Friday, April 30, 2010

Flytec Rally Day 5

With a light SE wind predicted a 109km task to Williston was called with blue stable conditions things were going to be hard. I went up just as launch opened in the Dragonfly to see if there was much lift and I did not find much above 2,000ftagl. The task comittee decided on adding 2 more start times so that we could wait for the low inversion to break. I flew for nearly 1 hr in the start gate before taking the last start at 3,500ft agl. I was on top of the stack and was trying not to lead out but I had drunk a Red Bull shot just before I launched. I soon found myself out in front and pulling the gaggle for the next 50kms or more. I had one bad glide getting low with Carl and had to stay in the air as the huge start gaggle caught up. We climbed up slowly and soon found ourselves in the same gaggle that I had just been trying to get away from. I soon figured out that leading out was not working for me but as I fly around staring death in the eyes in this out of control gaggle I soon leave again. It was pretty much a gamble on the finish and it was a matter of being in the right spot at the right time to win. Jeff O,Brien seemed to be on final some 1,000ft higher than the rest of us and landed 5 miles short. Ben Dunn was also high and had a good chance and got very low nearly landing just before goal. Dustin, Zac and a few others were below Ben and stopped in light lift to avoid getting low. Filippo and Carl were above me and glided off and hit a 200fpm climb about 12kms out from goal and soon they were on final. I was lower and chased after them but had to stop also before goal and climb. Filippo crossed the goal line first with Carl just behind then James Stinnett. I will come in 5th and Dustin will finish 17 seconds behind me and Zac another 10 second behind Dustin. About 30 pilots made goal which was quite amazing given the challenging conditions. Day 5 Video
Thursday, April 29, 2010

Flytec Rally Day 4

Today was looking very difficult with the prospect of light lift and thermals to only 4,000ft max. We had nearly full cloud cover and a 109kms crosswind task of 18kph winds. I waited untill nearly the first start had gone before I towed as I wanted to make sure that I was in good position at the start. I did the last start on top of the hige gaggle and flew the first few glides in front pulling the gaggle along. I soon realised that it was a day that leading out the whole day was not going to give e any advantages and only increase my risk factor of landing. I then tried to relax and just follow for awhile letting others share the work load. This worked for awhile until I get impatient and just charge off on my own. After 2 hrs of flying I had only flown about 50 kms and still had 60kms left in the day. It seemed that we would not make goal at our current rate of flying but none of us were prepared to give up. Lakes on our courseline. I spent most of the time out in front with Carl and Richard Lovelace and even Ben Dunn turned up along the way. It was evident that you needed to have many friends to complete the task today. I was in no hurry and was trying to be as patient as I could to eliminate taking risk. Carl and Ben Dunn climbing tip to tip with me half way through the course. Dustin slipped behind for awhile and I thought we had nearly dropped him off but he said that he found a 700fpm climb which was about twice as strong as most thermals. We eventually ended up in a good group of pilots and we battled the hard conditions to advance metre by metre towards goal. About 15kms out I got low and ended up at the bottom of the gaggle and struggled to stay in the air. I saw Fillipo turning and I headed for him only to hear that Carl who was right next to me hit a better climb behind. After a few circles with Fillipo I headed back to them and climbed up below Carl, Zac and Dustin. The guys above me topped out and headed on a 10:1 glide for goal as I was still climbing lower. The thermal stopped and I had no choice but to leave on a 12:1 glide for goal. The last 5kms before goal was not landable so I was not really happy with my final height. I flew slow and maximized my glide and ended up making goal with about 100ft to spare. I will arrive about 3 minutes after the guys who all arrived at the same time within 3 seconds from 1st to 3rd. Only the 4 of us made goal along with 2 rigid wings, Ollie and Millar from the TTT club. Everyone was so tired trying to pack their gliders up after spending 5 hrs in the air in very challenging conditions. Happy goal boys on Day 4 Here is Day 4 Video. \
Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Flytec Rally Day 2 and 3

