Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The Long Drive To Rio

It was now time to say goodbye to lovely Brasilia and head down to the big city of Rio De Janeiro. We left at 7:30am and headed for Belo Horizonte some 740kms away on a average road with bad drivers.. It was nice hot and the terrain was very dry rolling hills with cloudbase at about 12,000ft. About 40kms out from Belo Horizonte we had a front tyre blow out and managed to get off the road the safely and believe or not we were only about 100 metres from a tyre repair place. Unfortunately the tyre was stuffed so Gabor and I changed the tyre and kept driving to Belo where we found a big pirelli tyre centre and had to buy a new front tyre to continue our journey..1 hour later we were back on the road with only 450kms left. We still needed to eat dinner so after a couple more hours of driving we found a place that had a nice hotel with a bar and dinner downstairs so we decided to pull up camp cause it had already been 12 hours of driving and I was stuffed. We quickly settled into the room went downstairs ordered dinner along with some caparinhas. We stayed here untill closing getting drunk and telling stories from our recent travels. This was by far one of the cheapest places we had been as it was out in the sticks. The whole night including hotel dinner getting drunk and also breakfast cost us $50 aussie for both of us, Not bad hey!!! We then woke up a little hungover and continued the rest of the drive into Rio through the beautiful mountains in Petropolis. We arrived around miday and decided to stay in Copacabana so that Gabor could experience a night out again but this time in the big touristic city. Wow I think he is a bad influence on me before this trip I could count how many times I have drunk alcohol on my hands and now it seems that it is normal to wake up with a hangover!!! Yes that means we had another big night so if any of this does not make sense you can blame Gabor for getting me drunk once again!!!! Well that is all my brain can type right now so I will keep you updated as the trip unfolds around Rio!

The Party Boys

Where to begin.... The night started off in Dorrivals room drinking a bottle or two of Red Bull and vodka. The vodka here is so cheap that I could afford to buy nearly the most expensive 1 litre bottle for $7 aussie bucks and well the Red Bull was free. So the night was ticking on so we thought that we had better go to the presentation party now at 11pm so that we did not miss the awards ceremony. When we arrived there it was a half indoor half outdoor party with a band playing outside and hardcore dance music inside. We quickly settled into some capirinhas and cruised the party looking for other pilots. At about 1 am it was now time for the presentation so the band stopped and everyone gathered around to see who the champions were. When you are standing up there on the stage there are so many people that you have a hard time believing your receiving an award for hanggliding and think you must be a king or something like that!! Yes well Gugga was the champion for the week after passing Maskara on the last day to hold on to his title from last year. I would love to tell you more about the party but to be honest it starts getting blurry after now all I can remember is that Gabor and I stumbled into the room at 6am and slept untill midday. I think we have some photos so when I get home I will post a few on the blog.
Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Scores For Brazil

To check out the scores you will need to click on the pdf file on the right side of the open results!! I hope you can figure it out.. Click here for Results
Sunday, August 28, 2005

Last Day For The Litespeeds!!!

