Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Worlds day 8

Today was looking good with blue skies and moderate wind. It seemed like a northerly at about 20kph but for some reason they sent us to aspre launch. I love that launch cause it is green grass for set up and no walking of the gliders. When we arrived on launch it was clear that we were on the wrong takeoff as it was blowing 10kph from behind launch. They said the wind would swicth around later in the day and everyone rigged up except for me. Pilot Briefing. I waited untill I saw the wind decreasing and just before breifing I decided to set up and get ready as the winds swung a little in our favour. We had briefing and they wind continued to be cross so another briefing was called and times were delayed 30 mins. Wild Mushrooms on launch. As soon as the window opened I was in my harness waiting on launch knowing that it would be hard to get off and get up so we needed all the opportunity. I was first on launch in my lane and did not want to be first off into the unknown. Soon Manfred launched from the lane next to me and everyone mooved to the hillside as he went tailwind down the valley. He dissapeared around the corner and there was a pause on launch for sometime. I asked Tim to go to the top of the hill to see if he could see Manfred getting up. He relayed that he was climbing slowly low in the valley. It was still unlaunchable so I waited then I herd Manfred had a good thermal and was climbing to cloudbase. As soon as it cycled up I ran off and pulled vg on and glided down the valley untill I got low. I hit a thermal and drifted slowly toward a little hill where Manfred had climbed on. It took me 45 mins of intense flying low before I eventually got a good thermal and climbed to cloudbase. Only 3 other pilots had launched in this time mostly because of the wind but also I think there were many people that did not think they would get up. I did 1st start with manfred and Antoine and was nearly at the turnpoint when I herd that the launch had been closed. They said that the task was still on but it would not be worth many points as only 6 pilots got off the hill. I said no worries I'll keep going as there is only a few points seperating me from the guys in front. As I approached the Turnpoint they told me that the day had been stopped and it would score zero so I may as well head back to camping and land. I was with Antoine and we turned tailwind and headed back 40kms to the camp site. The house were we are staying. I flew back over Chabre and it was also not that great there with crosswinds probably something to do with the storms that were building to the south. Another day over I did well getting off and up and in position and if they had of not closed launch I was in for a great day due to my early risk taking. below is todays video.
Monday, June 29, 2009

Worlds day 7

Today was looking good with light winds they set a 166km triangle task with goal back at Laragne. It was a bit of a shambles on takeoff today as they were really trying to puch us off the hill and many pilots were not ready. I managed to get ready just in time and once I launched I would spend the next 1.5 hrs in the air waiting for the first start. I started way to the south all alone thinking I was doing right thing. After the first glide I was almost at the bottom of the 65 glider gaggle and needed to do something special to get away. I pushed chasing the lead guys from low and slowly was cathing them. Curt and I were flying together as a team and we made some good decision and b the time we got half way to the 2nd turnpoint we were in front. We kept pushing hard and were in front with Manfred, Alex,Elio and Mario. This would be the most spectacular part of the flight flying along a mountain that is 10,000ft high and cloudbase is about 8,000ft. It felt unrealistic racing along this ridge it made you feel so small against this Giant mountain. We raced down to the turnpoint and back along the ridge before jumping into the next valley toward the last turnpoint. Our gaggle was in front and pushing hard into Pic de bur mountain the highest one around this area. We had a great climb of 900 fpm to around 3,000m before heading off to toward the last turnpoint. Curt and I topped up 20kms from the turnpoint before heading into the blue hole. I arrived at the turnpoint just below the ridge and Christian Vioblet was climbing good just behind the ridge 500 feet higher but I missed the thermal. I was stuck low there for a little bit and Zac and Christian Ciech came in above me. We eventually climbed out in a pretty good climb but I got pinched off at about 2400m and had to push back forward to Manfred who was climbing well back on the turnpoint ridge. That thermal also stopped and then we headed off toward goal. Manfred stopped along the way with Antoine and I kept pushing on with Curt low onto the hills in front. We hit a climb but was not strong enough and Manfred came in above us. The 2 Christians a french guy and Zac were high and heading off on final for goal above us now. Our thermal kicked eventually and we all went on final for goal. I had a good final and finished I think 6th for the day behind Manfred and Curt was just behind me. A good day for the Aussies today and I will move up 5 places into 7th overall now. I have a short video of today task below. Worlds Day 7 video.
Saturday, June 27, 2009

