Friday, August 31, 2007

Won't You Lie Down in the September Grass

We arrived late yesterday evening in Brasilia after a solid 12 hours of driving from Andrades. Although Jonny, Chris and I slept much of the way (late and rough night the night before) it was still cool to see the interior parts of Brasil flying by at 150 kph. One of my favorite things about hang gliding and especially hang driving is seeing places I would never see but for this sport.

Here is a church in the middle nothing on the dirt road heading down from the Andrades launch.

Chopper is happy to be back in the air after close to 6 weeks without flying. He stayed at the hotel to catch up on work today while the boys had a practice day. But, he'll be back at it tomorrow. The first comp day is Sunday.

In a couple of hours it will be September...three quarters of the way through the year. I feel restless here....not sure why.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

On to Itamonte

We left Rio night before last for the first part of our roadtrip to Brasilia. It was quite an adventure. We were bringing an old car of Konrado's to leave in Andrades to be repaired. Needless to say, the car wasn't running perfectly. Getting out of Rio it wouldn't go much faster than 40kmh, so we decided it was best to tow it with the good 4x4. This was hilarious....kind of like towing a hang glider with a climbing rope tied around the base release, no weaklink, no safety margin (short roap about 5 feet from bumper to bumper). So, while I thought that was going quite nicely, those in the car being towed didn't care for it much, so we finally left the car at a truck stop and drove the rest of the way to Itamonte where Conrado's family farm is without the car.

Konrado has a beautiful spread up in the mountains with a giant house that could easily be a hang gliding lodge. There are rooms and beds enough for 20 or so and the launch is just a short drive up the hill. We arrived on launch a bit late yesterday, so conditions weren't the best. Konrado was the only one willing to hang out on launch for a half an hour waiting for just the right cycle to get off into. Everyone else packed up and drove down the mountain.

After a little stop at The Rock, we made our way to Andrades last night.

Now we're up on launch watching conditions and deciding where to fly to. This launch is plush! Nice parking lot surrounded by manicured hedges, green grass covering the whole set up area and yes, open wireless right here at a nice little picnic table. What more could a hang gliding bum ask for?

This shot is looking out from the north facing launch.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

More Art for Jeff

This city has the most amazing graffiti I have ever seen....very creative people. We must have taken several dozen shots for Jeffo.

Christ the Redeemer

After near fatal passport and glider problems, I thought I wouldn't make it to Rio with the boys. But, here we are and all is good. I've decided there is no more spectacular city on earth and we are very lucky to be right in the middle of it. We're staying here with Guga and his very sweet and typically gorgeous Brasilian wife Simone in a great apartment overlooking the hotel where we stayed on Copacabana beach a few years ago.

We'll spend the weekend here and then venture out to Andrades sometime Monday on our way up to Brasilia.

We took a ride up to the Christo late this afternoon and got detoured along the side of a favela...closest I've been and I would have loved to get right into the middle of it I thought we would survive. I don't know why I am fascinated by these places.

At the last minute, Wasabi decided to join us again. Unfortunately, the Jeff's couldn't make it and we really miss them.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

What's Next?

I'm waiting for my flight out of Dallas and found this self-serve
kiosk that offers all sorts of high tech services...laptop rentals
with wifi and printing included (printed pages come out on the
opposite side of the kiosk) for $6.96 per hour and charging portals
for pretty much any electronic device like a cellphone, laptop, iPod,

What will they think of next?

Monday, August 20, 2007

American History

I was suprised today to learn how few Americans out on the street in Dallas know what the "grassy knoll" and the "Texas School Book Depository Building" are. Pretty sad really. Even makes me wish I paid more attention in history class.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Prize Giving

Three Moyes pilots on the podium this time. Although I know Gerolf would have preferred to be first, he was happy to have all of the top three flying his glider.

1 Attila Bertok (Hungary)
2 Robert Reisinger (Austria)
3 Gerolf Heinrichs (Austria)

The team gold medal went to the UK. They were thrilled and I was especially happy for them since they are good buddies. It's always a pleasure to hang out with them at the meets. Silver to France and Bronze to the Austrians.

Yesterday's Spot Landing Contest

The spot landing contest happened after all yestreday. Many had already short packed their gliders, but the die-hards were there for the $1000 prize money.

David Glover (meet organizer), Davis Straub (meet director) and Bobby Bailey (famous tug pilot/designer) all gave it a try. They didn't win the money, but they entertained us all!

That's David on his rear end.

In the end it was Jonny in first, Dustin in second and Rodrigo (Mexican pilot) in third. It was really fun to see Bobby Bailey in a hang glider - have never seen that before.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

New Caption

A good friend of mine pointed out that this picture was much more fun with a proper caption.

Beautiful Sky

While they're all busy short packing gliders in the hangar, the sky is looking gorgeous.

It's Over :-( I always hate this part....

Still more rain forecast for today so there is no task other than a possible spot landing contest this afternoon. The prize giving and closing ceremonies will be tonight and then everyone is out of here. I'm off to Brasil in a few days....helps ease the end-of-the-comp depression ;-)

Friday, August 17, 2007


We're on our way to Midland for shopping and a movie. Rain all day and no task....probably the same tomorrow :-(

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Rules of the Road

There's this cool sign coming in to Hobbs, New Mexico where goal was today. Of course, I didn't take this picture while driving 140km per hour and I of course I don't type blog posts on the iPhone while I'm driving ;-)

Some Pictures for Tina and Julia

Hangar Games

Brasilian pilot Marcello Zanetti's kids found some ways to have fun while dad was out flying.