Well today was looking like a day that the scores would change around with a little overcast sky´s and a bit more wind. They set a 92kms task with 1 TP down the ridge towards Formosa then to the esplanda. We had to start to the left of launch today which was interesting for spectators as we all went flying past in a huge gaggle. I once again had a bad start but decided to cross the gap low and was rewarded with a good climb on the otherside and this caught me back up to the lead gaggle. There was betinho,nene,gugga,maskara,michele and I all heading down the ridge towards the waterfall where I hit a light thermal and did a few circles cause I wanted to take some pictures of the scenic waterfall that we fly over. Nene,Gugga and Maskara decided to keep going past the waterfall to the next ridge to get upwind of the turnpoint. Betinho and I went straight onto the plateau and was rewarded with some good lift and the rest of the gaggle behind followed. I could see the top 3 pilots still trying to get up back on the ridge a good 5kms behind now. Betinho, Ferro, cambequira and I were now just rounding the turnpoint and headed for goal still 50kms away. Betinho and I pushed on low while the others hung back and hit one just on the edge of the forest but it was not that strong and the others came in above us. We all then headed off for planatina and Betinho now much lower hit one just after town and we waited for him to come up as it was shaded in front and we were approaching the high ground. I was now about 4 gliders down in the gaggle and decided to push on to Sobradinho as it looked like there was a good cloud forming and it worked I managed to climb a few hundred feet before the others came in level with me. I could see that the final was going to be pretty good air so I left 400up 19kms out still 500 metres to low for goal and I thought t he others would not follow but they did. we hit good air and did not have to circle again but ferro flying the new Litespeed S 5 managed to get me on final and passed me just before goal finishing 17 secs in front. Marcinho was 3rd also flying litespeed s 4 with Cambequira 4th just behind him. It was a good 5-10 minutes before Betinho arrived then probably another 15-20 minutes before any one else arrived. gugga came in I think next and we waited for while for the current leader maskara to arrive probably another 20 minutes later. Nene,Michelle,monex will not make goal and all land about 15 kms short. Well I would say that maskara will win with Gugga 2nd and Cambequira 3rd? It will be changing a lot in the top 10 after todays round. I should move up from 10th to 6th at the best. It is now time to party the night away and try and learn that brazilian dancing!!!!! Gabor did not do so well today as he nearly bombed out after the start gate and once he got back up he decided to just go and land on the main road behind launch for a easy retrieve.. He flew really well and did about 24 hours of flying in the last 7 days so he is walking around with a big smile on his face. Tonight will be the first night that he has gone out since we have been so he is in for big night as there will only be sleeping to do tomorrow.!!!! Tchau
Saturday, August 27, 2005

Jonny Wins

Yeah well today was a little better than yesterday with more clouds. The task was 89kms long with 3 turnpoints and to throw things off they used a 20km entry circle today and this made it difficult trying to figure out where to start. Well I failed miserably again on the start and ended up leaving 15 minutes later than everyone else and had to play catch up all day. I had a good run pushing low after the 1st turnpoint and hit a 700 up to nearly 10,000ft and had finally caught betinho and monex but the main gaggle was at least 10kms in front and I picked a slighty more upwind line to the 2nd TP and was rewarded with a good climb back to base. I then glided to the TP and then back towards the last TP on came in just above the main gaggle. I then pushed on did the last TP and headed for goal and hit 700up back to 9,500 and went on final glide and made it easy. I was fist in by about 20 secs then Ferro then I think Menin and Maskara after him.. Well Gabor labded short again today so he is starting to fall down the rankings a little now but he is still flying great and learning heaps.. Talk to you tomorrow
Friday, August 26, 2005

Day 5 For The T2`s

Well today was a similar forecast to yesterday light winds mostly blue and getting to 10,000ft later. Window opened at 12:30pm but there were a few pilots that launched and bombed out so there was not a big rush off the hill. About 15 minutes later someone hit a thermal in front of launch and I think nearly the whole field got into it. We hit a inversion at 6,000ft so we all headed off down the ridge and across the gap. Once the start opened I lead out over the back to the plateau where Betinho was hiding all by himself. Hit one low and the whole gaggle came in and joined, once again we were still only getting about 6,500 as the inversion was hard to break through. The next climb we got higher and then the next one after that we got to 9,500ft just over Brasilinha. Gugga, Nene, maskara and I were now on top and heading for the forest. I took a slightly different course line and got in front of the gaggle about 10 kms from the 1st TP at Sobradinho. I lead out all the way to the turnpoint then got low after it on the way back to Planatina and the gaggle caught back up to me. We then topped out and glided to the 2nd TP and I went more right again on course and ended up lower then everyone else at the last TP. I then decided to try going left of course line on the way back to goal as it was upwind and my only chance to win. Unfortunately I was not rewarded with a good run having to take light lift under the inversion. About 15kms out I finally hit a decent thermal and then went on glide for goal and got there easy. Nene will win the day in 2hrs 18 mins 110kms 3 minutes ahead of maskara and cambequira 3rd with me 4th 1 minute behind them. There were about 20 pilots in goal but there was one face that should have been there and was not. Yep finally Gabor after making 4 goals in a row and flying about 100kms everyday landed only 2kms short of goal today!!! Oh well he still flying great and he told me tonight that he has not had so many 100kms flights like this in row before. He is walking around with a big smile on his face and I can tell that he is learning lot here. We just had dinner and now we might go drink a few capirinhas to top the night off!!!!
Thursday, August 25, 2005

