Tuesday, August 15, 2006
For the latest scores of the Pre Worlds CLICK HERE.
Pre Worlds Day 7
Well it had already been a huge morning with the spot landing comp and little sleep and now we had to fly 110kms to the NE. I was not feeling teh best and rested as much as I could before taking off and climbing out to 9,000 ft. I was able to be in the best position for the first start which was going to be the best one as it was already starting to rain to the left of course line quite heavy. I knew that we would have to hurry up and try to make it around the front of the storm before we got shut down. I was out in front with Attila and Andre and soon were approaching this storm quite fast. It started lightning quite frequently and we were running along the edge of it no more than 10kms from the lightning bolts. I was starting to get nervous but kept going trying to keep my eyes closed. I got out into teh blue a little and was able to see how fast the cloud in front of me was growing and how high it had towered upto. It then started to dump rain and in my oppinon was only minutes behind the storm that we were next to which was not looking good with gust fronts going out all sides of it and still throwing down lighning bolts. At this point I decided it was not worth risking my life for a days score and consulting with Kraig who also had the same oppinon. I quickly turned around and starting heading back towards the airport and was joined by Robert Resinger but everyone else kept going towards goal. Kraig and Chris headed back more to the south and landed about 35kms from the airport in a safe field. I ws more upwind with robert and we kept going and eventually were shut down and landed 15kms from the airport on the main road. We packed up and returned to the hangar to find out what was happening with the task. To our suprise we found out that the task had not been cancelled and they had spoken to the saftey committee who had said they thought it was safe. Wow we were quite amazed as I am not normally the first person to get scared but when it comes to lighning on course I was not going to risk it. After a very long discussion it had seemed that we had made the right choice to land but we according to the results were going to lose a days scores as it was still a valid task. At this point we were trying to figure out why it is that we come to comps to compete when "stuff like that" happens. It was decided that the only way nowfor us to keep our positions was to protest the day and have it cancelled to due to unfairness for all the pilots. None of us wanted to do that cause we thought it was quite obvious that this day was not meant to be flown and it should not be up us to be the bad guys. It was not until the other pilots started retuning home and also complaining about having to run from this monster storm for safety. The mexicans were herd to be calling "may day may day" on the radio as they were trying to out run the storm. Attila who I had left behind when I aborted my flight continued on to win the day in 1hr and 18mins. Many of the guys at goal were also not happy with the task and thought that it should also be cancelled. Attila went ahead and put in a protest being the best man for the job as he was already winnng the comp and was the winner for the day. The protest was upheld and they day was cancelled, of course there was a few unhappy people but there were a lot more in favour of having it cancelled.
Well after a very big night on Redbull and Vodka we had a early morning spot landing comp. There was the top 10 pilots in the comp allowed to compete as well as a few selected pilots from different countries. It was a great morning and lots of thrill seeking landings by some of the worlds best pilots. Seppi from Austria won the event followed be Mike Glennon from Columbia then Me in Third. Kraig and I had some very interesting approaches for the spot blasting in around 120kms per hour downwind over the spot a few feet off the ground before turning around and nearly landing dead centre on the spot. photo Ben cross Unfortunatly this was not the easiest way to try and judge it and we both gained huge style points with the crowd but were not rewarded with the big prize. Oh well we decided on going half with each other to double our chances of winning and it was only me that ended up with a 100 US so I gave him half of that which was not as much as we were hoping for. However it was a great morning of fun despite the huge hang over and only a few hours of sleep in the system.
