Sunday, July 29, 2007

Jonny wins!!

Well after the last task of 64kms Jeff (INFAMOUS) Obrien won the day 3.5 minutes ahead of me and will gain 80 points on me for the day. 8 pilots made goal and there were many smiling faces to end this great little comp. This means that I will beat him by 21 points after 7 days of flying which is super close. Jeff flew really well in Arizona when I was there and now after watching him flying here there is no doubt in my mind that he should be flying for the USA in Big Spring. I had lots of fun at this comp and Mike,Gale and crew have looked after us really well with dinners,drinks and parties not to mention all the facilities. This area was a very challenging place to fly and I learned a lot more than I was expecting. Some of the task were short but we flew everyday with some race days,some rough days ( nearly everyday) and some very challenging days. For the results of the Hang ON Comp click HERE

DAY 4, 5 , 6

day 4 Today was a short race to goal with very stable conditions. The task was 27kms long and only 6 pilots completed the course. Once again OB won the day 2 minutes ahead of me and dustin was 3rd 5 minutes behind me. Mike and Gale decided to throw us a big party with lots of magaritas and a BBQ dinner. There was lots of laughter and everyone throughly enjoyed themselves untill the next morning. I for one was really sick and almost did not fly the 5th task. Day 5 A little better conditions and a 62kms task was set in the shape of a M. Was still a hard day and only 3 pilots made goal with me winning in just under 2 hrs and Jeff (OB) was 3 minutes behind followed by Zippy seconds behind him. My glider seems to be going great we all left for a 23kms final glide and I managed to pull 3 minutes on Jeff and I got there much higher. This could be the winning glider... Day 6 Today was a little windier and supposed to have stronger climbs and higher lift. Was another late launch with the start gate at 3:15pm a 96kms task was set. The first part of the task was easy but once we got close to the 2nd turnpoint we hit some serious rotor and it proved very difficult for many people to reach as most of the turnpoints are on top of the hill. This means you can almost make it but not enter the cylinder unless you are high enough. I managed to get the 2nd and was leading pretty good until getting low after the 3rd turpoint dave Scoot and Rob flew over my head high and got the 4th turpoint then landed soon after. I decided to be patient asd got high rounded the 4th and headed to the 5th TP and got up from low in the convergence. I was blessed with a smoothe climb all they way upto 8500 ft the highest I have been since the first day. I rounded the 5th and headed for the 6th the glided to goal and made it easy. I was the only flex wing to make it and about 25 minutes later Tom came in on the Atos but he missed the goal closing time by under 1 minute and will get only distance points. I get 1000 points for the day and will be enough for me to move into the lead by nearly 100 points going into the last day.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Seattle Night Life

Well after getting over my sickness I went to seattle to meet up with chris. He took me out to his favorite resturant Mamas mexican where we met some of his flying buddies. we started out strong with magaritas and tequilla shots before moving next door to the lava lounge.

Chopper and Me getting drunk early in the night.

The night got quite messy but I had a great time from what I can remember with all of my new Seattle friends.

Hang Out

Well after 3 task at the Hang out comp in oregan I am having fun. The first day was good conditions except for a fire that ended up stopping the task due to aerial bombing.

On launch at the pilots briefing.

day 2 was a 70kms task with 11 pilots making goal I was doing good and then got low with dustin 7kms from goal and had to scratch for ages while many pilots flew over our head. I got down to 125m and dropped off dustin before finding a climb on a gentle sloping hill. Felt like i was taking off from the training hill and thermalled up.

Jeff doing the Jonny pose as he calls it!!

Today the tas was 66kms and I managed to win the day flying 30kms. Most pilots only flew 10kms and the day was not that valid. I landed next to the big fire fighting helicopters. They informed me that I was actullay in their restricted zone that was in force still from the fire on sunday. I ended up getting along well with the guys and met one of the helicopter pilots that named Elvis the big heli bomber in Australia.

Launch looking west down the valley!!

The guys here have been looking after us great they have a nice house on about 5 acres just at the base of the hill. We return home there to food and drinks a swimming pool,music and a great vibe.
Considering they have never run a hang gliding comp they are getting used to the different types of people we are compared to their usual paraglider pilots..