Hero To Zero

Well today the wind was very light so they set a 110 kms task with 3 turnpoints over the back on the plateau. After launching and climbing out to 3,000ft above betinho and I decided to dive onto the plateau as we needed to fly 10kms to get to the start. I went more to the left hoping to get another thermal coming off the ridge but did´nt so as I got lower I decided to dive back to the gap and try my luck again as I thought I would land if I went any further. Betinho kept going and got up from low and I was now looking very sad way below launch and in deep. I headed out for the bombout and got one out front climbed back up and dove back to launch and hit another one to 6,500ftasl. I was now still 10kms from the start and I could see everyone else high on the plateau about to start. I raced toward the the first turnpoint and soon found myself low and drifting into the boonies but eventually got back up and started 40 minutes aftereveryonee. I was not in the best state of mind and I decided to try and play catch up which only lasted about 15 minutes as I hit big sink and I was on the ground before I could get upset...:( Oh well what can you do it was a good learning experience and hopefully I won`t make the same mistake again.. Betinho will win the day with Gugga and Nene just behind him then there will be a 10 minute gap before the next pilot arrives. The scores will be changing around a lot aftertoday'ss task. Gabor who just can not seem to land anywhere but the esplanada will make goal last but only about 15 pilots in their. He is flying great and would be right up there if he did not stuff up the other day.. I guess that is about it fortoday'ss goss and I will hopefully bring you better news tomorrow!!!!!!
Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Day 3 Down

Well after what looked like was going to be a shitty day it turned out ok. They set a 81 kms task to Planatina then Sobradinho then goal Esplanada. It was a blue day with average climbs to 6,500 ft asl, which is only like 3,000 ft over the plateau. There was only one start again at 2:15pm which obviously every one took. I was leading out in front and decided to cross onto the plateau early but no one else followed me and I was soon low and all alone. I could see the others flying along the ridge more upwind of me getting a higher and stronger climbs. I evntuall got up and hit a boomer which now put me a little in front of the gaggle and on course line more. I kept charging hard as today I was flying Andre wolf´s litespeed as he decided not fly cause he thought it was shitty. I have been having some troubles with my glider as there has not been much time for me to tune it cause I am always fixing other gliders. Anyway I got to the first TP and was about 1,000 ft higher than the gaggle that was gliding in below me. I pushed onto the 2nd TP and hit a 600 up about 6kms short top out did the TP then headed toward goal where I hit another 500 up and topped up a little then went on final to goal.. I finally win a day here I think the first time ever in a Brazil comp!!! Gugga will be next in a couple of minute behind then Monex just behind him. They are using the scoring system that has leading bonuses so it might be the first day that is worth a 1000 points as I lead from start to finish.. Gabor is on fire he made goal again today and is very happy except for he scored zero yesterday as he started 1 minute before the clock, he was not alone. It is a little confusing cause there are a lot of free flyers here to confuse people. But he still made goal and would probably be coming like 15th or so if he had not stuffed up!!! Watch out Canungra boys when he gets back he will be a hard man to beat.. I will now be leading the comp overall with Gugga just behind then I am not sure after that.. We are going to go celebrate with a few more capirinhas tonight I think!!!
Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Brazil Day 1 and 2

Well it is hard here to get to the internat after flying so unfortunately it will have to be short. Day 1 was a 99.9 km task to Formosa down the ridge then to brasilla. 39 pilots made goal with cambequira flying a t2 winning the day in 1hr 37 minutes with Gugga just behind and me just behind him. gabor made goal as well and placed 27th for the day not bad considering it was his flight into the big city and i even captured it on camera. We then decided to go out and celebrate with a few caparinhas oh man was I feeling good this morning.. Day 2 slightly stronger wind with a 111km task with 3 turnpoints to try and sort out the field. There were a lot of pilots in goal again but I think there were a few that started to early and will get zero for the day. UMMM yes gabor was one of those lucky pilots but I believe he still had a lot of fun making goal 2 days in a row, you guys better watch out when he comes home he will be on fire.. It looks like leonardo maskara won the day on another t2 with marcelo ferhho just behind him then Dorival then me a few minutes later. Betinho and andre were leading and landed 15kms short near sobradinho..... Looks like I will be 2nd or 3rd overall and no points between us yet.. When I get the website details I will post the scores.. gabor and I are tired tonight so we will probably have a early night and not watch the sunrise!!!
Sunday, August 21, 2005

