Friday, June 23, 2006
Well Suprise suprise our very own leroy took our little Kath up on a hot air balloon last week over the Gold Coast. It was their 11th anniversary of being together so he thought that he would buckle at the knees and propose to her in the air. He did so in stlye giving her a ring that will also come in handy for towing... Yes he gave her a ring that they use when they go car towing out on the flats. This saturday we will celebrate this amazing story at their house in canungra or should I say Shirl's house.. All the best for the future guys including you little Taj boy..
Leeroy started another training course last week with 5 more new students. The weather has not been that kind to us lately so we have not been able to finish them off and get them on their high flights. This is a picture of the boys packing up after a long hard day of running up and down hills trying to break some alluminum.Hopefully their next flight will be off the top of Tamborine this weekend.
Thursday, June 22, 2006
Make A Wish Foundation
Every year we help out this organisation which look after the terminaly ill kids. They spend a day on Mt Tamborine visiting many fun places and fulfilling some of their dreams. The kids arrive in style in these old cars and we explain to them about Hang gliding and paragliding. There was no wind on this day so all we could do was put them in the harness and lift them up in the air to simulate the flying feeling. There were a few of us that then took off the mountain and showed them what it is all about. After the flying they finished the day with a big BBQ at the local showgrounds with a motorbike jumping demonstration. The kids left the mountain with grins from ear to ear..
Dirk (Diggler) One of Leeroy's most advanced students taking off from Beechmont last week. The weather has not been fantastic here lately with mostly strong winds on the weekends and rain during the week. There has been lots of ridgesoaring at Beechmont which is quite strange for this time of the year. Yesterday was the shortest day of the year so from here on it can only get better.
Well it seems that the comp is well under way over in Croatia. The weather has not been real kind with a fair bit of high cloud setting in each day to slow the pilots down.There has been 5 task so far with the average task around 70kms. Looking through the results it appears that many of the top pilots are quite far down the list which is suprising considering their talents.I believe the conditions so far have not been racing conditions and have been more suited to the slower pilot who is just trying to make it around the course without racing. Michael Frisenbichler the current leader of the comp is a young up and coming Austrian who fly's very well considering he has only been flying about 4-5 years. He just won the Austrian nationals a couple of weeks ago beating all the top pilots and will be maintain a threat to them at this comp. This is a picture I snapped of him at goal during the 2006 bogong cup. He is currently ranked 10th in the world and is keen to move up as he has been doing very well the last couple of years. Dave seib has had some bad luck since arriving in Europe. After jumping off the plane some 18 hrs later in Italy he was informed that his baggage had not arrived with him, so he spent a few days with no bags or harness. A few days before the comp started he got all of his gear and was probably feeling a lot better knowing he could at least fly the comp now. On the practice day he was tuning his glider by top landing at one of their sites and crashed landing breaking 2 uprights and a carbon speedbar. Not a good way to kick off the competition with a broken glider. He obviously found parts and was able to fix it temporarily untill day 1 when he crashed again landing in rotor somewhere breaking his new carbon front section leading edge and more uprights. ummmmm Custard he managed to find another glider, put that all a side and then on day 3 he showed them his real talents by winning the day considerably. Cristian Vioblet has been leading the comp upto round 4 and is also one to keep an eye on. I first met him a couple of years ago when I was in europe competing at the Swiss nationals. He was not in my eyes one of the main competitors to look out for as I had never herd of him before. Well after 3 days of flying with many top pilots he won the competition and I found out that he has been flying nearly as long as I have been alive and was one of the top pilots a long time ago. He has been spending time elsewhere and not competiting for many years especially internationally.However it goes to show you that experience is the most important aspect to flying well even if it has been a long time since you competed. So I thought some of you would also like to know who this somebody is. consider him as one of the top 10 pilots in the world and this will explain why his results are so good. For all the latest results of the comp CLICK HERE.
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
A few weeks ago I did a story with Totally Wild on tandem hang gliding in the Gold Coast Hinterland. I have received news that it will be shown on air friday the 23rd june 4pm on channel 10. Totally Wild wanted to send jaz, on my right on a story of a lifetime. This was her last day with channel 10 and they were trying to figure out what they could send her to do to make her last day so memorable. She loved the flight despite the tough conditions and after we touched down she commented that this was the best story that she had ever gotten to do for the Totally Wild program. I can not wait to see how the footage turned out.. All the best Jaz in the future of TV presenting, you have what it takes...