Worlds day 5

We all went up to the north launch at Chabre and I think 99 percent of pilots set up. I was the only one that never unzipped my glider as I could see there was quite a big chance of no flying. The organisers continued to set a task and have a pilot briefing like the sky was blue and there was not tower cu nimbs above us. About 10 mins after pilots briefing the cancelled the day. Most of the pilots flew down to the camping after a quick fly. Some pilots were buzzing takeoff and this was enough to motivate me to borrow a glider to test fly to have some fun. I found one had a few passes and test flight before landing 3 minutes before the rain. Many pilots were caught out and about 30 landed in heavy rain. A made a short video of the day for you to check out. Video below..
Friday, June 26, 2009

Worlds Results.

You can find the link to the WORLDS SCORES HERE.

Worlds day 4

Todays forecast was to be stronger winds from the WNW so they were unsure for awhile to send us for takeoff. They eventually decided to go to Aspre launch which was a great choice as there was plenty of room and a great launch. Gliders on launch. A 126kms task was set with 2 turnpoints basicly and out and return landing back in Laragne. I did the first start then turned back thinking that maybe on the way home people might get stuck and I could catch them. I had a bad start and ended up behind from the word go. I did my own thing and managed to overtake the second start gate guys before the last turnpoint. I was just in front of them and was pushing hard with Antoine. I decided to go out into the valley instead of running deep into the high mouuntains as there are not great landings back there. I spent a lot of yesterday there and opted for the wide route with plenty of landings. It seemed that I was not alone with this decision and probably was half going one way and the other half going the other way. We struggled a bit on the lower mountains and did not have many great climbs stopping around 7,000ft.They guys on the high mountains were apparently getting 10,000ft and seemed to have a much better run than us. I eventually made goal coming in about 16 accross the line but some of the ones in front did the first start. Manfred beat everyone by a decent margin and was 50 minutes faster than me. Some of the other top pilots had bad days too so I should move up some places anyway but am losing to the first place. Todays Video.
Thursday, June 25, 2009

Worlds day 3 task 1

Today was looking great and a 162kms task was set with 4 turnpionts. Everyone climbed out easily from takeoff and had no problems making the first start gate. Task Briefing About 15 pilots did the first start but I waited for the second as I noticed most of the top pilots were holding back due to the long course. I was off and high with Andre hot on my heels gliding to the first turnpoint. We had a good climb and kept pushing hard in front slowly catching the first starters. We rounded the turnpoint and charged off to the 2nd turnpoint. Just before we got to the turnpoint we had nearly caught most of the 1st starters and by the time we rounded the turnpoint we had caught them. Gliders on Launch We had a very rough thermal and I have never seen so many gliders out of control trying to thermal up together in my life. I got sick of it and left first on glide and as soon as I left everyone followed me across the valley. We were rewarded with a good smoothe climb to 2,800m and I glided straight to the 3rd turnpoint with Jeff O brien and Andre and a few others. We hit a good climb there but I left it early as I saw some sailplanes circling good in front under a cloud street. No one else followed me this time. I guess this is where I made my biggest mistake of the day, I missed the thermal and glided into the area where there was no landing only valleys of trees. I soon ha dno choice but to dive onto a little ridge that was facing the wind and try to ridgesoar. I did this for sometime watching the others one by one fly over me as I was pushing the boot of my harness quite intensly. I rarely put myself in a situation where I cant get out of but today I was there. Soon later I saw 1 glider in front of me also not in a great spot circling but going knowhere. The gliderr crossed the valley as he had no other option and onto the hill in front of me and dissapeared. As I could not see what was around the corner I was scared to leave the hill I was on but I soon saw this glider getting up so I dove around the corner and to my suprise it was the World champion Atilla. Atilla was happy to see me and I found a good thermal and we managed to climmb out of our danger zone. I could his smile when I climbed up to him, Now it was time to play catch up for the last 60kms. We caught many gliders up that had gone past us while we were saving our lives and eventually made goal. There was lots in goal and many landed just short due to the strong headwind down low. I really enjoyed parts of the flight and was scared in some parts but if we can get 8 more days like this we will find a new world champion and a deserving one. Here is todays video..
Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Worlds day 3