Sunday, August 13, 2006
Pre Worlds day 6
After a late night driving home from our big flight I had promised the team that if they took me to Taco bell on the way home I would wake up early and download our GPS's and set up the 4 gliders in the hangar. It was agreed on that night so when my alarm went off only 4 hrs after I went to sleep I was starting to regret the deal I had made. Anyway off I went and did the job quite fast. The Brazilians turned up to set up their gliders so I thought I would turn it into a race. I had to set up 4 gliders to their 1 and guess who won, yep it was me I managed to beat them and completed my task in 24 mins not bad comsidering I was half awake. I then went back and enjoyed a nice breakfast at the hotel with my grandparents before returning to the airport for briefing. The day was looking far from perfect however Davis was telling us it was going to be good with climbs to 12,000 ft. I looked out the window and did not believe a word he said and neither did Gerolf who had a few words to say at the breifing. Anyway they set a task and had us all wait at the airport until 3pm before cancelling the day due to overdevelopment and rain. We then decided on having a ten pin bowling championships to finish off the afternoon. It was great fun with lots of strikes and gutter balls to keep the crowd amused.
Friday, August 11, 2006
Pre Worlds Day 5
Well we just returned home at 2am after having a 250 kms downwind task with only 4 pilots making goal. Seppi won the day then Gerolf and Nils and Glen volk were the only others to make goal. Attila was 6kms short Kraig 13kms short me 29kms short and Chris 65kms short. It was hard blue day but were getting upto 10,000 ft at times but the wind was light up high and stronger down low. I flew for 6hrs 15 mins and spent the last 20 mins below 500 ft drifting in zeros trying to get up but failed eventually. Anyway I have to wake up in 5 hours to go download our scores so it is off to bed for me. Looks like Attila will be winning then Brett and not sure after that a lot will change...
Thursday, August 10, 2006
Pre Worlds day 4
Today was looking promising with cloudbase expected to be even higher and lighter winds later in the day. The task committee decided on a 159kms triangle bringing us back to the airport for the first time. They also decided on making a race start for the top 30 pilots at 2:15pm cause yesterday having 4 starts seemed to make decisions difficult on when to start. We towed up and and started at just over 8,000ft with a 30kms tailwind to the first turnpoint.The wind was stronger than expected so it was going to be a long day given the task on hand. I was going good out in front with Gerolf and soon we had rounded the first TP and were faced with a strong cross headwind for the second leg. We were getting some great climbs of 1,000 ft/pm to 10,000 ft which was going to make the task a little easier. I decided to go more straight line for the 2nd TP and got low and spent some time scratching about 30kms out. I finally got up and ended back up with the gaggle I had left behind earlier. We had a few more good climbs and I could see the leaders about 10kms in front of us. We rounded the last turnpoint high and did a long glide and came in a few hundred feet below the main gaggle as they got low after the TP. I was flying with Chris and Kraig and we were realing the others in pretty fast considering how far behind we were 20 minutes ago. A couple more good climbs and we soon went on final for goal. We had a 30kms headwind and my 4030 race told me that I would just make it and I trusted in it even though it was looking iffy at times. I ended up going into ground effect and then crossing the goal line and landed 30 metres after it. Andre Wolf won the day followed by Attila,Brett,Kraig me. There was 31 pilots that made goal and a few good pilots that blew their final and landed just short some as close as 20 feet before the line. That really suxs after battling such a hard course and receiving hardly any points for it. There was a Wills Wing T2 that tumbled today along the course after the pilot tried to enter a dust devil several times and on the 4th atempt got pitch up and ended up in the sail and broke a downtube. He then deployed his parachute and came down softly without any injuries to himself. I believe this is the first tumble at this comp besides Kevins aerobatic failure last year. The thermals are big here but seem to be quite smoothe even the real strong ones. The full scores can be veiwed by clicking on the link above.
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Pre Worlds Day 3
Today was looking good again with a chance of over devolpment in the weather report they set the same task as the first day. It was interesting to see how fast you could do the same task on a differnt day. I started on the first start time with Chris,and Phil Bloom and we flew together most of the way. Chris got a little low and got left behind about 50kms out from goal. Phil and I continued on and made goal in 1hr52 mins 16 secs. Wow so I compared my time to the first day cause I knew roughly it would be very similar and I was 4 seconds slower today from the first day. I thought that was pretty cool to be that consistant just wished it was a little faster than that. Brett won the day doing the second start in 1hr 38 mins followed very closely by Attila and mascara.. &4 pilots made goal and there were a lot of smiling faces and I think tomorrow will be a lot longer task. Today it was possible to fly at least 300 kms so hopefully they will get realistic with the task and set us a big one to sort out the men from the boys..