This is photo that was taken two weekends ago flying at Beechmont Qld Australia. It captures the moment that seems to go bye ever so quickly when your upside down. Dave Sakrewski just bought himself this nice new digital camera that takes 5 frames a secondso that you dont miss out on any of the action. This is the first photo shoot and editing sequence so it is not perfect but I am sure it will blow some of you away..
Reaching The Top
After lots of years of practice and travelling I have now managed to reach the top of the world Rankings. They just updated them this week and I think that I am the first Australian to make it to the top on wprs. Unfortunately the Europeans start this weekend and I know after a big comp like that one they will update again and I will slip backwards due to not being there.. Oh well I will live up the glory while it last.. I would just like to thank Moyes for all of their support and supplying me with the best glider, RedBull for giving me the energy to fly all around the world and blueyes for suppyling me with the best sunglasses to increase my thermaling ability. Also a Huge thanks to my parents for all their support and willingness to help me achieve my goals in life. Oh and of course all the members of the Canungra Club who have helped trained me up and support me over my flying career.. Below is the top 10 on the WPRS.. rank name gender nation points rank/ranking-points/competition 1 Jon jnr Durand M Australia 274 1 80 Sportavia International Open 063 73 Flytec HG 20061 61 C Classic 20058 60 Bogong Cup 2006 2 Oleg Bonderchuk M Ukraine 271 1 80 Flytec HG 20061 66 15th World Hang Gliding Championships 052 64 German Open 20057 61 Croatian Championship 2005 3 Gerolf Heinrichs M Austria 269 2 77 Bogong Cup 20061 70 Croatian Championship 20053 62 15th World Hang Gliding Championships 054 60 German Open 2005 4 Attila Bertok M Hungary 268 1 80 Bogong Cup 20064 65 Sportavia International Open 061 64 Gulong Classic 052 59 C Classic 2005 5 Oliver Barthelmes M Germany 261 3 74 Bogong Cup 20061 67 German Open 20052 61 Gulong Classic 059 59 Croatian Championship 2005 6 Balazs Ujhelyi M Hungary 243 2 75 Sportavia International Open 064 71 Bogong Cup 200611 55 Croatian Championship 20053 42 CAMPIONATI ITALIANI 2005 OPEN 7 David Seib M Australia 224 4 56 UK Nat. Champs 05 Lumbier3 56 C Classic 20054 56 Gulong Classic 056 56 Sportavia International Open 06 8 Mario Alonzi M France 221 3 67 Croatian Championship 20055 59 15th World Hang Gliding Championships 051 50 French Nationals 054 45 Australian Nationals 2005 9 Brett Hazlett M Canada 212 2 77 Flytec HG 20068 54 15th World Hang Gliding Championships 052 48 Australian Nationals 20052 33 2006 US Nats 10 Michael Friesenbichler M Austria 209 2 68 Croatian Championship 200510 55 Bogong Cup 200611 51 15th World Hang Gliding Championships 052 35 Vaagaa Open 2005
Monday, June 05, 2006
Winter is setting in...
Well another week has passed with winter now starting to set in. On monday I did a couple of tandems flights from mt Tamborine but managed to end up in the bombout twice.. On thursday we had 4 students doing some more highglides here is a picture of them set up on takeoff. All of them did really well and unfotunately they did not get to do any soaring, so they will have to wait untill their next flights.. We have just started a new course this weekend and have 5 more new students that we will be training all week here at Canungra. Leeroy is doing a great job at teaching and bringing new students into the already huge club of Canungra. We have about 170 pilots with about 50 percent of them being paragliders. On saturday afternoon Michelle organised a free bbq for what was called the newbies bbq. This was intended to introduce and welcome all the new club members to the club,so they could meet the current club comittee and all the other pilots that have been flying here for the last 30 years. It was a great night with only 15 people rsvp ing before the day the expectation was not too high untill the afternoon when people started showing up from everywhere. There ended up being over 50 pilots there and was a great sucess for all who attended. I would just like to thank Michelle for organising the event and preparing all the food for the bbq, Dirk for being the king chef for the bbq and the club (Brandon) for agreeing to cover all the cost. I hope more activities like this keep happening for everyones benefit..