Well it is morning time here and the winds look like they have almost swicthed direction to the SE now and we will fly. I think the weather will be good and we might even fly from the Aspre takeoff. Stay tuned and I will give a report when I get back from kicking butt...:-) Here is a picture of launch this morning. This is outside our house which is on the north side of the mountain.

The funniest Blog in Laragne.

If you have not read the Irish Blog you need too it is quite Hilarious and I can not stop laughing at some of the post. You can check it out here. IRISH BLOG

All the GEAR and hopefully some IDEA..

Well after having a dry run today of setting my glider up on launch with everyone else I could see my Advantages. It is always amazing to come to a place like the Wolrd Championship and see the equipment the top pilots are flying with. This year I am one of them I have all the possible streamline features on my glider. After a quick walk around on launch I was feeling really good as there were not to many gliders that had the racing edge that mine has. Carbon Trailing Edge Inserts. There is only Atilla, Gerolf, and Andre with the keels and many with other forms of samurai swords. Nothing looked like it compared and there were many visits from Icaro Designer Christian and other top pilots admiring the new masterpiece that Moyes has created along with Theo. My Carbon keel from the back. Now that I have no excuses there is only one thing left to do..... You can guess what that is, Yep it is the same thing that many of us come here for to be the new World Champion. Stayed tuned as tomorrow looks to be a great day out with lighter SW winds predicted.

Worlds day 2

Gliders set up on launch. Today was looking better however the wind was still forecasted to be a little strong but much less than previous days. They set a task and and we all set up but after 2 hrs of waiting they cancelled the day. Aussie Team shirt. We were fortunate enough to get a display from the passing by sailplanes. Check out the video below to watch. Worlds video day 2
Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Worlds day 1

I woke up to bright blue skies and no wind and the voice of vicki saying wakeup it's day 1 of the worlds. Whilst eating some vegemite on toast out of knowhere came the wind. It took our plastic furniture set and blew it across the patio and a frown appeared on our faces. Bill and Molly in Sisteron. The wind continued to get stronger and stronger during the morning and by lunchtime it was upto 80kph on takeoff. The day was cancelled and we did some site seeing before returning home to a nice home cooked dinner with the Moyes family and Timothy my ever so kind driver. A walkway down to the river. Were hoping to wake up tomorrow and see less wind but Im not sure if that will be the case as it is still windy outside now 11pm. Were keeping our fingers crossed to get a fly in soon here to get this 17th World hang champs off and runnning. There are many hot and hungry contenders here so it will be a comp to keep focused and I have been told im not allowed to film. So unfortunately there probably wont be so much coverage of in air but will still try and get some interviews by winners for you all to watch with a quick rundown on the days events.

Worlds 2009 Opening Ceremony

Well it was the day before the Worlds and I just arrived the night before from Spain. The Mistral wind has set in so ne practice day for me it was just a day to register and get my glider measured and do the opening ceremony. I had an early christmas present today from vicki as she brought me a carbon keel that I have dreamed of having for many years. I was excited to fit this to my glider before meausuring the sprogs it looks amazing. My Keel from the side view. After a 2 hr mandatory safety meeting and Gerolf doing a speech on flying safely it was time to march or dance down the street with the a great band leading the way. Dancing down the street. We had a great dance through the street and there was so many people out to watch and cheer us on. After the Parade we had the speeches which was the only downfall as they seemed to take more than 1 hr and most of it in French. Listening to the speeches. There was a few drinks and nibbles inside the town hall after the speeches but most of the hall was filled with locals and non pilots. The food was gone fast so we went down the road for a quiet Chinese meal.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Visit to Red Bull Madrid.