Pre Worlds Day 2
Well after calling a 150kms task to the north west the sky started to build up fast. It was not long until it started to rain at the airport and the pilots in the air got quite wet. They stopped launch for awhile then they relised that it was not going to get better so the day was canned. We then went bowling and I did really well winning most of the games for the afternoon. We then decided to get drunk on Red Bull and vodka by the pool and that carried on until all hours of the morning. We woke up sore and sorry well at least I did anyway not being a professional drinker..
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Pre Worlds Day 1
we flew 124kms and 65 pilots made goal. Gerolf won the day in 1 hr 41mins and I placed 13th starting at the last clock trying to catch up but did not work finsihed 11 minutes behind.. Today looks good will write more later..
Sunday, August 06, 2006
Flying At Last
Today was the worst day we have since we arrived here a few days ago. We went out to the airport and set up our gliders and fiddled with them to make sure that we have the best machine in the comp. It is quite a gig turn out here and it will be a hard fun comp I hope. The weather was strting to overdevelop so Chris and I decided to not to fly as we already had a nice spot in the hanger and did not want to take the chance of missing out on getting back in the hanger. We then went for lunch and returned to the airport later after thestorm had gone through. It looked to be super smoothe so I thought this would be a good time to test out my glider and make sure it was flying well. So Bobby towed me up to about 2,000 ft and I thoroughly tested out my new machine and came in for a spectacular landing right in front of the hanger. We then returned to the motel where there was a pool party and got stuck into with about 50 other pilots. We then decided to go hit the bowling alley with Attila,Jamie and we all had a blast especially Attila who had never bowled before. These guys were nice enought and let me win all 3 games for the night. I met a bunch of young local girls and boys and got chatting with them and they were telling me about this guy that was coming here from Austra;ia and all they could remember was his first name Jonny. I said wow really where did you here about that and they replied on the radio they mentioned the competition and my name I guess cause Iwon the event last year. I informed thme that I was Jonny and they were stuinned their eyes lit up and soon had a whole fan club at the bowling alley. Wow amazing I am even famous in a big country like this. Attila,Chris and I then went out for dinner at Pizza Hut and then cruised through the Walmart parking lot to see what was happening. Chris and I were thinking of taking Attila in and dressing him up in some sexy gear but we ended up just going home and taking it easy before going to slepp at 3am.
Friday, August 04, 2006
Walmart at 2 am
Well Chris and I got bored late at night so we thought we would hit the 24 hr Walmart in town and see what trouble we could get up to. As we arrived in the carpark I found a motorised handicap cart in the parking lot and drove it into the store as Chris filmed me. As I entered the store I could see the staff all looking at me with a very strange looks on their faces. We then entered the store and I soon found this shirt and I had to get a picture.. As we approached the next section of the store I found some more gear and snapped this photo to keep you all amused. As you can see we are getting pretty bored here and this was our last resort. We could have stayed here all night causing havic but the night was getting on and as I write this it is nearly 4am. We will be flying in a few hours so I guess it is bedtime until tomorrow youall be good there now...
Another Day And No Flying!!!
After sitting around for another whole day in this great town things were starting to get boring. There were more pilots turning up today such as the French,Austrians,Japanese,Brazilians and lots more from all of the world and the states. Tomorrow is the start of the practice days so I should imagine there will be quite a lot of people there practicing. It is looking like there will around 120 pilots including rigids and sport class with around 11 tugs to drag us into the air. We ordered pizza for dinner and sat around the pool and had a nice relaxing dinner in the comfort of good friends.