Brasilia First Flight

After getting my glider somewhat assembled Betinho,gabor and I went to take off to test out our new gliders. We set up fast as we arrived late and then waited a little bit on launch as there was very little wind and the conditions were not that inspiring. Betinho launched hit a climb right in front of launch and I quickly followed him then every one else started launching including Gabor but the thermal drifted over the back and betinho and I were the only ones that were high enough to to stay with it. The others scratched for ages and some even bombed out I was hoping that none of those pilots were gabor!! It is like a 4-5 hour retrieve if you land down below so there is a lot of pressure to get up and stay up!! Betinho and I crossed over to the next ridge and climbed a little there then decided to stay on the plateau for safety so that we did not end up down below. We followed the main road towards the forest and I managed to get higher than betinho so I went straight across the forest trying to avoid some rain as it was over developing with lots of shade around. The next climb was slow just trying to stay in the air and betinho was a little behind me and climbed better and then came to join me. Just as he arrived the thermal kicked ans we climbed to 7700 ft and went on glide to Sobradinho where we hit a solid 600 up just in front of a cell that was about to explode. We topped right up and went on final some 18 kms out from the esplanada and made it easy just before it started raining.. We were the only two to make it there and Most pilots including gabor landed just behind launch as they all got shut down from the first cell near Brasilinha that we managed to skirt around. It started raining here just after we packed up and rained most of the night so today we did not fly. We are about to go to betinho and carol´s little boys 1st birthday party at their house. He is cute and he is now walking and can say agua(water) inPortuguesee. Well that is about all right now, the comp starts tomorrow so I will try to get back in time and give you a report on how the Aussies went.

We Arrived In Brasilia

Well after a very long wait in the airport some 15 hours later we had Gabor and the gliders. Betinho was there and a few others to help we then went back to Nixons house and went to bed at 2 am on the floor. We put all the gliders together in the morning after a few hours of sleep then at 1pm we started the long 12 hour drive to Brasilia. We arrived there very late or should I say early morning and once again only got a few hours of sleep. The weather was supposed to be good for flying today but I had not built my hangglider yet and still was wearing the clothes that I left Texas in as my harness and clothes had still not arrived. So Gabor decided he wanted to fly so he went with Dorival to launch early and I went out a little later to watch... When I arrived Gabor had not set up yet as he managed in his jet lag state to forget his battens and basebar from the car!!! Oh well I guess we were not meant to fly today, It was good for Gabor to go out there and have a look at the launch and learn some things. We then went back to Betinho´s where I started to assemble my 2001 litespeed frame with a new sail. I did not get to far before dark so I left the glider there so that I could do it in the morning before going flying. I got a call from the airlines to say that my bags had just arrived so we went to the airport and got them.. Nice I have a harness and some clean clothes it is all starting to fall into place.
Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Waiting For Gabor

Hi well I am still in the airport waiting here. Betinho has arrived so at least I am in good company now but we still have 4 hours to wait untill Gabor arrives. I will then go back to nixons house and sleep there and prepare for a long journey to Brasilla..
Tuesday, August 16, 2005

British League

Hi Dave Seib just sent me a quick email to say that he ended up placing 2nd in the comp after landing 15 kms short of goal on the last day!! Well done dave you are doing Australia proud keep kicking ass in Europe!!!!

Brasil With No Bags

Hi well I have just arrived in Brasil and to find out that my bags are still in LA. To top things off it has all my contacts in it so I am stuck here at the airport untill nixon arrives tonight for Gabor some 12 hours away. It has been a long trip leaving texas early yesterday morning and arriving here some 23 hours later... Well I will keep you all informed from this lovely place of Brasil !!!!!
Monday, August 15, 2005

Moyes Boys Dominate U.S Open!!!!!

Well The comp has come to a end and the Moyes Boys took out the top 6 places. The last day was cancelled due to thunderstorms so the party started early. I was the overall winner followed by Mike Barber, Glen Volk, Robin Hamilton, Dustin Martin and Kraig Coomber all flying the Litespeed S 4. We all went to dinner at a mexican resturant in town then went to a locals house for the presentation party. They had a good band and we party hard all night long until early hours of morning!!! I am now getting ready to fly out to Brasil tomorrow for the Brazilian nationals in Brasilla..