Well it was not a great day for flying and today we set aside to visit Red Bull and prepare for the worlds. We eventually tracked down the office and got to visit with the crew there. I really enjoy visiting different offices to see how Red Bull changes in each country. The crew is always happy to see and athlete in the office and it is like being in an instant family. Alvaro( Athlete Manager) and Jaime ( Sports and events Manager) There office is located in one of the newest and highest buildings in Spain on the 32nd floor. The view is quite nice there and I could imagine it hard to get much work done. They dont have a full games area unlike some of the other countries but they do have a Fuseball table there. The tradition of Spain and apparently the crew is getting quite good at the game. after meeting the crew and a quick chat it was time to get some product and head off to the World championships in France. below is a quick video of today's visit.( some course language)
Tuesday, June 16, 2009

La Muela

Today is was time to visit a small site 1 hr to the NE of Madrid. The Televsion crew was coming and we were going to have some fun. Once arrving at takeoff I was amazed on how great this place was. This is a perfect training site short retrieve to the LZ and takeoffs in every direction. There is also training hills in every direction at the bottom of take off. Many people come here after work and fly all afternoon untill 9pm in summer time. The record is a mere 220kms but there is much more potential to be had from this site. It is used a lot by paragliders as it is perfect for takingoff and landing in smoothe conditions. Here is a short video of todays flying.
Monday, June 15, 2009

Spanish Nationals Results.

To see the final results click on the link below. Results Spanish Nationals

Spanish Nationals Day 9

Well it was looking good today no wind and supposed to have clouds but manybe to many. We arrived on launch and set a short 70km out and reutn task with a race start. The wind was not so good on launch and everyone was waiting for it to get better. A storm started just in front of launch and this shut things down for us. It slowly got closer and a little rain started so they cancelled the day. Some people were sitting under their gliders and others to wait for teh rain to stop so they could continue packing up. I just kept packing up in the rain cause it was only light. Out of the blue a gustfront hit from behind launch and caught many people out as there gliders were facing into the wind. Blay Snr who glider was right next to mine got picked up and fliped over onto the rocks and many others were lucky to hold theirs down. Noticed my glider was turned around already before the storm hit so I was lucky. He is glider suffered a broken crossbar as well as tears through the main sail due to the many sharp rocks on launch. The wind got even stronger and made it difficult to even pack up gliders without them blowing over. We had time for a siesta then we went to the prize giving got some trophy's and the Blay and I partied all night getting home at 7am. The Spanish really know how to party and fly.. The top 4 Ako 1st Blay Jr 2nd Jonny 3rd and Blay Snr 4th in open. It was awesome to see father and son in the top 3 Spanairds. It is not everyday that you see that any any sport yet alone something so variable like Hang Gliding.
Saturday, June 13, 2009

Spanish Nationals Day 8

Well we woke up to wind in the morning but once we arrived on take off we found out it was low alttitude wind. We used the SE launch today for the first time and they set a 115kms triangle task. SE Launch. I was one of the first off again and spent the next 2 hrs ridge soaring the hill at no more than 300m above takeoff. I ended up starting 1 hr after the last start hoping the conditions would get better but they never did. I went low to the 1st turnpoint where I met Blay and then we pushed hard together through the mountains to the 2nd Turnpoint. We got high in the convergence 15kms off course line and that made all the difference. We scratched on the way back to goal and could never get above 2200m in the flatlands. I glided from 34kms from goal to 14kms and ended up winning the day by 5kms over Blay Jr. My landing Field. Here is todays Video.
Friday, June 12, 2009