Day 2 The forecast of strong winds slowly picking up as the day went on to around 25knts did not encourage me to set up early. I waited to see if the forecast was right and sure enough it was slowly picking up every hour. The task comittee called a 67kms crosswind task and everyone else was out staging their gliders. Just before the first pilot was about to launch they decided on movig the times back 30 mins and see if the winds would continue to strengthen. I decided that I should go and at least bring my glider out to the east end of the runway on top of the car incase things improved. Eventually after some discussion they day was cancelled and freeflying was even called off. Day 3 I set up early in the morning with forecast of lighter winds and the plan to doing some video shots with Bobby. After I set up I soon found that my harness was eleswhere and that I could not fly early to do the video's. The task comittee came up with a 87km cross-headwind task to John Travolta's airstrip to our north. As the window opened up the wind was quite strong very smilar to yesterdays condition but we were flying. About 30 pilots towed up and flew around for sometime trying to stay upwind in the start circle. Most of the priorty pilots were still on the ground as we could see that it was going to be an adavtage to tow just as the start gates opened in hope of stronger lift and better positioning. After about 30 mins of some wild towing and the lack of pilots in the air being able to go forward all but 2 pilots returned to the field. It was quite evident at this point that pilots were not keen to fly as the task was impossible for the conditions we had. Unfortunately we had no other choice as Orlando airspace is downwind in a strong west wind. The pilots that flew away landed 7 kms from the airfield inside the start circle. I just spoke to them and they said it was very turbulent and the glide was around 3:1 all the way to the ground. It was decided after a vote that we stay here and fly tomorrow as the forecast is for lighter winds again from todays. Lets wait and see if this is the case. I also have misplaced my camera here in the clubhouse so at this point I have nothing to use for filming anymore. It looks like you might have to live without video's and photo's from me for the rest of the rally. It is a sad day for Jonny..
Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Podium From Rob Kells Memorial Competition

Jeff O,brien 3rd, Jonny Durand 1st, Dustin Martin 2nd
Monday, April 26, 2010

2010 Flytec Race and Rally day 1

Day 1 video
Today was looking quite average with strong winds up high but not to strong down low. Cloudbase was only 3,000ft and it was nearly full cloud cover.
They decided on a 67km downwind task to Okeechobee airport flying up the west side of the big lake. It was a very difficult day and many stuggled to avoid the lake and the surrounding swamp lands.
I did the 2nd start with Carl and a handful of others and had quite an easy run for the first 40 kms. We then hit lots of shadow and not much lift under a cloud and Carl and Max flew out towards the road.
They landed 20kms short as I drifted slowly downwind in light lift into the middle of the swamp lands. I lost the lift and glided striaght down courseline into what I thought was landable areas. Once I got low I realised that the green areas were actually water as well and not dry green grass.
I made a low save of around 600ft and eventually got back up to 1200ft agl 12kms out from goal before losing the thermal. I dove off downwind towards goal and made another low save from about 700ft agl in strong winds drifting in 50 fpm lift.
I circled for what seemed to be a lifetime and soon saw Dustin flying past me well upwind on final to goal. I was still 6kms out and less than 1,000ft agl and now almost downwind of goal.
I had to thermal up 3 times to get enough height to make the glide back into the 30kph headwind to goal. I arrived about 10 minutes after dustin and started maybe 10 mins before him.
We were the only two to make goal and I think Zac was nect closest at 2.5 kms short. There has been many stories of people landing out and having to walk or swim their way out in waist high water.
We are now all at Quest Air enjoying a pizza party and watching a huge lightning storm out teh window. Not sure if we will get to fly tomorrow.
Dustin and I enjoying the bar at goal as we wait for our retrieve drivers. Some of the planes were huge here at the airport we landed at.
Sunday, April 25, 2010

florida Ridge Day 7 Video

Here is the last days video sorry for the delay in getting uploaded. It seems that the partying got in the way of the video making yesterday.