Big Spring Results

You can find the results for all classes at the Big Spring Open. Just CLICK HERE.
Saturday, August 13, 2005

Kevin Tailslides On The 5 Year Plan!!!

Dustin and Kevin told me to come out early for a aerobatic session but I passed as it was a little windy and not up for it. As I got to the airport I was notified that kevin just tumbled trying to loop his new T2. I wait for a first hand report from kevin as he rolls back up to the airport with a bloody nose. He said that he pulled in built up speed and eased out into a perfect loop as he came out of the first one he pulled in to do another one and it appears that he may have got to much speed and did kind of a high speed stall rounding out. He then pulled back in and let VG off but it was too late he tumbled forward and broke his keel. He through out his chute and as he was upside down the deployment bag got caught on the trailing edge. He said instead of trying to untangle it he thought he would toss his 2nd chute toward the nose of the glider and this one opened with out a problem. He came down slow and said that he could even steer the glider into the wind for a soft touchdown. He now realized I do!!!!That he lost his helmet when the bar hit him in the face, ummm I think he wore the same helmet that I do!!! The good news is he is safe and sound and just has a big nose well just slightly bigger than normal.. He will not fly today but might return to the sky's tomorrow.. He was using to Conair 18 parachutes in his new Rotor harness which he said they came out super easy..

T2 Wins One Day

Here is a picture I took of Dustin landing the other day at the airport. Well we set a 89 mile downwind task as the wind was 10-15 knts. The conditions were blue early so there was not a huge rush to launch. Almost no one started untill the 2nd last clock at 2:45pm, and then there were a handful of us that started at 3:00pm. I was the highest on the last start with andreas, mike, kraig, glen and robin all a little lower. I passed up a weak climb and pushed on toward a big cloud street. I was rewarded with 700 up to 7,000 ft asl and the others soon joined me and we all glided downwind for about 15 miles with out turning. Kraig and I passed up a 400 up looking for something better but got low and had to find another 3-400 up. The others stopped behind and were now flying high over us heading for the gaggle that started at 2:45pm. 10 miles later I caught back up but now we were at the end of the clouds and were faced with some wispy cu's but mostly blue for the last 30 miles to goal. Glen and I headed more to the west and Andreas some 500 feet higher started heading to the east untill he saw us more to the west and quickly detoured back to us. I was in front a little and glen hit a climb behind me so I turned back and came in below the gaggle now 25 miles out. The climbs were only 200 up at best so no one was keen to push on as we were not getting high either. Andreas,bubba and glen pushed on downwind as they were 1000 feet higher. I stayed and watched them carefully to see how they were going. Glen called 500 up so we quickly raced downwind and climbed up from low still 15 miles out. Andreas was on top then bubba and glen just below him, then robin was about 500 feet above me and kraig was just below. We all went on final kraig and I much lower than the others but we still made it easy. There were 25 pilots to make goal and lots of personal best all round. lots of happy people this morning at the breifing. For the results check the link above.
Friday, August 12, 2005

Dustin Kicks Ass

Here are a couple of pictures I took on task today. Well the task was set with a 100 kms triangle as the winds were supposed to be light. Most of the field did the first start except for Dustino and a few others. Kraig, phil bloom and I were out in front on the way to the first TP getting light climbs to 5500 ft asl. As we rounded the first TP were faced with a 15 knt crosswind for the next 30 kms to the 2nd TP. Phil landed 4 miles short of the 2nd meanwhile Kraig hit a 300 upwind of course so Glen and I joined him and topped out to 6,000 ft asl. We then went on glide and rounded the 2nd TP then now had to face a strong headwind. We now had the company of a couple of rigid wings to fly with not that they were helping us out at all, I think they were happier than we were. About 25 miles out from goal dustin catches up but is now a little lower and we leave him behind pushing ahead low. As we struggle to find good lift so that we dont drift back to much I see dustin come in high over head after getting through the sheer and up to base some 2,000 ft higher than we had been getting. Dustin went more crosswind on the next glide and Glen followed him and Kraig and I went straight for goal but got drilled. dustin and glen hit a strong climbed downwind of us and once again broke through and were gone and left us scratching in light lift. After drifting for a while our thermal finally kicked and we broke through for the first time getting to 7,300ft asl 12 miles out from goal. By now Dustin, Glen and Mikey who we did not see are already on final for goal. We needed one more climb and then went on final, Kraig hit some good lift to my right but I kept going and had to slow up at the end and he slipped past me as he thought we were in 1st and 2nd. He did not see the others after they left us and was not aware that they had been there for 10 minutes already..
Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Big Spring Day 3

