Thursday, September 13, 2007

Its a small world!!

Well after a flight down to Rio de Janeiro on monday and a lovely dinner with Guga and Simone that night we had only one more sleep in to go. We then headed to the airport the next night for our journey back to LA. After checking in we had a little spare time up oursleeves so it was time to do some last minute shopping and have a quiet drink. We found this little bar upstairs in the terminal and all of a sudden we find kevin. Kevin is a paraglider pilot from Santa Barbara that we met in Andradas at the beginning of the trip and had a great night out with him and his soon to be brazilian wife. To our suprise he was there at the very same bar 3 weeks later and was about to board the same plane as us to Miami. It was so weird and then to find out that he was sitting right behind us on the plane out of 300 seats was even more amazing. We had a couple of caiparinhas before boarding the flight. We arrived in Miami where we said goodbye to Jamie our longtime roadtripper and retrieve driver and the person to get us out of trouble. It was now down to just Kevin,Chris and I for the next 6 hr leg to LAX. We all had different seats and managed to get a little bit of sleep before arriving in this completely different country. I am now just on a 12 hr layover before returning to the airport to fly back home to see all my long lost friends and family. Cant wait to find my bed after 2 months of traveling and sleeping inn different beds all the time.
Monday, September 10, 2007

Brasilia Day 5,6,7

Me getting ready to take off on the last day of the comp.

Well sorry for being so slack on the blogging there just seems to never be enough hours in the day here.We had great flying the last 3 days becoming more of the normal Brasila that we all know. The wind backed off a little and we had some great big puffy clouds with strong lift. We averaged just over 100kms a day with the winners doing it between 2-2.5 hrs every day. It is amazing how good these Brazilian pilots are day in and day out. I can only imagine if we had similar weather in texas as what we have had here in this comp how much the results would have changes for the Brazilian team.
Andre flew amazing here winning 1 day and placing in the top 4 every other day. Nene won 2 task and was also in the top few all but one day. Maskara I think placed in the top 4 everyday and also won one of the days. I flew just average and always seem to make the same mistake at the end of the task.
Seems a lot of the days are won here on the last thermal and some of the guys do some strange things like go way off course line and then hit a 1,000fpm climb and win the day. I will fly with the gagle all day then try and go a different way at the end to try and beat them and I always seem to loose.
Oh well I will just have to keep coming back to this lovely country untill I can get a win under my belt.
Thanks to all the organisers who put the comp together for a highly qualified comp it runs so smoothe and stress free. Landing here in the middle of the capital city with a huge crowd, media, women, beer and to top it off pizza.

The Esplanada in all of its glory on the last day.

How much better can a hang gliding comp get a 5 minute drive home to the hotel after racing in great conditions with some of the best pilots in the world.
I would highly recomend anyone looking for a flying holiday to partake in one of the 3 Brazilian nationals it will be a holiday that you never forget.
Thursday, September 06, 2007

day 4

Today was still windy but after not flying the last 2 everyone was keen to fly regardless. They set a 112kms task with 4 turnpoints with a landing out of the Esplanade due to a big parade in the city. There was supposed to be low level flying aircraft and nowhere to land so they remote goal was set at casa de lagoa. Most everyone was at the start and the field spread out making all different lines to the first turnpoint. I went more along the ridge and most tried to stay upwind a little in the valley. Just before the 1st TP I hit a strong thermal and was quite rough on the outside edge then I saw the gagle coming in below me. One the pilots from Sao paulo flying a Aeros tumbled about 5 times before totally destroying his glider. He ripped the crossbars off the leading edge and it folded up like a lawn dart. He got his metamorfosi 16 out reasonably fast and it opened a little slower than I imagined it would. I am sure time stands still in these moments so it was probably quite fast considering the situation. Chris and I relayed co-ordinates to Jamie who then gave them to the comp organiser and they went in search for him. Turns out he was fine without a scratch on him and the co-ordinates were only 300m away from where they found him. I continued on to the first TP and then chased the leaders down half way to the 2nd TP. They went a little off course and I decided to go straight line and was rewarded with a good climb arriving at the TP high and infront of the gagle. I lead out to the 3rd and soon Andre,maskara, nene among others had caught up to me at the forest. I wanted to be high at the 3rd TP as the next leg was going to be almost straight headwind in 30kph. I got the TP 1st and headed for the last TP topping up about 12kms out. I then did a final glide and picked a bad line with Andre who was following me the guys behind move off line and got a great glide overtaking us and beating us in to goal. Maskara will win the day followed by Monex and then me 30 seconds behind Maskara.Andre will be fourth and then after that I am not sure. Looks like there will be some changing going on in the scores after today. there seemed to be about 30 in goal with a few just short. for results and more info check out

Day2 and 3

We made the long drive to launch and both days were cancelled dut to winds reaching 65kms hrs on launch. We all left launch went to the local gas station had lunch and basically took over the entire place. We then went to the local water fall which seems to be like a treasure hunt cause it took all of us a long time to find this gold treasure. Many dirt roads later we find a dead end and a little track which winds down into a lovely little waterfall. Here are some pics that I took whilst we were down there swimming. well the pics wont seem to upload i will have to post them later.
Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Day 1 Brasilia

Today was starting to look like a comp with a launch full of gliders and blue skys.
A 107 km task was set with 4 turnpoints before taking the final glide over the lake and into the city.

It was a little windy on launch and it took a little while to get everyone into the air. We had 1 start at 1:45pm and there was like 50 gliders there racing off. Before to long Guga and I were out in front leaving the main gaggle low and scratching before the 1st turnpoint. We rounded the turnpoint and headed for the 2nd across the forest.
We missed getting a good climb and arrived low at the 2nd turnpoint and was just dribbling in light lift. The main gagle behind us got to 3,000m and arrived really high over our heads which put them in a great position for the next crosswind leg.
Guga and I eventually found a good climb 900fpm and topped out downwind of course line. We will spend the rest of the task trying to catch up to the main gagle without any sucess.

Arriving at goal!!!

Nene will win the day in just over 2 hrs followed closely by Dustin and Andre seconds behind. Chris finished 13th and I finished 16th 10-15 minutes behind the leader. Guga got stuck and came in another 15 minutes behind me.
Sunday, September 02, 2007

Arrived in Brasilia!!

Looking south from launch.

Well after some very exciting road trips from Rio to Andradas to Brasilia we finally arrive. You can read about that on Jamies blog as I have been to busy to write to much.
I flew yesterday here in some reasonably strong winds with light conditions and still made the Esplanada quite late in the day. It is so nice to be back here flying again after having not been here for 2 years. This is one of my most favorite places to fly in the whole world for some serious racing with great pilots.
Today was a pratice day with about 50 pilots flying it was quite crowded on launch but once in the air it was fine.
I flew with Chris,Gugga,and Konrado all day today semi racing and semi free flying. It is so nice to free fly with good pilots and still have a goal that everyone is aiming for. It is only 72kms in straight line from launch to Goal at the esplanada in Brasilia. Here are a few pics that I took flying into Brasilia today. This has to be one of the most amzing goals fields you will ever get to land in.

This is the view you get when your about to go on final glide over the lake and into the city.

Across the lake and now approaching the goal field. You can start to see the wings of the town in this picture.

Arriving at Goal this picture is taken looking west down the Fuselage of the plane or otherwise known as the Esplanada.

This is looking east along the Esplanada towards the Presidents house and all the ministeries lined up on either side. The landing is at the bottom middle of the picture.

Our hotel is right below me with a swimming pool and is only 5 minutes walking from the goal field.