Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Marina Beach Finals

After a close race on saturday the organiser decided to make the race more fun. Instead of the short course they wanted to fly the long and famous race to the steeple and back. This is about 14 miles total distance and the record for this task was set by John Borton flying a Aeros. I believe his time was around 16 mins so they were keen to see if we could beat that time.

The ramp with the ridge in the background!!

The weather was cold and windy which kept the beach clear of people but there were quite a few spectators watching from the car park. Today was going to be the decider and the times were close so that meant you could not afford to make any mistakes. We were only allowed 2 flights so we needed to make the most of it. Ken Brown was first to launch followed by Kraig then I was just behind him. We raced with full VG with our wingtips only metres away from the dunes for what seemed like an hour of intense control and accuracy.

I was about 3/4 of the way to the turn point and felt like my arms were going to fall off but I could see that I was doing well and needed to hang in there to improve my position. Ken and Kraig came smoking past me after making the turn point on their way back to the finish line.I did a nice turn and stuffed the bar for the slightly more downwind leg home. The ground was moving by so fast that I was scared to look at how close I was getting to the dunes as I knew there would only be one way of crashing (really hard).

Konrado with his RS walking to the ramp..

I kept my mind on the job and tucked me arms in as much as I could and went flat stick for the finish line. I crossed at about 6 inches off the sand and pulled up before taking out the spectators that were there trying to capture the moments with their cameras.

Before our last flight we did a quick score check to see who had the fastest time for the first run. Ken brown was 14mins 30 seconds Kraig 13 mins 59 seconds and I had just set the new record time of 13 mins and 49 seconds. That is nearly an average speed of 60mph or 95kmh considering we are flying crosswind you can see how fast were having to go. This meant that going into our last flight kraig and I were now only 2.5 seconds apart with ken slipping back about 20 seconds.

Ken Brown is still happy after being beaten by the Aussie boys!!

Unfortunately by the time we had all recovered from our first flight the wind had changed and come in more south so that meant that our next flight was not going to be any faster than our first flight. We still had a go just to make sure and it sure was another thrill seeking flight up and down the ridge.

Ben Dunn in the hang gliding simulator at the festival of winds about 300 metres down the road from launch.

This was by far the most exciting flying I have done on my Litespeed in a long time and I highly recommend everyone to turn up to next years event. The open results are as follows.

The winners will get paid.

Open class: 1st Kraig Coomber RS 3.5 $500
2nd Jonny Durand RS 3.5 $300
3rd Ken brown RS 4 $150

King Post Class: 1st Donny Litesport

Money in the hand!!