We will have the TFR in place tomorrow so that means it will

be hard to run a good task due to our limitations.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007

San Francisco

After a very arriving in LA at 6am in the morning Kraig picked me up and informed me that today was going to be busy. Well I was ready after not sleeping for basically a day we arrived at Kraigs house and worked on gliders all day long.
It was a productive day with one complete rebuild unpacked 5 gliders took a sail off another one organized his new trailer with padding and loaded all the gliders up for the weekend.
He let me finish work at 11pm that night and before I knew it the alarm was going off and it was time to make the 7 hr drive to San Francisco.
This was set to be a fun trip with Phil Bloom, Chippy, Jay, Mike barber and Kraig’s family all going for a flying weekend. The drive was pretty boring and not a whole lot to see out the window apart from very dry landscapes.
We arrived in San Francisco to a cold cloudy afternoon. I was now not feeling so great and was coming down with the flu. We all went out to the Castro for a Italian dinner of which I ate very little before returning home to the motel.

I became worse overnight and was not going to make it to the hill for a fly unless things improved. The weather was not great with cloudbase only 10 feet above launch it was making it difficult for anyone to fly. After spending quality time in the bathroom I decided that I should at least go to launch and get some fresh air as this weekend was the whole reason I came over 1 week early.

I arrived there to see a hill full of moyes gliders and people standing around waiting for cloud base to lift. Eventually it did and I even managed to have a quick fly before I started feeling bad and had to land. I did manage to break a few rules on my 10 minute flight but most of them seemed to like my rule breaking flying.

I managed to go out to dinner with everyone to a nice thai restaurant just down the road. Urs the new Moyes dealer there was super nice and paid for dinner, thanks Urs.

I returned back to the motel and for some reason went downhill again with another sleepless night. I woke up even worse and spent the entire day in the room trying to survive. I managed to get out of bed for a hour to see Ken brown and family that had come up to visit.

There was no flying today so I did not miss anything apart from a full belly which I had not since leaving Australia 4 days earlier.

The next day we returned to LA and managed to stop for a fly at Kagel as I had not yet tested my glider. Kraig and I had a short afternoon flight and then we met up with our Brazilian friend Konrad in the LZ.
I hung out in LA for a couple of days working on gliders with Kraig before he took me to the airport enroute for Seattle.
Thursday, July 12, 2007

Sydney Airport

Hi all well it is finally time to head back to the states for the World Championships. I am heading over early for some practice and one competition prior to the worlds.
I woke up early this morning to catch my flight and when I arrived at the airport 2 hrs before my flight I was blessed with 100 school children in front of me. Well lets just say that it took some time to check in.
When I got to the counter I was talking to the clerk and she was very nice and asked all about my adventure I was about to slide into. She even filled out my immagration cards and was more than happy to chat about hang gliding and wished all the australians to return with gold medals around their necks..
This seemed to be the trend for the morning and felt like the whole Sydney Airport was cheering me on..
Well that was until I went through the security and they found the vegemite that I forgot about in my carry on baggage. The funny thing was it was going to be a present and I had our Chopper tickets from the Ronnie Jons Half Hour show taped to the jar.
In big writing the ticket said HARDEN THE F$%K UP!! and they looked at me funny as if I had planned to do this. I was trying not to laugh but it was difficult and eventually got away however my vegemite did not escsape the customs..

Well it is finally time for me to board the big Qantas jet in bound for the land of the big..

Here is a photo of me relaxing with free wireless...
Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Red Bull Photo Shoot!!!!

After organising some camera mounts at the Moyes factory prior to my last overseas trip all we needed was a photographer. Red Bull sent their best man up for the job Mark watson from who actually travelled to Brazil with me for the Giants OF Rio. I organised Leeroy and Flocky to tow me up with the Dragonfly out of the turf farm next door. The weather was perfect and the crew was awesome and the photo's are magical. If you would like to use any of these photo's please contact Red Bull for permission.

I hope you will enjoy these breathe taking moments as I sure did!!!





There are so many great pictures that we managed to get over the 2 days and unfortunately I cant put them all up. This was just a taste of some of the magic!!!!