Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Video - Flying, Launching - Greg DeWolf

Here's a great trailer for a video that Greg is putting together. The full version will be available for purchase as soon as it is done...looks pretty cool!!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Insanity at the Stratosphere

We're having a blast riding all the rides at the top of the Stratosphere!!! Great way to get sick after a week of hang gliding!

A Few Rest Days For Me ;-)

Rotor Shirt - Big Seller at Comp

Looks like someone turned a "Y" into an "I" right before they were printed.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Final Results

Total Results Flex, Rigid, Swift
And Calcutta

Pilot Worth Owner Payout

Andre Wolf 120 Lori 320
Jonny Durand 100 Kraig 190
Daniel Valez 30 Jack 120

Saturday, April 26, 2008


My new baby! Kraig just test flew it and I'll have a little hop tomorrow. It's the most beautiful glider ever!!!!

Day Winner (probably ;-)

Dusty and Tired

Dustin is first back to pin in. Reports say that Jeff O'Brien won the
day and that there were at least 40 in goal.

BBQ Task

Glen just called and there are at least 25 at goal. It was a fairly easy downwind run apparently.

Last Day

First and second, ready to go on a 78 kilometer downwind run to Marana.

Last Day Task - Choice the Better!

Either downwind or goal back here, depends on the wind, pilots are split on what to do. If they fly away it will be to Marana Airport, see post below for pictures. Everyone is having a good time, Mexican buffet tonight for the awards ceremony and closing party.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Old Pic of Francisco Grand

Nene Maybe the Closest

Reports are saying that Nene may be the closest, landing in chest high mesquite bushes. Nearly as close are Brett, Phil Bloom, Leo are just one kilometer or so behind Nene.....all rumors, of course ;-)

No One In

All of the top guys are calling in short of goal. It appears that everyone is near the last turnpoint. We spotted a red/white glider about 2 kilometers short of goal, but can't figure out who it might be. Andre, Jonny, Phil, Dustin, Glen and many others are all within a few kilometers of the last turnpoint. Andre sounds pretty unhappy on the phone, but he can't have done much worse than anyone else and can't imagine that will cause him to lose his lead.

Lonely Goal

It doesn't look like anyone will make it today. They're all dropping out of the sky less than 10 kilometers away. All the drivers are out there and a few of us are drinking our margaritas hoping to see at least one flexie come back in.

Here's our nice grassy setup area.

Goal Update

Rumor has it that there are 8 to 10 gliders rounding the last turnpoint about 10 kilometers out from goal. Jonny and Phil have landed less than 10 km short :-(

Day 5

Bowtie task...103 kilometers. We ran this task last year and Dustin won it....the bets are on him again for today. The rigids are coming in now so it must be better up there than we expected. Launch was difficult today - many broken weaklinks and lots of re-lites. Tough day, but at least I'm not driving anymore ;-) Kroop arrived last night and he's helping out sooooo much. Rob and Trish Kells have been here all week working their butts off in the launch line - I can't thank them enough!

Seems everyone but Davis ;-) enjoyed the rest day yesterday...plenty of lounging at the pool, some played a few rounds of golf and a group headed over to the Indian ruins near town.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Task Cancelled

...and no one seems very unhappy with that decision ;-)

Day off?? ;-)

An impromptu "safety" committee headed up by some pilots at the top of page one is calling for a pool task as the rigids are sinking out.

Day 5

Mostly downwind race to Marana today. Looks like as much wind as
yesterday so I'll be racing to goal after Glen, Filippo, Alex and
Dusty as quickly as I can get everyone launched and out of here.

Fiona Katay

Fiona is here from Canada in her new Litespeed. This is one tough
girl. I so admire her determination. Yesterday she took 4 tows in the
roughest conditions of the meet. Fiona used to slide
skeleton....didn't know what that was, but she explained that its luge
but headfirst!!! So, needless to say, she rocks!

Day 5 Task

Crosswind, less wind, 49 miles to Marana Airport. Launching earlier today to try to reduce wind and dust on the volunteers and tugs. Steve Kroop from Flytec USA comes in today to help out.

Calcutta Update

Pilot Worth Owner Payout

Andre Wolf 120 Lori 325
Jonny Durand 100 Kraig 195
Dustin Martin 60 Jamie 130

Saguaro National Park

This national park was just short of goal yesterday. The guys flew over it, then we stopped through on the way back home to take a quick looksie. These saguaro's are nothing short of majestic.....and much much taller than they look in the cartoons ;-)

Interesting Standings

Its cool to see entirely different people up there near the top in this race. Daniel Velez from Colombia is really amazing us all- he's a guy who is desperately in need of some ballast, but still doing quite well.

