Tuesday, June 27, 2006

More Pictures

Here are a few recent shots at goal and one of our villa up on the hill. What a great place we got. Beautiful old house with a pool and all and we get it all to ourselves. It's definitely set up for parties, but we've been too busy to host one yet.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Monday, June 19, 2006


Someone mentioned that I forgot to say where on the planet I am at the moment. I am at the European Championships in Rok, Crotia. The competition started three days ago and so far the weather hasn't been as nice as last year. Although it's sunny and warm, each of the past three days a high thin layer of gook has come in shading things a bit and making conditions less than ideal. The first day was more than a bit overcalled, with a 100+km task. No one made goal. Yesterday was slightly better with a shorter task, but still only one pilot making goal. Today at last a few guys (something like 20, I heard) managed to get to goal, although others fought long hard fights and still didn't make it. I believe Corinna was in the air for several hours without finally getting in to goal.

Here's Seppi.

Saturday, June 17, 2006


While I know how lucky I am to be able to live the traveling, vagabond sort of life I live, sometimes it hits me in a big way and I am forced to sit back and really take notice of it. Here is a shot of my “office” today. Thanks to Dave Sieb, I found a beautiful room for rent in a house that sits on the edge of the ridge the guys are flying. After they all launched and before heading down to goal to watch them come in, I sat on the terrace outside my room and started working on some trademark arguments I’m writing for a client. My hostess brought out a bowl full of the sweetest cherries from the tree in the yard and there I sat, writing away, while I enjoyed the warm sun and the view up the ridge and down to the valley town of Buzet.

Reminds me of a line from one of my favorite Eagles songs…..”I don’t know why fortune smiles on some, and lets the rest go free.” I don’t know what I did to deserve fortune’s smile, but I am certainly most appreciative and hope I never take it for granted.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Testing the New Toy

....my new camera that is, not the glider.

Back in Croatia

Here's litte Tyler Rigg hanging out in his second favorite place.

Saturday, June 10, 2006


We're here at Highland Aerosports in Maryland for the East Coast Championships. This is really such a beautiful area and I have so enjoyed the flying. It reminds me a lot of Florida flatland flying in that the thermals are mostly big, fat and smooth (with the exception of yesterday). I have generally sucked in the meet, but its been good for me to get used to flying a flex in competition again. Hopefully by the next one (Canungra) I'll be a bit more relaxed and will do a little better than a few places up from last ;-)

I really hope this meet will turn into a regular annual thing. This is the second year they have done it and everyone here promises to be back next year if they hold it again. Sonny, Adam and Kristen do an amazing job here and the tug pilots are awesome! Young Zach (he can't be more than 18 or so ;-) has become an excellent tow pilot. He towed me up every day but one and I could have closed my eyes and believed I was being towed by Lisa (the best tug pilot on the planet). I believe there were 30 pilots in this meet and I suspect next year there will be a lot more. The tasks are pretty short (which is fine with me) as we are a bit limited here because of the proximity of the bay and such.

A really funny thing happens here every day as we're pinning in. The usual question is "what did you land in today?" - most fields around here are crops, wheat, barley, soybeans and corn are the most common. Its funny to hear "what" everyone landed in.

Today should have been the last task, but the wind is howling- they're saying 25mph+. But the sky looks great - reminds me of Zapata, perfect cloudstreets lining up! Here is a shot out the clubhouse door.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Nothing to Fear But Fear Itself

The worlds are over and it must say it is quite nice to be finished with all the chaos and commotion. It was a few days after the meet ended that things started to get back to normal, but they did and we quickly settled into the usual summer pattern at Quest with rain, heat and high humidity. Only one solution to that - get out of dodge!

So, I thought I might take the new glider up to Highland and see what it's like to compete again. Needless to say, I was more than a little nervous about towing and being in a new strange place. I decided to wait till later in the window to launch because the wind was stronger than I would have liked. Luckily, the tow (the part I was most afraid of) went beautifully. My glider really is unbelievably easy to fly. It think it just needs a more confident pilot. I suppose that will come eventually, but I wish it would hurry. After flying rigids for so many years, I truly feel like a beginner pilot again and that isn't comforting. I just have to keep telling myself that I DO know how to do this and that my fear and apprehension are the problems, not my skill. Tomorrow should be much nicer as I won't wait till the lift is all gone to launch ;-)

Maryland is a lovely place. I never imagined there could be a place with more open landing options than Florida. But there is! Bo and I flew into Baltimore yesterday morning and made the hour and half drive to Highland through the wide open countryside. Not much more than wheat and corn fields and nice green grass everywhere. I can't help but wonder why this area is still so open, with big cities being so close by. If we were in California, this would be built up with giant subdivisions as far as the eye could see and traffic backed up all the way from here to the city. What is that line from the Last Resort? - "they put up a bunch of earthly boxes and Jesus, people bought em."