Fun Fun Fun
Well after a late wake up we pull the curtains open to see a sky full of cumlulas clouds drifting pass the window. We slowly wake up a little dazed and confused and head out to the airport to see what was happening. Just as we arrived there Bobby and Russel were flying in from the Leakey flyin in their Dragonfly's. There was no towing going to happen today so we unloaded a truck full of gliders and returned to town to hide in doors so that we did not have to look at the clouds that kept growing as the afternoon ticked on. We then discovered a bowling alley in town and went for a few games of bowling to finish the night off. Due to our bad sleeping pattern we stayed awake until nearly 4 am just playing around on the computer's.
Thursday, August 03, 2006
Leather Seats 3 Guys And A Long Drive
Well after only a few hours sleep we woke up with blurry eyes and loaded the car for the 19 hr drive to Big Spring. We left LA at 6am to avoid any traffic problems and soon were on the 10 freeway heading east to Arizona. Just before we reached Palm Springs we went through the Banning pass that host thousands of wind generators. It was 8 am in the morning and the wind was already blowing like 30 mph and I could only imagine how strong the wind gets when the desert heats up and sucks in the cool sea breeze. Here is a picture of some of the wind generators and the Banning Pass. As we arrived into Arizona we were greeted with nice puffy clouds to the horizon. As the time passed the clouds got higher and darker and there were dust devils by the dozens. Atilla’s eyes were in disbelief when he woke up and saw what the sky looked like. He said there is not even a blue hole as far as the eye can see, there must be a mountain or something we can fly off around here he mumbled in the second sentence. But when you still have like 15 hrs more of driving to go all we could do was lock the doors and think about how much good flying we were about to get in Big Spring. Here is what the sky looked like in Arizona When we got towards the New Mexico border there had been a lot of flooding over the past few days and parts of the freeway were closed and even buildings had collapsed due to the heavy rains. We stopped at Taco Bell for the first time since I had arrived and the whole roof lining was destroyed and they buckets inside trying to catch all the water that was leaking through the roof. When we reach the out skirts of El Paso on the new Mexico border there was a low lying roll cloud that had set up that spanned from horizon to horizon. It was amazing I have never seen anything like it in my life besides the famous Morning Glory in Australia. Here is the cloud in all of its glory. We then entered Texas eventually and still had like 5 hrs of driving left in some heavy rain that lasted most of the way to Big Spring. We watched a couple of movies on the computer that help pass the time and not to mention the Red Bull consumption to keep us awake. We then stopped about 50 miles out and had Subway at like 2am since we had forgotten about dinner. We finally arrived at Big Spring and checked into our motel by 3:30am but cause we had drunk so much Red Bull and we now had an Internet connection Chris and I did not get to sleep until after 5am
last Day In LA
Well today was going to be our last day in LA before we headed out to Texas for the comp. So as you can imagine we still had a list of things to do before we set off on the long journey. We started by taking the car to a car wash and getting it detailed just down the road by some Mexicans. Once that was done we headed to Santa Monica to visit Red Bull USA and pick up some red bull for the drive out to Texas. The office was huge and I met a few of the crew and got a tour around the place, which was quite interesting. They had like a huge ramp that looked like a roller coaster that ran through the whole building that looked like you could skate it. So after we stocked up on some red bull it was time to go get a oil change for the car then pick up the Hungarian Atilla from the airport. As Chris and I arrived at the airport expecting to have a wait we walked through the doors and Atilla was just walking out from customs. We then headed back to Chris’s neighborhood to have lunch and go to Costco to pick up some batteries for the comp. We had Atilla telling us stories about his last visits to the United States and I tell you these are only stories you could expect to have seen in movies. So the afternoon was very entertaining not to mention Atilla breaking Chris’s toilet seat after taking a huge Hungarian sized dump. We were all in disbelief as this is not something that happens everyday but at the same time we were not keen to go inspect the situation. We then went out for a nice Thai dinner just down the road to finish the evening off before getting to bed just after midnight, as we had to get up at 5am to make the 19 hr drive to Big Spring. Atilla slept in Chris’s closet on the floor as his apartment is quite small however it was a 5 star accommodation compared to his last visit’s here sleeping under bridges in LA.