Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Santa Cruz Flats Day 7

The weather was looking great with lighter winds and climbs to 10-11000 ft. We set a 94 km task with 3 turnpoints then goal back at the hotel next to the pool and Magaritas to start the celebration. We had troubles getting up early and many of us started late on the last start except for me. I had a good start and was above Kraig and Robin by a fair bit. I glided to the first turnpoint and decided to go deep into the brown area to get back up. The whole gaggle apart from the low ones came with me. Robin being one of the low ones went on course line into the green fields. He ended up landing there with a few others early in the game unfortunately. I was in front with Carl and Ben and we were pushing hard. Ben and I got low about 15kms short of the second turnpoint. We scratched for a little while before the gaggle came gliding into us. We all did the turnpoint and headed back for the last one when we stumbled across a 800fpm climb to just under 11,000ft. We were still 45kms out from goal and did not quite have final glide so we needed one more to get in. I went more left after the last turnpoint over the brown and hit a climb and the others came in below me. I left at 12:1 glide and made goal easy. I won the task and made a great finish over the hotel.. Check out the videos below. Day 7 Video Hotel Skimming Hotel Skimming Slow Motion
Sunday, September 19, 2010

Santa Cruz Flats Day 6

Today was a challenging task with only 5 pilots making goal. I am writing this blog when I should really be out getting ready to fly the last task. So sorry it is so short but here is a little video to show you what happened. Joe Bostik won the day 2 seconds ahead of Dustin then Kraig, Carl and Robin were about 10-15 mins behind and the yonly ones to make goal. I landed 200m short of the radius and will drop to 3rd place going into the last task. Kraig is winning, Robin 2nd and Carl is in 4th. Here is Day 6 video..

Santa Cruz Flats Preflight

Here is a quick look on how things are done around here at the comp..

Santa Cruz Flats Day 5

A 75 km triangle task wa set out to the east and back. It was a much better day and we found ourselves starting at 9000 ft compared to the other days. It was a great racing day out and many pilots made goal with Shapiro winning Robin 2nd and Dustin 3rd. We finished the day off drinking margaritas by the pool side telling each other how good we were. Here is Day 5 Video.
Friday, September 17, 2010

Santa Cruz Flats Day 4

Today was a little confusing with similar weather reports as previous days we were hesitant to set a very long task. Just before the window opened clouds starting popping only about 30kms from launch in the opposite dirrection of the task. The task was changed and we had a pilot briefing under the Red Bull tent out in the field. A 83km task was set taking us upwind first to reach the clouds. I started on the last start with Kraig and Robin and a few others and soon enough we had caught the guys in front of us. Looking at the 2nd turnpoint from 9000ft. Just before the 2nd turnpoint we hit the clouds and found thermals of 1000fpm climbs to over 11,000ft. We did the 2nd turnpoint and headed back to the last turnpoint. We hit another good climb topped out to 10,500ft and went on a 36km final glide for goal. Robin was just in front of me on glide and Kraig was behind. Zippy crossed goal first with Shapiro not far behind then Robin and I and kraig just behind me. Robin will win the task 14 seconds in front of me then Kraig will be 3rd 12 seconds behind me with Derreck 4th also making the last start with us. Good day for the Moyes boys.. Here is Day 4 Video..
Thursday, September 16, 2010

Santa Cruz Flats Day 3

After the previous days I was not keen to set a long task and given the wind we decided on a 87kms downwind task. Dustin Launched early and eventually came back and landed again. Thanks to Red Bull who kindly drove out from Phoenix twice to supply us with a nice big tent no one was in a hurry to launch. Just having that shade out there let pilots relax untill the conditions were good enough to stay in the air. We all did the last start gate quite low and headed off towards the first turnpoint. I was leading the pack out as you can see from the video for thie first glide. Zippy hit a climb to my right at the end of the hills and we all climbed up to about 5000ft. Climbing out on top of the gaggle I hung back on the next few glides just trying to make sure I had lots of markers infront of me to find the next bit of lift. Just before the Turnpoint I hit a great climb and ended up on top of the gaggle except for Zippy and Nils who were infront of us after hitting a good climb after a long low glide. Gliding into the Turnpoint High We got really high 7,000ft the highest so far this comp for me and we glided off did the TP and came in above Zippy and Nils. I hit a climb with kraig and Carl and many others. I was now on top with Carl and the thermal stopped so we headed off. Larry hit a climb behind us a good one so I turned back and when I got there I missed the climbed and was left in light lift. Kriag had pushed on with zippy and hit a climb in front so I glided back off to them and I also missed the strong part of that climb. looking SW after the TP. I was now about 2000 ft lower than the gaggle I was just on top of 10 mins earlier with no chance of catching back up before goal. The guys climbed high and went on final while I was still trying to get enough alttitude to do so. Kraig managed to cross the line 9 seconds in front of Zippy with Shapiro just behind them. Carl was next in with larry just behind then I came in about 3 mins later. A total of 17 pilots made goal and there were quite a few happy faces to be there. We all returned home to celebrate Russels 50th Birthday party at the bar in the hotel. Here is Day 3 Video.