Spanish Nationals Day 7

Well today was supposed to be the day of the comp so they set a 167kms task with 3 turnpoints.I launched first and climbed out with Pedro and Blay to 2200m. There was only 2 starts and I wanted to do the 1st one as there was 30 mins between them. The course was long and we had more wind than expected. I stuck to my plan and Led out the whole first 2 legs arriving at the 2nd turnpoint into convergence. This was the most fantastic part of the flight I got to 15,000ft and glided 25kms into the headwind before heading more on course line away from the convergence. This will be my mistake of the day. Pedro caught me up in the convergence and we flew together and scratched together the whole way. Blay eventually caught us then the rigid wings caught back up after not seeing them since the begining. Ako did the last start and by the time he got to the 2nd turpoint the convergence had moved closer again to course line and he followed it deep into the mountains and caught us at the last turnpoint. We all arrived there low apart from Blay who got stuck low behind us. I decided to head downwind away from goal as the grounnd was coming up and to the left the ground was going down. So I tried to give myself some height to get up but landed. Everyone else went right got very low and climbed out in a light thermal. I watched them for the next 45 mins over my head before they went on final for goal. It was quite frustrating knowing that I was the only one that landed out of the 5 of us, 2 being rigids. I then spent the next 4 hrs waiting for the car to turn up and finally got retrieved just after 11pm. Ako won the day pedro 2nd and Elloy 3rd only 3 in goal and I was next closest 20kms short.Blay landed about 10kms behind me, thats all for now as it is nearly 2:30am and I need some sleep so that I can do some more catching up. Here is todays video. He
Thursday, June 11, 2009

Spanish Nationals Results.

Spanish Nationals Day 6

Today was an early start with only 5 hrs sleep I was up and off to get my harness repaired. Alberto drove me into the closest big town that has paragliding shop and the lady there managed to sew and new zip into my harness. Thanks to Fran for supplying me with the new zipper. After fixing the harness we raced up the hill to sit around for awhile before the decided on the west launch. we set up and soon they had a 86km triangle set with light winds it seemed like the perfect course. No wind on the lake and you can see the reflection. I was one of the first off the hill again and climber out to 2300m. Thinking that today was going to be much better than yesterday I decided to try my luck again and crossed the lake to try for another starton higher ground. Gliders on Launch. Well It was exactly the same I spent the next 30 mins low just staying in the air and eventually did the last start at 1450m only 450m agl.I flew only 400 m on course before having to stop and climb a little so that I did not land. I had a couple of slow thermals then I spotted the guys that had started at launch 1000m higher than me. They were out in front and high I diverted to them and came in low under the 2nd gagle.I climbed to 2200 m and saw guys coming from high still behind me and over taking me. At this point I felt high as I had not been this high since my first thermal 1 hr earlier. I decided to stay in a light climb at 2200m 18kms from Tp1 and eventually it kicked to 7-800fpm and I climbed to 2,600m.I was trying to contact Blay to see where they were as I could see a stream of gliders high in front of me. I had no answer from him and as I approached the turnpoint I saw Ako low below me. This gave me hope that I was not doing as bad as I thought so I decided to stay high and complete the course this way. I was pushing hard on the 2nd leg and overtook most of the pilots. I rounded the last turnpoint below Blay and Pedro and one other Rigid. They were on final and I still needed to climb to make goal. I went on final and made it easy and to my suprise when I landed Blay told me he did the start before me. That means that I had the fastest time by around 7-8 mins. I think will be just enough to put me infront of Blay for the day. My track log around the course. Most of the pilots made goal and there were lots of smiling faces around the field. Tomorrow is looking even better with higher thermals and light winds. Lets hope for maybe a 130kms triangle. Here is today's video.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Spanish Nationals Day 5

Today we arrived on launch and new we were going to fly but did not know how good it would be. They set a 92kms mostly downwind task with a but of crosswind and no turnpoints. I launched early again to avoid the crowd and just after launch my harness zipper blew apart and I was already uncomfortable. I tried to fix it and made it better but knew that my landing would be difficult in the position it was in. I decided to dive off across the lake which I guess no one ever does especially from low alttitude.When I got to the other side I realised why it is deep revines into the water and very little landing not to mention high ground. I turned and headed down wind for some landing options to avoid high ground and hit a thermal from about 300 ft and climbed out. I did the 3pm start at 1200m which was only about 300m above theg ground below me. I scratched my way along the course very low. I should have landed at least 3-4 times before getting a good strong thermal to 1700m still only about 650 m above the rising ground. I then glided off as I knew the others were about to start 30 mins later and thinking I had done so badly I was pushing hard. 5 minutes later I was standing on the ground with a broken harness and a bad landing as I could not get both feet out for the landing. I packed up and watched the guys fly over 40 mins later. I spent the next 5 hrs waiting to get home as I landed in not the easiest spot for retrieve. It is now 2am here and I have to wake up in 6 hrs to go and get a new zipper sewn into my harness so that is all for tonight. Here is todays Video..
Monday, June 08, 2009

