa" because of its shape. If you´re not planning to leave the valley for a XC and don´t like rough conditions just be sure not to try to land there at noon or you will find thermal power boosting you up again for hours making your landing quite hard and scary. The ravine before the piano landing zone and plateau can be used as a sink hole to quickly lose some height, but be careful to do your final approach over the plateau and not too low over the ravine or you could sink into the rotor and spend some really hard time there. there you will find many skilled kids that can fold your wing pretty well for about less than an euro too.

Try to get briefed before doing any XC to know where you can land, but most specially were you can´t land! You will find some big fancy states were they don't like us landing there, sometimes you might be greeted by their security personal with guns and have a hard time to leave the place. Funny enough it´s almost only on those fancy states were you could find yourself on trouble after landing there, there's a huge misunderstanding about the forbidden places to land when it comes to regular farming fields; most of the time farmers just expect you to give some symbolical retribution for the use of their private properties! Most pilots won't give anything to these people and even be rude with them, this is why they are not always welcome. Remember, this is a poor country and all they ask is about an euro per landing on their fields, which is pretty reasonable if you ask me.

For example, the race track behind the Jován is usually avoided by most pilots because the land care keeper of the place is considerate a dangerous man with a shotgun. Truth is, I always land there when I´m heading to eat at the Jován... I always chat with the guy or his kids, let his kids fold my glider and give him something on retribution so I´m always quite welcome to land there! I don't always pay except for the folding (which is actual work); I usually carry cigarettes and M&M candies; I share a chat and a couple of cigarettes to the land care keeper (they all smoke) and some M&M candies to the children (they won't melt and you can share many of those), this is usually much more appreciated than money since it shows you care for them.

When landing at any rural zone, be careful with some not so evident hazards you might not see from high; most of the time dark spots in the grass doesn't mean dark grass but dark brown rocks instead of grey ones. Most bushes on the dry zones have some sort of thorns or edgy splinters that might damage your glider, greener bushes are most of the time safer. Beware of wire fences, they are everywhere and usually setup with thin sticks so they are hard to spot from the air. Also try to avoid fields with animals if possible, not only you will scare the animals but also you might get some undesirable stains on your glider!

If you go for XC flights, another important factor to take on account is that this place is a little bit illogical sometimes; wind directions and speed may be different every day in different nearby spots, so I know more than just a few pilots have flown directly to a rotor zone expecting to find lift. Can´t blame anyone, this have happen to me many times over many years and I haven´t still figured out the whole picture here. It's usual to be able to see smoke all the time somewhere around, use any reference you can to keep track of the wind. Blue days are very common in Valle, try to learn to read the ground for thermal triggers as much as possible, this is very handy in this place!

You will find everybody at Valle very friendly and cooperative, about half of the local pilots speak at least some basic English. The first I recommend to do at your arrival would be visiting the gang at the landing at “Santa María”, remember to pay your temporal (3 month) local club fee there. Shuttles from the different local clubs for both La Torre and El Peñón destinations depart from the landing field all the time and directly from the local clubs (all of them at a walk distance from the landing field, they are quite obvious if you follow the main street close to the lake), just be sure to board the correct shuttle to La Torre or The Peñón depending on your flight intentions. Usual fee is around 3 euros for La Torre or 6 euros to El Peñón.

Organizers

Alas del Hombre
Alas del Hombre Alas
Sponsor
Miguel Gutierrez
General Director

Selection and entry fee

$275 until November 30th.
$325 from December 1st.

Special Price Monarca Open and Pre-PWC Zapotiltic both events $400 USD

For the fee, organizers will conduct the competitions and provide:
Transportation to take off and retrieval, snack pack & water, maps, sponsors gifts and welcome dinner.
Payment details will be informed by the organizers by email.

Prize fund and scoring categories

Classes will be based on EN certification.
There will be five Classes: Fun, Recreation, Sport, X-Class and Competition Class plus a Rookie class and a Womens class.

Fun - EN A
Recreation - EN B or below
Sport - EN C or below
X-Class - EN D or below
Competition Class CCC gliders designed for PWC or below

General schedule

Sunday, Jan 14, 2017
07:30 - 16:30 - Official training day
09:00 - 16:30 - Official Registration and equipment inspection
17:30 - 18:30 - Mandatory Safety Briefing
20:00 - Welcome Dinner
20:30 - Opening Ceremony

Monday, Jan 15, - Saturday, Jan 20, 2017
Competition days

Saturday, Jan 20, 2017
19:00 - Prize-giving and closing ceremony

Daily schedule

08:00 - Headquarter opens
09:30 - Transport to take-off
11:00 - Meet Director / Task and Safety Committee meetings
11:15 - Pilots' briefing / Previous task official results / Task definitio
12:30 - Take-off window opens
16:30 - Scoring office opens
22:00 - Provisional results

Accommodation and Activities

You can review all the options in: http://monarcaopen.com/travelinfo.php

How to get here

IF YOU NEED INFORMATION OR REQUEST SPECIAL NEEDS PLEASE CONTACT: alas@alas.com.mx

TRANSPORTATION FROM MEXICO CITY TO VALLE DE BRAVO: Travel from Mexico City Airport y EL CAMINANTE





SHUTTLES FROM MEXICO CITY INT. AIRPORT-VALLE DE DE BRAVO
We have organize shuttle form Mexico City Airport to Valle de Bravo

Costs:

1-2 people $1,200pesos (small car)
3-5 people $1,800pesos (smal Van 7 PAX)
6-10 PEOPLE $3,300 (Van 14 PAX)
Normal time is 3:00 hrs
Toll highway $300+ pesos 2:00 hrs

Please contact:
RICARDO TOVAR (MONARCA OPEN Transportation coordinator)
tovr76@hotmail.com
CELL PHONE: 5546165829

Sta Maria Ahuacatlan, 51200 Valle de Bravo, Méx., México
Valle de Bravo MX

Plane

First, get your flight directly to Mexico City. Having the extra ride on an airplane to the Toluca airport is a waste of money and not that much time saving as you could believe.

Bus

To take a bus ride to Valle go to bus station named "Observatorio" (Observatory). Taxi from Mexico airport to bus station cost $200 Mexican pesos (around 11 euros)

Time schedules for the Valle the bravo bus may vary, but basically you will find daily departures from 5:00 AM up to 5:00 PM, one every hour. (For example, 5:15, 6:15, 7:15 and so on)
Be sure to buy and to ride the "Libramiento" bus route to Valle and *NOT* the "Amanalco" route. The new "Libramiento" route will take you to Valle in less than three hours thanks to the fact that about half of the way uses the new highway.

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