Thursday, April 30, 2009
Another great day in Florida today. A 139km task was set with 115kms of it in a 10-15knt crosswind. With strong climbs and cloubase up to 6500ft agl we were in for a blast. Below is a quick video that I made along the way. Jonny Cam Task 2.
Florida day 3
Well after some wind checks it looks like we finally will fly. They set a short 77kms task 1 turnpoint along the way. It was still about 15-18knts so they decided on not having any start gates and that you could start when the winidow opened. This was a major advantage for those that towed early and started early as they were using the arrival goal points. Looking good. I towed up and climbed out with Andre and Glen volk then managed to loose them in the start gate as I was playing the hide and go seek game. This worked well and I started 12 mins after them but could never see them. I caught up to Davis and Carl who started 6 mins before after the 2nd glide and flew with them most of the way to goal. I got drilled on final and wasted at least 3-5 mins which cost me dearly in the end. Andre won the day in 53min with Dustin just 1 min behind and then I will be 3rd fastest at 56mins. Glen volk actually placed 3rd having an earlier start than me and gaining on arrival points. All but 4 pilots made goal and it was seriously under called but at least we got to fly. There were lots of cool aircraft at goal here are some below. This is an old helicopter. Andre with the DC3 Jonny Cam Day 1
Monday, April 27, 2009
Florida ridge day1 and 2
Well the High pressure has kicked in and the wind is blowing hard so we have not flown yet. We went alligator hunting yesterday in a creek nearby and managed to find some.. Check out good the clouds are despite the strong winds. This was the biggest Aligator that we saw, about 7 foot. Was not quite to sure how to take this sign? today we tried to go air boating but our operator got airlifted out after crashing into another boat earlier in the day. He broke his hip so that was the end of the day for that so we enjoyed a nice lunch instead.
Friday, April 24, 2009
Ben Compares his Aeros to Davis's Skyline.
There seems to be a lot of talk about harnesses coming up to the comps here in Florida. Davis has been trying a few different types and comparing them. I did my best to get my looking like the skyline that he is flying in and I got quite close. However Ben was flying at quest today and being the new up and coming US pilot he was also keen to get his harness looking sweet. He was so keen to see how his harness looked in the air that he even strapped a camera on to take some pics. Below is Blazing Ben looking good in his 3 yr old Aeros Harness.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
A long day but sucessful day
After not getting our gliders on friday we were fully prepared over the weekend with one thing left to do. We woke up early monday morning and made some phone calls to see if our gliders were ready and got nothing but message banks. Kraig and I decided that we would make the 1.5 hr drive into LA in hopes that we would get a call saying our gliders had cleared customs and were ready for pick up. We arrived there and still no phone call so we went inside and asked for Paddy kraigs broker. After 30 mins of waiting with our arms crossed she finally came out and told us that they were not officially cleared but she had made some arrangments so that we could take them away as she knew how important it was for us to get them. We loaded up then met with Konrado and Stella where we loaded his glider and gear into the truck and raced back to Kraigs shop. We then unloaded the 14 boxes and seperated all the spares and put the gliders together that were going to Florida. After 5 hrs of working the truck was finally loaded up and Ben Dunn and Konrado were on there way to Florida at 7:30pm. The truck all loaded up. I then packed my sail up so that I could take it on the plane with me tomorrow morning to florida. Below what is worth more money the Porsce Targa 4S or the loaded truck with gliders?
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Matrix Race Harness
After seeing Davis in his new Skyline harness I was getting jealous. I spent the afternoon tweaking my harness with Kraig and after several hours I feel like I am very close to the most comfortable harness out there. Below is a picture of me hanging in my 18 month old harness looking good...LOL I hope you found this as amusing as me....
Friday, April 17, 2009
The Long journey begins.
