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Damien LACAZE prepares the superfinal PWCA

Here we are, the plane ticket for the 2018 Superfinal is taken! Direction Brazil and the site of Baixo Guandu in 2 weeks.

The year 2018 was for me among the most loaded (at all levels) I've ever lived... 5 weeks of training DEJEPS, 6 weeks of experience in Pakistan with all the preparation it implies, 5 weeks of competitions and, above all, 1 job, a family life and a baby who arrives! You might as well say that I have a companion in gold...

I realized at the end of the year that it was too much, and when you do the quantity, you lose a lot of quality. In short, this too many solicitations has made me to prioritize my concentration... and therefore be less efficient in a lot of areas. That's why I was not surprised to have made one of my worst competition season since I was on the World Cup circuit, despite a sustained participation (5 weeks is a lot for me).

No surprise either, my selection at the superfinal was late (due to my bad results). Indeed, the superfinal is the concentration of all the best drivers of the PWCA circuit of the past year. The selection is therefore logically related to the results on these worlds cups. It is a kind of "world Championship" annual, the level is at least equivalent to the world Championships organized by the FAI because the drivers select according to their level only, and not thanks to quotas per country. This explains why we are still a large number of French people (at least 30 this year). Because France is one of the most dynamic Nation in our business. The competition lasts 11 days, as it is at the end of the year, it is often located in the southern hemisphere or in warm countries to find conditions that fly.

It is year, it takes place a little later than usual, it will be from 20 to 30 March. 

How to prepare for such an event in the middle of winter? Hard to get flying hours, volume under our racing sails this season! The wealthiest pay a few weeks in the sun (Colombia, Brazil, South Africa) to get in the bath. There are sometimes opens organized a few weeks before and you see a lot of top pilots getting there in order to get ready.

For others, like me, we count a lot on our achievements... But this year we are fortunate to have an exceptional month of February. We can do thermal (real) at home! The Gourdon competition of the last WE was a valuable training. This allowed me to find racing sensations after 3 months without flying under my enzo3. I also tamed my beautiful Kanibal Race 2 which was brand new. 7am of flight over 3 days, real thermals, and above all a fairly high level since quite a few pilots from the French pole were there. Even if the playground does not look like Brazil at all, in Gourdon we walk a lot on ridges by accelerating while in Brazil it is the flight of plain, I am very glad to have felt at ease, flying fast, anticipating the changes of rhythms , and making me happy. I tweaked the last settings of my Kanibal, it is perfect for racing. Beautiful, very comfortable and stable in accelerated flight, it can easily instability in the thermals by playing on the setting of ABS. In the end, I am super happy with my 2nd place and so much to have won the second round.

The weather is still insolent these days, I take the opportunity to fly home in conditions that I do not usually meet (snow, no breeze, thermals in different places). It's always good to learn to fly in his valley and get out of known patterns. I hope to pile up a few more hours of flight before departure.

Strategy side, I'll try to relax. That's kind of my problem. I often put too much pressure on myself and it paralyzes me. I'm not going to win, but I won't spit on a top 10! A watchword "the provisional ranking does not exist!" This is what Luc, my mentor and godfather at the French pole, always told me. Live every round as it comes, always want to fly, for fun, the result comes next!

Damien Lacaze