Florida Ridge Day 7

Well it was quite a disaster with the task setting today having 4 task changes prior to takeoff. We had to enter in coordinates prior to takeoff and many pilots were very stressed. I was nice and relaxed and just chilled out under my glider watching everyone tow up. It was quite windy so I was not to keen to get up and try to stay in the start gate. I was ready to go at the first start gate with O,brien and many others but no one went so I hung out untill the 2nd start. I was in good position so I started even though some of the others did'nt. I glided all the way to the 1st turnpoint without hitting a climb and rounded it nice and low. I drifted low for about 5 mins and waited for the guys behind to come help me out. Eventually Dereck found a 400fpm climb and we topped out to 4,500 ft agl. Carl was now on top and leading the gaggle along with Dereck, Shapiro and I hot on his toes. We had a couple more good climbs before arriving low in shade and nothing but swamp and no roads in front of us. This part really slowed us down as no one wanted to leave the light 100fpm climb into the alligator infested swamp. Eventually a cloud formed to our west so we all headed over there and climbed out to base again. Davis and a few others came in high above us after hanging back in the previous thermal. They were now out in front with a few rigids wings. After 2 glides I was back on top and leading out to the turnpoint with Davis and Shapiro right behind me. I got a good climb about 8kms before the last turnpoint and we topped out to about 5,000ft agl. I lead into the turnpoint with Cambell and Shapiro hot on my toes. We now had a 30km cross headwind leg to finish the day off. It was not that easy and we got a little slow and soon found Dustin gliding in just below me from the last start. I was quite happy to see it was him and not Jeff O,brien as I still had 200 points on Dustin. I knew at this point that all I had to do was make goal so I did not try for anything stupid on final. We all left for final at around 10:1 but Dustin hit a thermal and we both stopped and let Shapiro and Dereck Turner go on glide for goal. We waited untill we had 8:1 before we left and it turned out that we made it easy 2 mins behind Shapiro. Dustin will win the day in 2hrs 17 mins and Shapiro will be 2nd about 13 minutes slower than Dustin and Dereck will take out 3rd. Gliders packing up at goal. I will place 4th and will keep my overall lead in the comp taking out the 2010 Rob Kells Memorial Comp. Zac and O,brien will be slow for the day arriving about 30 mins later. It was a very challenging day and many of us had some low saves and long stories to tell on the way home to the flight park. Ricker makes another goal. The awards will not be untill this afternoon as it was to late to score last night due to some late retrievals. We enjoyed home cooked pizza's lots of Alcohol and even a private sreening of the Morning Glory video.
Friday, April 23, 2010

florida Ridge Day 6

Today was finally a good racing day with cloudbase around 5,000ft gal. A 125 km out and return task was called and about 17 pilots completed the task.
Here is day 6 video
Thursday, April 22, 2010

florida Ridge Day 5

Here is a quick video of Day 5 to show you what it was like.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010

florida Ridge Day 4

We had a great day with low base with many people making the 105km task. It is late here now but here is a video which should pretty much explain the day for you all.
Jeff O, brien won the day taking the 2nd start and just beating us into goal. Zac will be 2nd also from the 2nd start and then Dustin, Shapiro and I.
results are up on
Here is the video from today.

florida Ridge Day 4

Just set a 105km task with 1 turnpoint here are some photo's from today's briefing.
My New Cloudbase stickers helping kids where we fly. Sport class goal virgins Jamie doing her part for the kids.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010