Today we set a 76 mile(123kms) downwind task to the north west. The weather was predicted for 10-15 knts SE wind with light lift and cloudbase 4,000 ft agl. the day started off with small wispy cu's so the time was delayed 30 mins to allow conditions to improve. Most of the flexwings did the first start except for paris, Dustin and Phil Bloom who did the 2nd. The first start gaggle of about 35 pilots all headed off down the course line following a little cloud street that soon ended about 15 miles out. This is where the gaggle split up into several different ones as the conditions became weak and low. I was now flying with Kraig,Robin,Glen,bubba,and Kevin. We all started to struggle and soon 1-200 up was a great climb and if you got higher than 2,000ft agl you felt high. I was pushing hard despite the low ceiling and shitty climbs trying to to get to a working cloud. It soon appeared that the clouds were just not working that well due to a inversion around 2,000 ft. Every now and again we would break through and have a strong climb to 3,500ft agl. As we approached the half way point there was now only our team together being Kraig,Robin,Glen and me who had broke away from the talon 2 boys. There was now a blue hole straight in front of us so kraig and Robin went towards a cloud to the left of course line that did not work then cut back into the blue and Robin hit a 300 up. I came in just above Robin and now Kraig was very low below us scratching around, while a crop duster was flying around him trying to spray the field he was over at 300 ft. Robin and I topped out and headed off down the course line towards some good looking clouds. We hit a good one and Glen who had hung back a little earlier now was gliding in below us and kraig was still getting back up from his low save few miles back. This turned out to be the highest thermal of the day getting 4,300 ft agl and also one of the strongest. Robin and I kept pushing on getting some light climbs trying to stay high. Kraig was now lower and behind and tried to catch up to us and hit the deck 18 miles short. About 15 miles out Robin push on alone and I hung back trying to get high but it did not work out so well. I was now with Glen just a little lower heading towards Robin that had marked a climbed but as we got closer he left it and went left for another cloud. I was now higher than both of them and decided to keep going straight line for goal for a cloud that soon died in front of my eyes. I then detoured hard right for a cloud that rewarded me with a 6-700 up thermal which was just strong enough to get me back in front of Robin on final despite the detour I had to take. I will be the first flexwing to goal in 2hrs 29 mins closely followed by Robin and glen a few minutes later. 11 pilots make goal and seven of them are litespeeds..
Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Blow Up

Well with a dodgy weather forecast of strong winds and for the lift to decrease later in the day the task committee was faced with a tricky task call. After about one hour of looking at all the weather info and changing the task several times we decided on a downwind with a zig zag with goal being in Lamesa some 48 miles. We started towing from further down the runway today to avoid hangers and spectators in case of a lockout to the right. davis decided on his own to push the start back 30 mins as there were not many clouds yet and thought that it would get better. Well he was right but unfortunately it got to good and this meant that the flex wings us would be faced with a big overdeveloping cell pushing in from the east. As we allowed 1 hour 15 mins to the first start this made it even worse having to hang around and watch the day slip away. Everyone did the first start and started heading for the big rain squall just hoping that we could still make our first TP and then fly to the west and out run it. It became clear in the first thermal 8 miles out from the TP that we could go not make the TP with out flying into the gustfront and rain. As we watched closely the cell started with a lightning display and this is when I called it quits and started to head back to the airport. It was soon called off as I believe most pilots had the same idea, funny what lightning does to your decision making. I was one of the first pilots back to land at the airport and was able to witness a lot of interesting landings. Most pilots got down safely but there were a few that landed during the change of wind coming from the gustfront. It was light and variable for about 10 minutes which managed to cause a lot of entertainment as gliders were landing or should I say crashing in all different directions. One pilot hit tailwind and flipped all the way over onto the top surface and another pancaked in breaking both uprights. Paris landed right on the change and pulled off a light tailwind landing, very lucky cause 10 seconds later it was like 15 knts tail. Andreas was lining up to land the same direction as Paris but at the last minute felt the wind change and turned around for a perfect landing against all odds. The day was officially cancelled and a poker game was called for 5pm. I have just returned home from losing my 10 dollar donation to Jamie Shelden and Glen Volk who ended up splitting the $100 pot.. Well done guys. This day has gone into the history books as being the first cancelled task in Texas out of I think 38 rounds not bad.. Hopefully the weather will get better tomorrow and we will have another good task. For scores from day 1 CLICK HERE
Monday, August 08, 2005