Spanish Nationals Day 4

We arrive at Launch to find it is windy and cold again. We wait there for 2 hrs and then they decided to cancel the day as no one wanted to fly. It is working our great for me as my back is getting lots of rest and will be perfect for the worlds in 2 weeks time. Here is a Link to the scores from round 1.SCORES Here is a Video of a retrieve yesterday since there was no flying today.

Spanish Nationals Day 3

Today was looking much better with lighter winds and blue skies. We arrived on launch and quickly set up to make sure we were fully prepared for the first round. After a Briefing we had about 30 mins before the window opened and I was on launch and waiting to make sure I did not get stuck. I launched 2nd and flew around bouncing off the inversion for awhile before heading over the back toward the start. Looking back at launch from the start gate. I waited for Blay and Ako to join me and we and most of the comp did the 3:15pm start and only a handfull took the earlier ones.I started on top and lead out into the first turnpoint and then got low and the others went gliding past me higher and more upwind. I found a strong thermal the best one of the day and climbed high and flew past them and found another good climb which the whole gagle joined me in. I topped out and glided off for the next mountain and found a light climb and stuck with it and Ako came in lower and hit a good one further down the ridge and managed to get on top of me. Blay joined us a little below me and we all climbed up. We all kept pushing on and now Ako was a 200 meters higher and was following the rigids who had finally just passed us. we all got low and went different directions Ako and I got the better of Blay and I was climbing in 4-500fpm about 1km behind Ako when he hit a boomer. I quickly dove off for him but somehow missed the climb and got low again on some small hills 7kms before the last turnpoint. Blay said that he got behind me 2900m which was 500 m higher than I got all dayand glided over me and into the last turnpoint above Ako. They were stuck ther for a little bit and I manged to get a good climb after groveling for awhile and came gliding in below them. They both headed off on final for goal and I had to stay and climb 500m before I could go on final. Blay was 1st with Ako 2 minutes behind then I was next in a little over 2 minutes behind Ako.Next fastest was Alvaro about 15 mins behind. Blay will score 856 Ako will score 849 Jonny will get 825 1st Day Champions Blay and Ako. Below is a video of today's flight.
Sunday, June 07, 2009

Spanish Nationals Day 2

As I woke up this morning it was quite clear that the wind was still strong and there would no flying again today. I am getting very used to the Spanish lifestyle of going to sleep at 1-2am and then waking up at 10am for breakfast. This is the view from bedroom. You can see the moon like craters that surround the lake. Todays task was to visit the beach and try to see if we could do some windsurfing(well I was going to film). We rounded up the crew and loaded into our 9 seat mini bus and were beach bound. Here is a map of our little journey today. A nice out and return.
View Larger Map After a good hrs drive we made it to the beach but it was blowing about 35knts. They were not keen to let the boys hire any equipment so we had a look around then had some lunch at the beach. Here we are finally at the beach. The wind died down just a little and Ako talked the guy into having a quick go. After a few passes it was evident that it was not a good day for windsurfing. Both the Blay's had a go and eventually gave up. We then went to another beach and watched some kitesurfing and more windsurfing but there was no rental gear there. We have now just returned home and am going to have some dinner.
Saturday, June 06, 2009

Spanish Nationals Day 1

Today was judgement day and my back for the first time was feeling slightly better and I was prepared to fly. We went to the morning briefing which seemed like it took 2 hrs given that I could not understand most of what was being said. We then loaded up and headed up the hill to the west takeoff. When we arrived we noticed that there was more much more wind than the practice days. We walked down to launch to check the wind. It was reading around the 45kph mark and was quite consistant with only a few lulls. There was a briefing called and everyone gathered around and I listen to some Spanish discussion understanding some but not most of it. I caught up with the Meet director after the briefing to get an english translation and this is what he had to say.