florida Ridge Day 3

Well after thinking we were not going to fly today we woke up to low cloudbase and sun shining through. I arrived at 11am to find a 48km dogleg task called cross downwind. I was the last to set up as usal and towed 20 mins before the 1st start was to tick over. I released and climbed up with Jeff Shapiro to cloudbase which was only 3,400ft agl. It was very wet after so much rain the last 2 days that I was not sure which would be the best start. Being such a short task I knew that arrival points would be a huge advantage and th etask would be devalued due to time and distance. I decided on doing the first start and Shapiro was smart and followed me leaving his Wills Wing crew behind. I did a long glide and hit a 400 fpm thermal the best climb of the day and topped back out 14kms from TP 1. Shapiro was just below me and we headed off getting low and groveling for awhile just before the turnpoint with Larry Bunner who had also started with us. I eventually found a 300fpm climb got the turnpoint and headed off crosswind to a cloud and hit 400 fpm again. I nearly topped out but left early thinking I would need another thermal as my Final glide was still set to Brasil heights. Jeff went more downwind under the cloud and got a better line and came in above me. I stopped for a climb about 13kms out hoping that Jeff might stop and turn which might give me the chance to catch back up. Instead doing the smart move he kept going and hit more lift in front leaving him on final glide. I followed from behind but a bit lower and will finish 1-2 mins behind him. Larry was the next one into goal about 15 mins later then Dustin who did the 2nd start will be 4th in 10 mins slower than our elapsed time which was around 52 mins. Carl walbank will be next in just in front of Zippy and O, brien, they all did the last start and will be a similar time to Dustin. About 15 pilots made goal in the end and those that outlander Im sure at least a handful of them will be very wet. Here is a quick video I made from Dustin's camera at goal as my mine was flat. UNfortunately he had it on the low resolution so the quality is not that great. CLICK HERE FOR RESULTS.
Monday, April 19, 2010

Dalby Big Air 2010

It is always hard looking on at other compititions from the otherside of the world. Back home they are having the Dalby comp and unlike us here they are flying.
I left home nearly 1 month ago and after 2 days of the Dalby comp they have nearly done as much flying as I have. As I sit here in the rain they are talking about flying a potential 3-400kms task the next days. Lets wait and see how the weather pans out for them all there.
For stories you can check out THEBOMBOUT.COM and for the full RESULTS CLICK HERE.
Photo from day 1 thanks to Cameron Tunbridge.

florida Ridge Day 2

We wake up to the sound of rain and the day is cancelled early. It was off to Fort Meyers to watch a movie and go for dinner. Weather still looks average tomorrow but hopefully after that it will become flyable.
Sunday, April 18, 2010

Florida Ridge Day 1

Today was one of them days where it was hard to decide on whether to set up or just keep my glider in its bag. The task was set which consisted of a dogleg to a goal at Shell. I decided to program my GPS and get my harness ready and wait to see how the weather was looking. The window opened and pilots started towing so I had no choice but to set up and get ready to fly. Davis was up early and was reporting lift and cloudbase at 2400ft. It was looking more and more like rain as teh minutes ticked on. I decided to move back over to the tie down area as it seemed things were getting worse. Moments later it started raining and many pilots that were in the air came back and landed in the rain including Davis. I then decided to go for a fly after the rain front has passed to check out my glider and see if conditions were improving. All the pilots had landed so they moved the start times back 30 mins and I was first off. I towed to 700 feet checked my gps on which direction the first turnpoint was and saw that it was not going to happen as a huge wall of rain was moving in. I released and flat spun my glider down to the ground and quickly started packing up. Many pilots were looking at me like I was crazy because pilot were still towing and they day had not been cancelled. 5 mins later the safety commitee decided to call the day which was to late for some pilots who were now being sucked up infront of the rain. The tandem glider was up there and about 15 mins later landed in pooring rain as people on the ground were running around trying to pack up their own gliders. Dustin and Max a brazilian pilot could not get down and were forced to outrun the storm downwind. It turns out they landed safely about 30 kms from goal 1 hr later after the storm has passed us. Dustin reported 500 fpm lift all the way to the 2nd turnpoint flying with the basebar to his knees. The rained cleared and 2 girls were here for tandem flight from Orlando 3 hrs away. James had a great idea, sense there were so many tandem pilots here at the comp that he would line us all up and let the girls pick their pilot. So we lined up and when they came out of signing paperwork they had to decide on their pilot like it was a game show. They were asking us questions and soon enough one said who is the best pilot here.? Hmm I could not help myself so I mention the world ranking and that won me the birthday girl. Jamie whispered something into the othe ones ear and soon Alex was picked. So we both went up for an instructional tandem flight with the girls. We are now just chilling at the Ridge doing what pilots do whe there not flying. Tomorrow
Thursday, April 15, 2010

