Sunday, April 27, 2008

Friday, April 25, 2008

Heat stroke, head wind and light lift.

These attributes lead me to decide to forgoe todays task after trying for 1 1/2 hrs to even get to the edge of the start circle. It was frustrating and rough and I noticed that I was keeping up but still not making good decisions. After my 3rd low save after trying to punch into the wind I said F*#K it and I headed back for the resort. I had a decent landing and then got in the shade and so far I have had 4.5 litres of water and I'm feeling better. Only 2 ridgids have made it in ansd we just watched from the top of the tower as 2 gliders landed within 2 km of goal.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

No flying today.

Too windy and no lift.
So we went golfing.
I am a much better hang glider pilot than golfer.


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

We RACED!!!!

I am stoked today, the task and the weather conspired to make for a day of racing and not just surviving. I took an early tow as it was so windy and dusty at launch that all I wanted was to get away from the grit and the heat. The tow went well and Russel dropped me of in a great climb right over the field. I topped it out to 2000 m which in itself was a welcome change as we haven't gotten that high yet this week in the start circle. I punched up wind as I still had 40 minutes to the first clock. I found nothing and had to run back to the field thinking I would have to relight. I got VERY motivated to stay in the air a I watched the long launch line get dustblown from only a couple hundred feet over. I worked a very light climb that was drifting me away fast, well past the point of no return but 2 km later it turned on and I took it to 2600m. Then I was at the edge of the start circle but 90 to the course line so I started to punch up wind to climbing gliders working my way into position. Eventually I got there and had a great start at the second clock @ close to 3000m. From that high you can glide a long way and I did. I was with Jonny for most of the first leg and it is always reassuring to be able to climb and glide with the best in the world. We were always punching cross wind towards the first tp then drifting towards course line as we spun up in some nice strong climbs. I skipped a climb over Picacho peak and headed for the TP getting drilled by sink all the way. I got to within 2 km of the TP and headed directly up into the wind getting lower and lower but found a climb 150m off the deck over a construction site and took that all the way up to 3000m again. I was joined by everyone that I left over the mountain and when we topped out we turned south and headed for goal 40 km away. I had a really sinky glide and missed a climb that the rest had stopped for after the 747 graveyard but I eventually found a good climb after searching around for a while that got me up and into goal. I stayed in that climb a little too long as I ended up with a 5-1 glide in but I wanted to make sure I made it. There were 14 gliders on the ground when I landed but I was really happy with how I flew. It felt GREAT to race across the desert over mountains and wilderness. And then land exactly where I had planned.

The dust bowl at launch today.

Tyler getting ready to go.

That is a lot of aluminum.

On glide towards the graveyard.


Tuesday, April 22, 2008


114 km triangle today almost the same as the first day. I waited for the second start and was high and in good position. Was going well towards the first TP, cought a few pilots. Got low over a small town and dug out from a couple hundred feet over top of a elementry school as I was watched and cheered by about a hundred kids. Got back up to 2000m and had one more climb 3 km before the TP. Tagged the TP and headed back to the same climb, topped up and headed towards the prison in the distance. Nothing to stop and turn in until I was really low right next to the swamp. Made 2 low saves in weak broken lift but I wasn't able to punch back into the wind and make any progress. I tried 4 times but finally had enough of 100 ft saves and landed next to Chopper and Philippo.

Lovin you from 6000 ft.

It is hard to take good pix and thermal.

I landed with Chris Smith and Phillipo

Chris sums up the day.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Mission imposible ( I need to stop thinking for myself)

They gave us 1 1/2 hrs to launch today, I was the 3rd one to launch so when I got off of tow and all tucked in I had 1:06 hrs until the first start. We banged up against the inversion for an hr. I thought that we had further to fly than yesterday that I wanted to go early. I was at the top of the stack with Tyler, OB, jr. and a few others. The first start hit so I went....... all alone. ( Damn!) but I had a plan so I worked it. I flew really well to the first turn point, knowing that it would be soft in that area I toped up, rounded the TP and..... NOTHING. I tried to avoid the ground as long as I could but ended up dirting it in front of the prison. The day ended up being impossible as no one made goal or even the 3rd tp.

As it turned out It wasn't as bad as I thought, it just moved me down to 31st and today is a new day. We are flying a 110 km triangle similar to the first day.
I'll let you know how it goes.

I needed to get over that mountain.

Alex, my good friend from Brazil and I landed in front of a HUGE prison in the middle of nowhere.

40 minutes after we landed the first groups started to fly over our heads as we picked splinters out of our souls. If you look close at this pick you can see Rob's Canadian flag glider, he did really well yesterday.

I miss you Pooka and Shan.

Yesterday and today.

Just a quick note:
Landing short got me 25th for the day.
Only 12 pilots in goal.
Today we have a 132km diamond shape to fly to the south west that will take us on a tour of the larger mountains in the area. Lift is supposed to be a bit stronger and the wind is supposed to be a bit lighter. It should be a BIG day today.