Big Spring Day 1

Well the comp has started with the task committee being Davis, Andreas and Me setting a 97.5 kms triangle. The rigid had to fly a little further 120kms triangle. The weather forecast was for south winds upto 10 knts and climbs of around 600up to 5,000ftagl. The rigids launched first at 1 pm and then we followed at 1:30pm. The day started of slow due to the wet ground so the lift was light and many people were drifting away and were forced to start earlier than they liked. I waited for the last start upwind with Paris, Andreas,Robin and Bo, we had a much better start than the guys who got stuck on the ground such as kraig and glen volk. We started on our 20 mile cross downwind leg to the first turnpoint. The lift was not great but there was the odd 600 up under the good clouds. I got a little in front of the Group I was with and decided to go for a cloud upwind of the turnpoint and was rewarded with 700up to 5500 agl. Unfotunately it was a little off course and this let the guys catch back up rounding the turnpoint at the same time. We now had a 20 mile headwind leg with about 10 knts of wind to battle, this was the fate of most pilots on this leg as cloud started to thin out due to earlier overdeveloped in the area. kraigs gaggle had now caught up from behind and I had slipped back on the lead guys after taking a light climb. 10 miles out from the 2nd TP I was with Kraig and Glen Volk and mikey who was quite high above us. Clouds were thinning out but Kraig kept pushing hard and left me behind going into the last TP. I went more to the west and was rewarded with a 600 up back to base, this was looking like the last cloud around so I made sure I stayed untill base as things were not looking pomising in font. After making the last TP we had a cosswind to goal, Kraig,Robin and Glen and hit a very light climb downwind so I went for them as it was looking like a good time to have some friends around. I got there to find nothing but Zero we all were looking around and Kraig went further downwind and hit 100 up. Glen landed below us and Mikey had just come in on top after getting high upwind of the last TP. Kraig and mikey broke away and left Robin and I behind, I went for a search upwind and lost 500 feet to Robin. I was now back down to 1,500ft and groveling downwind. I spent the next hour between 800-1500 ft agl just trying to stay in the air then finally hit one that took me back up 5,500ft but I was now nearly straight downwind from goal and had 200 feet margin 8.5 miles out. I tucked my arms in and was now in dream mode. Things were not looking good 3 miles out but I then hit a different wind strength down lower and actually started getting better numbers and less sink. I just made it into the goal cylinder as did Paris not long before me. Kraig ended up beating me by 45 minutes and I was the last into goal. There were only 6 pilots in goal, Kraig,Mikey,Robin,Karl,paris and me last but not least. The rigids had only 3 in goal with johann posh wining the day by 30 minutes over Davis, and Jim lamb. So that is all I can tell you at this point maybe check later on the ozreport for the scores. Above is a picture that Jamie took just after I landed!!!!
Sunday, August 07, 2005

Big Spring Open

Well it is all starting to happen here at the site of the next World Championship. There are about 80 pilots from all over the world getting organised to comit battle tomorrow in the 2005 US Open. The weather looks like it will start off a little weak as we have had lots of rain the last few days, but it is supposed to get better as the week ticks over. The airport is a great venue with a big hangar for our gliders, Air-conditioned lounges free Red Bull, High speed wireless internet and heaps of dragonfly's to get us in the air. I would have to say that for a towing Worlds there could not be a better venue on earth for such a big event like a that. I am sure that you will all be impressed when you arrive for the Worlds.
Friday, August 05, 2005