Test Flying at marshall's

We had a great day out test flying some gliders today at Marshall's. Kraig and I had a couple of flights and it was nice to get back in the air again after 2 weeks of not flying. I am off to Florida tomorrow and will hopefully get one day of practice flying in there before the comp starts on saturday. Here are some photos and video of today.
Looking out towards the LZ. Setting up on Launch Lone soldiers.
Sunday, April 11, 2010

USA 2010

Well after a very long journey I arrived in LAX airport to find Ben Dunn waiting for me. I had a somewhat relaxing day helping Ben tune his new Litespeed RS 3.5 at Kraigs work shop.
This morning Zac Majors dropped in to drop off some gliders to go to the Florida comps. After that it was off to Tanner's Birthday party.
Tanner decided on going to the Go kart center with is friends so it was race time.
Kraig loves competition and was destined to win. Somehow I managed to beat him on our first race by 2/100's of a second getting the fastest lap.
I knew that this result was not going to last and sure enough Kraig came through and won the last race. He had the fastest lap of the day just slighty faster than my lap from the first race.
Tanner in the front with his friends behind.
We then went to CICI"S all you can eat pizza,pasta and dessert for $4:95 what a bargain.
Im off to Florida on thursday and will be ready to fly on friday at the Ridge if the weather is right.
Saturday, April 10, 2010

Rio De Janeiro

I arrived back in Rio and had one week to hang out and do some flying. I never actually got to fly as I was more interested in just chilling by the beach and watching the tandem pilots in action. Here are a few flying photo's. Klaus landing tandem. A few Caparinha's at Gugga's. Some artwork at the beach A perfect launch. Packing up at the beach.

Andradas Day 6

Well it was the last day today and the weather had not changed to much from previous days. The day was cancelled before we even went up the hill. They had the prize giving up at the Pousada so that everyone could make there way home early. Results will remain the same as day 2. For full Results CLICK HERE 1st Jonny Durand (AustrĂ¡lia) - Moyes Litespeed RS - Red Bull / Moyes 2nd Dustin Martin (USA) - Wills Wing T2 3rd Marcio Rosadas (Brasil) - Wills Wing T2 - Wills Wing / Rotor Here is a photo of all the gliders on launch. For more photo's CLICK HERE.
Thursday, April 01, 2010

Andradas Day 5

Today was looking a little better this morning and everyone was keen to get up the hill. We arrived early for a change and just about everyone was set up or setting up on the north launch. I was tuning a few gliders and saw the clouds starting to tower as the the sun warmed the ground. I told Alex and a couple of others they might want to stop setting up as it was not looking promising in my eyes. My glider was still firmly on top of the car and I did not plan on moving it in a hurry. Well I was right about 1 hr later the rain hit us hard. We waited hoping that it might pass by like it did yesterday and clear up behind. It did not instead it started sending lightning bolts down on takeoff where there were still like 40 gliders setup. There were a few very close hits on launch no more than 100 m away and I think very close to some gliders. I was waiting for a glider to get hit and just explode with carbon fibre everywhere. The rain continued and the rest of my car were still set up so there was no way to leave until the rain stopped. We waited all of us for about 4 hrs on launch before it stopped enough to start packing gliders. Our next problem was that you need to cross a river and we were told that it was not passable now due to the flooded river. Once the rain stopped Dustin managed to dry his glider and actually fly off and land back at his hotel on a glide. He was the only to fly and the rest of us drove slowly down the slippery wet road. The river had come back down and only the 2 wheel drive cars had problems getting across. One car I think destroyed its engine trying to cross it and had to get towed all the way back to town. Tomorrow is the last day and unfortunately I don't have a good feeling as the ground is very very wet around here. Even if it is flyable I don't think it will be very good but lets wait and see.