After spending the day at Moyes packing my luggage is was off to the airport. I had with me 2 harnesses,1 glider,1 sail, spare parts and my luggage plus carry on bags. Hmm I was in for some sweet talking as I was flying the all new V Australia airline that had probably never seen a glider on board before. I arrived and immediatly starting working my charm on at the check in counter. I told them that one of the oversized bags was my kitesurfing gear and that I had another long one which was still outside on the car. I brought in the glider and they were all looking at me like they had seen a ghost. After some measuring and calls to make sure it would fit on the plane they informed me that I was going to need to pay excess baggage. I already knew that the minimum should cost me $400 dollars and that they would not except anything over 2.7 metres. Well I managed to convince them to take it as I was competing for Australia and I needed my glider. While I was waiting a nice young girl was checking in next me to and could not lift her bag onto the scales so I kindly offered to help. Her bag weighed 36ks which was over the weight limits and she was forced to pay $135 for the excess. They ground crew helped me carry my glider and other oversized baggage to the other end of the airport where they needed to go down the straight conveyor belt. We then returned to the counter where I managed to get the seats next to me blocked off for more comfort and escaped with paying only $135 for all my excess. I then decided on having a hot chocolate and to my suprise was the yong girl that I helped at the checkin. I joined her and we began chatting as she was curious why I had so much luggage. This is one of the best things about traveling meeting people and seeing how others live their lives. Tanya was quite an intersting person so I told her that I had spare seats next to me on the plane and if she wanted she could sit next to me to help make the time fly. Once on board the plane I noticed the exit row seats were free as they charge $450 extra on virgin for these seats. I thought well time to do some more charming so I got up and went to the alley where the hostes were and began my charm. One blonde said to me straight away what are you chasing and I said I am always chasing something and she laughed and said me too. I knew then that I had already won her over and continued chatting before asking the real question. After sometime I got the answer I was looking for and shortly after takeoff moved into the exit row and invited Tanya to join me through the new seat to seat chat on the entertainment system. Here is a pic of Tanya and I on the plane. We enjoyed watching some movies before falling asleep and waking up at LAX airport. As we went through Immigration Tanya got taken away as she had an identity mismatch cause her finger prints did not match her ID. I got through fine and then spent the next 2 hrs waiting for my bags. LA airport I would have thought was very sophistacated but as I learned all the oversize baggage comes down from upstairs via an elevator. So sure enough my glider would not fit in the elevator and it took 5 people the next hour or more to figure how to get my glider down as they did not know any other way. After lots of calls they figured it out and I had all my baggage and all I had to do know was get through customs with all this. I lined up carrying the glider on my shoulder and all the other bags stacked on a trolley like a leaning tower. I got to the customs agent and he asked me what I had and I told him he looked at my immigration card and said were neighbours. I looked strangely at him still holding my glider he said yeah I live in Chino Hills too on Maroon bell street. I said ohh right that is not my place that is a friends of mine and I did not know Chino that well. He said well I live across the road you are the guys that have them things set up in the park all the time, I said yes that is us and off I went without even putting my glider down. Meanwhile Kraig was outside doing laps of the airport for 2 hrs waiting for my arrival thinking that he had come on the wrong day. However it all worked out and on the way home I got to enjoy the pleasures of Taco bell for dinner.. I will be here with Kraig until after the weekend before heading to Florida for the comps.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Embarking on a long journey.
It is that time of year again when one gets called to travel. I am leaving in a few days for America where I will spend time competing and living with Kraig in LA. There might even be a quick trip to Mexico and then it is off to Spain. I will arrive in spain on 31st may where Blay Jnr will pick me up and take me to the Spanish Nationals in the far South of Spain. We will then travel to the World championships in France to compete in the biggest competition held only every 2 years. After spending some weeks there it is back to Spain for the next biggest comp this year the Pre european championships. I then take a quick trip back to LA for a few days before returning back to Australia on july 27th. Once I arrive back im planning to embark on another adventure of a lifetime with Red Bull. Stay tuned to watch this trip unfold.