Overall as of yesterday:

1. 160 Andre Wolf Moyes Litespeed RS 4 3801
2. 120 Jonny Durand Moyes Litespeed RS 3.5 3425
3. 136 Dustin Martin Wills Wing T2C 144 3216
4. 140 Daniel Velez Wills Wing T2 144 3077
5. 161 Chris Zimmer Wills Wing T2C 144 3004
6. 104 Phill Bloom Moyes Litespeed RS 3.5 2962
7. 139 Filippo Oppici Moyes Liespeed RS 4 2916
8. 155 Derreck Turner Moyes Litespeed S5 2914
9. 115 Leonardo Dabbur Wills Wing T2C 154 2838
10. 157 Glen Volk Moyes Litespeed RS 4 2813
11. 127 Brett Hazlett Moyes Litespeed RS 3.5 2788
12. 142 Nene Rotor Wills Wing T2C 144 2771
13. 113 Kraig Coomber Moyes Litespeed RS3.5 2741
14. 132 Greg Kendall Moyes Litespeed S4 2556
15. 138 Jeff OBrien Wills Wing T2C 154 2471
17. 128 Konrad Heilmann Moyes Litespeed RS3.5 2315
18. 158 Michael Williams Moyes Litespeed S5 2247
19. 135 Zac Majors Wills Wing T2C 144 2115
20. 134 Eduardo Olivera Wills Wing T2C 154 2097

Here's our goal field from yesterday.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

RC Goal Field

Good call on the task. Lots of wind, but also plenty of happy pilots
in goal. At least 25 here. Looks pretty likely that Andre won the day
again. If not,it will be Brett or Phil- either way its a Litespeed

Goal Report

I'm on my way to goal now, but just got a phone report from David.
There are about 10 there and 10 or so more coming in. First two were
Brett and Phil who took the first start. Second group came in just ten
minutes later after having taken the second start- among them were
Andre and Jonny so its very possible that Andre may have won the day
again. That boy is on fire!!

Sent from my iPhone

Day 4 Task - Down Wind

Dog leg down wind and to the south. Pilots were reporting getting over 9000' and 17mph at altitude. Very dusty at the tow paddock today. No site is perfect, but except for dust this has many of the great attributes of a competition site. Many pilots reported low saves yesterday. Davis Straub had a 325' save.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Too busy scoring to blog...

Moyes Boys Strategizing

Shake Up Yesterday

Here is Andre Wolf telling a great story about having following Filippo, who was smoking around the course, only to find when they landed together that it was Derrek Turner on his brand new Litespeed 5. It was a hilarious story and I'll try to get a video interview up here later today. David says it proves you don't have to be skinny like Kraig or Jonny to win - wingloading was everything yesterday ;-)

The score sheet was turned upside down a bit yesterday with some of the top guys near the second page. But still Andre is holding on to his lead, with Nene in second, Jonny and Dustin in third and fourth.

Today they're going for a 114km triangle.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Aerial Video of the Resort

Tough Day

Doesnt look like anyone will make goal today. I am with Glen, Robin,
Filippo and Dustin and we have passed many gliders down along the way.
I hear rumors that Andre was high out near the third turnpoint, so he'
the last great hope.


Best looking cart girl on the planet ;-)

Hold Your Breath!

Rest for the Not-so-Wicked

What's so cool about this place is that our launch crew can come straight over from launch to the margarita bar for lunch and relaxation before they come into goal just 50 meters away. This is so civilized.

Francisco Grande Resort

This is where everyone is staying. Probably the most spouse friendly competition ever.

2nd Task - Rhombus

Light winds, dust devils, super switchy conditions. Conrad landed down-wind fast and turtled rapidly. More soon.


Pilot Worth Owner Payout

Andre Wolf 120 Lori pd 325
Nene Rotor 100 Jack pd 195
Dustin Martin 60 Jamie 130
Jonny Durand 100 Kraig pd
Leonardo Dabbur 70 Andre pd
Phil Bloom 40 Coomber pd
Daniel Valez 30 Jack pd
Filippo Oppici 30 Jamie
Brett Hazlett 30 Dowsett pd
Kraig Coomber 30 Vanis pd
Chris Zimmerman 20 Lori pd
Konrad Heilmann 20 Turner

1st - 50%, 2nd - 30%, 3rd - 20% Total 650

One Swift

Brian Porter has not flown a Swift for 2 years. He borrowed this one for the first comp task yesterday. He had no airspeed indicator, old style cage and he messed up and zeroed his altimeter at 2000 feet. Nevertheless, he smoked the course and arrived at goal with 2800 extra feet. Not bad for a glider designed 20 years ago.

Sunday, April 20, 2008


Kraig and Robin came in about 5 miles short of goal :-(

More coming in + wind.

At least 25 gliders in. Half the rigids. It is pretty incredible, sitting on grass in the shade of palm trees, next to the pool, with a bar right behind us as gliders fly in. There will be 100 gliders here next year. Wind is picking up, might be harder for the next group to make it here.