Robert first

....according to Attila, he was 2 minutes faster than him. This might
just change things!

Sent from my iPhone

Its raining gliders at goal least 30 here already.

Sent from my iPhone

Nearly at goal

...about 2km away and I can see at least 10 gliders over goal!!

Sent from my iPhone

Lightning Fast

Just spoke with Vix and apparently Kraig is reporing 10,000ft couldbase and awesome climbs. Last transmission they were 76km from the turnpoint (about 87 from goal)!! I'm driving 140km/hour trying to catch up!

Sent from my iPhone

Jesus, Mary and Joseph

Gerolf just gave me a heart attack by radioing that he was landing,
just 30 minutes after taking the start. Of course, he came on 10
minutes later to tell me that he had gotten up again from 50 meters
off the deck. This man is invincible ;-)

Now it seems there must be some confusion on my part. Gerolf's last
report a half an hour ago said they were 120km from goal....I don't
know how they could be going so fast in these conditions. Hmmm...more

Sent from my iPhone

Task 7

They're predicting weather much like yesterday's. The task committee has tried to call something straight downwind (assuming they really know which direction will be downwind - seems the models were a bit off yesterday) with the hope that it might be doable. It will be a 172km run to Hobbs, New Mexico. Hobbs is the Zapata of the 90s where Davis and Michael Champlain used to go for records. It will be strange and a bit sad going back there today.

Pilots at Launch Yesterday

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Stupid Human Tricks

Pretty cool trick Brian Porter can do with his ear ;-)

Yes, it's Erin, not Flossi. Freudian slip - I guess I'd rather be in Hawaii right now. Grumpy pilots worry that there might not be any more good tasks thanks to Erin.

I don't know who won the day. I heard rumors that it could be Alex Ploner or Robert Reisinger. I just know for sure it wasn't Gerolf or Attila. Hopefully the scores will up be soon.

Tough day

Driving from goal back to the second turnpoint...Kraig and Filipo and
one Colombian pilot beside the road just at the second turnpoint. Four
pilots just went over my head, but they are low...can't tell who they

Sent from my iPhone


Reports are saying that a big group has landed near the second
turnpoint. I'm headed there now...Gerolf thinks he is landing there as
well :-(

Sent from my iPhone

Still Waiting...

No one yet...

My buddy Brian Porter is here to watch the action for a few days.
Brian has been flying since I was just a baby and is one of the beat
story tellers I know. We'll have dinner tonight and get the update on
all of his latest exploits.

At Goal

We're here at goal but the sky looks bleak....but at least it is
relatively cool for those of us on the ground. I don't think it can be
more than about 90 degrees here, which is about 10 degrees cooler than
it has been.

The radio reports are few and far between and mostly they just say
that they're low :-( I hope they make it.

Task 6

The weather prospects are looking grim for the coming days....hurricane Flossi is heading toward the coast of Texas and it will likely effect our conditions.

Still no out and returns or triangles. I sure would love to hang out at the airport today instead of in the car. Anyway, not today. They will fly 3 sides of a square, ending up just north of La Mesa for a total distance of 165km.

Party Fouls

They always say that the rests days are more dangerous than the flying days. That certainly held true for yesterday. We had a pizza/pool party at the Whitten Inn last night and it wasn't long before everyone and his brother was being thrown into the pool. I had to be an outright bitch to avoid being thrown in...maybe I'm getting old, but I just don't find this so amusing anymore. As I am typing, Ecki the German team doctor is examining Jonny who was thrown in on his head (or playing chicken fight with a girl on his shoulders) (the pool is fairly shallow). He will go get x-rays this morning and it seems there's no way he could fly today and possibly not for the rest of the meet. This really sucks and if he was leading this would completely spoil the world championships for him. The Portugese FAI rep, Vitor also visited the hospital last night after attempting a back flip from the pool side. He has a broken heel bone and will probaby fly home today or tomorrow.

Seems kind of a waste to me.

Task Dancers

David Glover created this and showed it at the Pilot's meeting.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Rest Day

In case anyone didn't know already, we needed a rest day after the long task yesterday (especially the drivers ;-). So, today is the blogging, working, glider tweaking, hangover recovering rest day.

This is Christian Ciech landing at goal yesterday. I thought he was the first in, but apparently the Frenchman Mario Alonsi beat him across the line by one second.

At launch yesterday....

The sky was finally looking like what we're used to here in Texas....and looks weren't deceiving in this case. The 284km task was a great call with 60 pilots in goal. Everyone there was happy and wishing they had gone for 300 instead!

Here are Steve Kroop and Nicole at launch.

My Favorite Wind Dummy

Bly is here with the Spanish team. At just 18 he's already flying like a madman! Although he's not yet on the Spanish team (he is here at the wind dummy), I'd put money on him being on the team for the worlds in Laragne. Everyone is enjoying his great attitude and adorable smile. Each day after the competitors launch, Bly takes off and flies to goal (well, almost to goal in some cases). He was short just 20 or so kilometers on the long task yesterday. He will definitely be one to watch in future comps.