Santa Cruz Flats Day 2

With a better forecast and no high cloud we set a 116km triangle task. Things seemed better straight away with more lift around launch and pilots climbing to 6,000ft. About half the field did the first start and the rest of us did the last start at 1:40pm. We caught up to the guys in front before the 1st turnpoint except for Dustin and Shapiro who had landed in front of us after the TP. I got low with Big Jon at the turnpoint and lost the lead gaggle temporarily. I almost caught them back up after the Tp but arrived low in a cactus area. This was the most scared I have been in sometime looking down and knowing that I have only myself to blame for going so deep into the cactus. It was a great incentive to get up which I did so eventually. Larry was with me but turned back and almost landed just outside the cactus zone. Cactus Land with no where to go but up! I got as high as we had been getting just over 6,000ft and headed off after the gaggle in front to the last turnpoint. I did the turnpoint and was now on top of the gaggle. We pushed forward and all sunk out into the 16kph headwind. I tried to scratch for awhile like many others but soon realised that we were losing ground and gave up. Picacho Peak where Larry managed to glide over. Larry managed to get really high behind us just before the turnpoint which gave him enough height to get over the Mountain and climb again. He got quite high and had 2 more thermals before landing about 15kms infront of all of us. Here is Day 2 Video
Monday, September 13, 2010

Santa Cruz Flats Day 1

SANTA CRUZ FLATS SCORES What can I say it is great to be back here in Arizona at the Santa Cruz Flats. This year my father has even made the journey out and it will be the first time ive flown with him out of Australia since the Worlds in 2003. There are 40 pilots here and we are set up on green grass next to the pool which is 20 meters from the bar. Pilots Briefing Is this really a hang gliding competiiton? You can set your GPS under a tree have a swim or even walk 20 metres back to your room and relax in the aircondition whist enjoying a film before walking your glider out to the launch line. I was very relaxed today as there was priorty staging and maybe something to do with the Margaritas that were also consumed last night. I eventually made it out there in the 36 degree and was set and ready to go and fly the 96km task. I watched many pilot tow first and many came back down as the conditions were weak and low. I towed up behind Carl and we climbed out to 2500ft agl and spent the next 1hr trying to get a good start. All but one pilot did the last start and none of us were high. We glided into the first turnpoint and got donw to about 1,000ft before hitting a climb. I was on top with Kraig, Robin,Nils and a few others. We left the turnpoint and headed off with a big gaggle climbing below us. I hit the next thermal and we climbed back up to 3000agl before heading off again. After this glide there was only 5 of us Kraig, Carl, Robin Nils, Ricker and I we ended up losing Ricker and Robin as they went more downwind as we got low. We hit a climb and got up to 3200agl with Kraig and Carl on top and NIls and I below. I stayed and topped out a little more while the others were on glide in front of me. Carl ended up flying all the way to the ground and Kraig was also low circling in front of me. I hit a climb with Nils and we waited for Kraig to climb up to us so that we could fly together in hopes that we could get around the course on this difficult day. Us 3 stayed in front all the way to the 2nd turnpoint and got caught up by robin, ricker and Larry before the 3rd TP. I was not doing anything special just trying to stay in the air and fly smart as I knew it was going to be challenging to finish the task. We could have landed on any glide as we were getting low all day and after rounding the last turnpoint we had a headwind of 10kph with some shading to slow things down. At the end we were all still together and I glided out first toward goal on a 14.8:1 and I hit a 300fpm climb and the others came in just below and did not get the climb so they pushed on. Larry and the Rigid came in later and hit the climb below me and climbed. I left on a 12:1 and made the goal just. The others landed a few kms short and Larry came in a few minutes later landing about 20 metres short of the goal. The rigid was the only other pilot to make goal with many landing on the 2nd leg. A hard first day, lets hope the weather gets better as I dont want to spend another 4.5 hrs in the air tomorrow. Here is Day 1 Video.