Moyes Rule In Scandanavia

Gerolf Heinrichs writes; On Saturday the Nordic Open finished - with a very scenic and spectacular final task. Though only about 65km in total length, this was definitely the coolest flight I did this season. After the winds finally had all settled to a gentle 10-15km/h breeze, the amazing visibility of the postfrontal days allows a surrounding view over ice-captured peaks, wild-romantic high-grounds and their embedded glacier lakes. As we all top out into the blue Nordic sky for a common race start it’s hard to keep the eyes on your competitors – too beautiful the scenery around is. If this moment wouldn’t touch you, you got no soul for free flying. For the rest of the story CLICK HERE
Wednesday, August 03, 2005

River Float

Well after packing the broken Dragonfly up into the trailer we decided to go for a float down the river on some tubes. This is one the biggest tourist attractions that Leakey has to offer. Bobby, Jamie, Shigeto and I all went for the 3 hour journey down the crystal clear river. It was the nicest river float I have been down with various rope swings, water falls and just nice places to stop and hang out!!! Bobby said that this was his best day he had spent in Texas so far and could not wipe the grin off his face for hours later.. Here are some pictures to make you jealous of our little adventure.
Monday, August 01, 2005

Texas Spot Landing

Well after some slight animosity from some pilots they decided on one flight closest to the spot winner takes all... After a fun filled day of flying and chatting to friendly locals there ended up only being 3 pilots left for the comp. The first pilot nearly got the spot but landed on his belly and the 2nd pilot landed less than 30 feet out perfectly.. I saw this from the air and knew that I would have to do better to get the big prize money.. After some loops and spins I went into ground effect it was not until the last part that I thought I would undershoot so I stayed in prone very close to the ground and flared and managed to get my feet out somehow.. I landed perfect about 15 feet out from the spot and am now 1,500 dollars richer. Well I actually gave the other 2 pilots some money cause I felt guilty taking it all.. It was a great event and there were a lot of town folk that came and had tandem instructional flights or simply came to have a chat and look around.. I would like to thank all involved for such a great event and look forward to returning next year for a fun filled weekend of flying..

Texas Open

Hi well we are here in a lovely small town in the Texas hill country called Leakey for the Annual Texas Open.. The town is quite small with around 500 residents a big airport and a clean flowing river. I went flying yesterday to have a look around as this is an area we could potentially fly over from Zapata on a world record flight. There are about 25 pilots 2 trikes 1 dragonfly and nearly the whole town of spectators. There will be a spot landing comp that starts this afternoon with $ 1,500 US in the prize pool, I am hoping to do well as I could definitely use some more money.. Here is a picture that I took yesterday in the air and one of the airport hangar..

How Many Spaniards Does it Take to Beat One Aussie?

....obviously more than 80! Dave Seib just sent me the latest breaking news from the Spanish Open.. Dave Seib writes I got there, Yeh hah Granma!!! I woke in the morning to the cloud base well and truly below the top of the hill and 100% cloud cover. It wasn’t looking good for the last day of the comp. The previous two days had been cancelled and I’d been sitting on the 134 point deficit for the lead since then. However, as with quite a few other days during the comp, the conditions in Arcones improved as the day progressed and by noon the most of the cloud had disappeared and the base had risen. By the time we were ready to launch, the sky was completely blue – my sort of conditions. It had been a two week competition and a lot of people had left, so with all the ABS’s, DNF’s and the expected pilots landing short due to difficult conditions I knew I had to go for speed points and early bird points to make up the point difference. A 90km task predominately on the ridge was called with two difficult excursions to the flats. I launched first and setup for the first start gate. It was really hard flying but I managed to get around the course in two hours and forty minutes and landed at goal 53 minutes before anyone else. The next person into goal launched 45 minutes after me and flew eight minutes slower, this is good but where is Kiko. He ended up coming in much later after taking the last launch, one hour after I launched. I had to wait 4-5 hours before the results were published but I ended up with a 22 point lead. The presentation party was really good, lots of Spanish meat, beer, wine and rum – once again my sort of conditions. I know from my previous 2 Spanish Nationals that there are a lot of good pilots there and he would have been faced with a new site and different conditions.. Congratulations Dave on an outstanding performance you are going to be the next Australian champion!!!!

207 Mile Barograph

Here's my barograph from the longest flexwing flight out of Zapata this year! (but still a bombout :-( Also there is a satelite picture, you will notice the high cirrus that shut me down just before it goes blue again!!!! Maybe next time it will work out.