Hospital trip

After giving my back 2 days rest the comp was about to start and I needed medical attention. It was time to resort to the local small hospital in town the size of normal house. It was quite a funny experience walking in with the Spanish Mafia of 5 people and demanding drugs. It was less than 5 minutes later I had a prescription that was filled in 1 minutes with pills in my hand. Then the doctor sent me to another room where I took a piece of paper saying something and that doctor gave me a needle in my butt. Blay was trying to video the whole thing even after they told us no camera's as soon as we walked in the door filming. I was more nervous of him filming and making the doctors upset cause I really needed their help. Anyway here is a short film to show you some of the adventure that took place..:-)
Friday, June 05, 2009

Professional Driver

Well after a long sore drive from Madrid down to Baza in south of spain my back is still not well. I have been trying to rest my back as much as possible so that I will be able to fly the 9 day nationals which start tomorrow. The last 2 days I have become the professional driver for the Blay's. The area is great here very dry slightly windy and lots of olive trees. The takeoff is a mountain located in the middle of some flatlands and on oneside it has a lake with some pretty cool looking revines around it. The west launch. The weather has not been great but Blay Snr flew for 3 hrs yesterday and Blay test flew my glider and landed close to town for an easy retrieve. He said my glider was "unbelievable" and that I will have a good chance at the Worlds.:-) So looks like I have no excuses on the glider front and hopefully I will get to fly in the comp to fine tune it for the world's. Today I went to the Hospital after a couple of sleepless nights and got shot up with some drugs to try and get the pain to go away so that I can compete in the comp. It seems that there will a little of 50 pilots here in the comp so it is a great turn out and hopefully we will get some good weather and have some great task. Launch from the south. There is many underground houses here that are so cool. All you can see is a door and windows that go into the ground and many comunities are built like this. I tried to capture a pic today but most of them are off the road and I have not felt like walking to far lately. Todays video..
Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Spain Day 2

Well after a good night sleep I think I am over my jetlag and ready to win another day here against the locals..:-) We decide on flying from Arcones today as the wind is a little lighter and the site is much closer. Once up the hill we realise the wind is still strong but launchable and the day does not look as good as yesterday. The sky was blue and there only a few clouds way behind launch near Madrid. We decided on a 106kms task with 3 turnpoints and back to the LZ as we did not have retrieve today we could not afford to land out. I was first off the hill and wiated for the others to climbout before we started on course. Below is todays video and sorry about the colour in the video I somehow managed to change all the settings but is now fixed for the next flight. We have just arrived in Baza and cloudbase here today looked to be around 4,500m but unfortunately I managed to hurt my Back yesterday in the LZ. I was saving my glider from being destroyed and managed to put a rip through my top surface as well as doing damage to myself. I am barely walking and dont think I will fly the next couple of days unless something changes fast.:-( If nothing else I hope I will be fit and ready to fly the Worlds in 2.5 weeks.

Spain is welcome to my visit

It was time to move on from suny California to sunny Spain. I boarded my flight to Miami and 5 hrs later was back in Florida a little bit of dejuvu there. I then boarded my AA flight to Madrid Spain and sat on the plane for the next 8 hrs. I arrived at 10am and Blay Jr was there to pick me up and take me back to their Arcones house at the base of one the best flying sites in the world. No wonder this guy has gotten so good so fast. We had a late breakfast and then un shortpacked my new glider. Alberto was also there and we loaded up to go flying as the clouds were poping over our heads at about 12,000ft. It was a little windy so we went to a different flying site just down the ridge where the takeoff is lower and has better wind protection for setting up the gliders. The guys are serious here and they set a 119kms task with 3 turnpoints and then landing back at home in Arcones. We had one start gate at 3:45pm and then race to goal. Blay Snr was first to launch followed by Ako (the current Spainish Champion) then me and Blay were last off the hill. We had a great day with good climbs and I have put together a video of the days flight so you can all see what sort of flying is to be had in Spain.