Some Low Finals

....next group in....Phil Bloom, Filippo, Daniel Velez, Jonny, Konrad Heilman.

Fast boy on a Litespeed

Andre says he had the devil in him today....caught all the boys that took the first start and he's happy!!

First in....

Looked like Dustin is first in on a T2C, Andre on a Litespeed and Leo Dabbur on T2C!! Looks like Nene is coming in now too. But....rumor has it that Andre took the second start after Dustin's first start.

Glider Make Count

I'm here with Rob Kells. He did a rough count on glider numbers because he was curious what we had in terms of WW, Moyes and Aeros. Here are the rough numbers:

Moyes - 31
Wills Wing - 21
Aeros - 3
Icaro - 1

Flexies should be burning in any minute now.

Day 1 - Triangle

Wind calmed down and allowed for a closed circuit. We changed the task at the last minute but everyone seemed happy with it as they get to come back here. They all seemed to be climbing out well and aside from a few broken weak links, all went smoothly.

David and I are sitting here in the grass waiting for them to come in from this 70 some odd mile task. We just spotted Brian Porter in his Swift...he was smoking fast. We've heard that a few good guys are down early....Chris Smith, the Jeffs :-(

Oops....dusty got a few.

Sir Robin

Team South America

Practice Day Photos

Santa Cruz Flats

The few days before a competition starts are always the most fun for me. Pilots are excited and energetic and happy to see all their buddies. Although I've been crazy busy with organizational stuff, I'm enjoy this favorite time of the meet. Nicole, Mike and I finally made it through the last of our mechanical problems and into Casa Grande late Thursday night. Already the resort was hopping with enthusiastic pilots checking in to the resort and checking out the area.

Our dirt runway has sprouted some small grassy stuff since last year and it looks like the dust might be much more manageable this time around. Today's practice day launching was a bit chaotic, but everyone who wanted to, went up for a quick look at the desert surrounding our little oasis. Rob Kells is here with his trailer full of gliders for demo this weekend and it's great to have him. Kraig showed up with new gliders and sails for several people (including me!!!!!!). We have a giant crew of Brasilians, nearly every hang glider pilot from Canada, one beautiful Italian, a fellow German attorney and loads of Americans. I haven't done the final count yet, but we are somewhere in the 65 range, give or take.

This year's gang is slightly bigger than last ;-)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Whats next??

Boy does it pay to be traveling with a genius! About 24 hours after
our tire problems it looks like we're loosing the turbo in Campbell's
mondo American size truck. We are in the most remote part of this 3000
kilometer drive and I'm feeling like we're Huck and Tom out on another
adventure...thankfully there is nothing Mike can't fix!

We'll probably be able to hobble into El Paso and fix there. One way
or another I'm not letting the sun set on me in this state again ;-))

Word to your mother!

Stitches don't take no bullets bitch.

Dash dancing through Texas

We couldn't do the whole state in a single day, but we'll get out of here by afternoon and will be rolling into the Francisco Grande by dinnertime! Feeling good and excited to see friends that are near and dear to me - starting to embrace this idea of big change. A very wise Austrailian once told me that in times of emotional termoil, the key to finding contentment again is in acceptance. That's comforting at the moment.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

30 kilometers later....

...flat tire number two. This is our last spare and we have another
2000 kilometers to go ;-)

Stay Tuned for More....after these messages.

Big excitement on I10. Blow out on the trailer on the edge of
Louisiana. Funny thing is that mom and dad were passing by on their
drive to Florida from California so we were able to visit by the
highway for a while ;-)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

VFS Enjoying the Ride

Its business time! Sorting the recycling isn't part of the foreplay,
but its still very important!

David, we're wishing you were here to enjoy Tenacious D and The Flight
of the Conchords with us!

We Have Liftoff!!!

With Voodoo Funk Superhero riding on the dash, we're on our way at last!

Sanford & Sons

Another roadtrip! Everything AND the kitchen sink are heading to
Arizona at last. We may actually get out if here before sunset. 30-
some hours and we'll be in Casa Grande!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Things in this life change very slowly if they ever change at all....

...lyrics from one of my favorite songs. And, particularly relevant to me at the moment.

This weekend, I had my last flights with Damien as I've come to know and love him. In Arizona I get a new smoke sail for my baby and he will have to be renamed Damien II. While he may be the spawn of the devil, he has never lived up to his heritage and has been more like an angel from heaven. I'm so excited to fly again in AZ!

I have always thought that flying when I was in a really bad state of mind was a mistake. I discovered this weekend that it seems flying is the best cure (along with time, probably the only cure) for all that ails me lately. Like running, it is the most peaceful and reflective thing I do and I typically have most of my relatively few moments of clarity while in the air or hitting the running trail. I feel life changes coming and can't help but believe they are good ones.

I hate posts without pictures. So, speaking of changes, here's a baby picture for a girl with her mind in the gutter ;-)