Thursday, July 31, 2008

Dirty Girls

Quite a muddy retrieve after two hours of hard rain. I hear that Laura
made goal first, about 20 minutes ahead of Natalia and then maybe
Francois and Corinna. Should be very interesting to see the score
sheet tomorrow!

Too much static in the air from all the lighning striking the field
where Kathleen and I have been huddled for an hour and a half ;-)

We had grabbed the turnpoint while getting rained on, but could quickly see that the ground was totally shaded and we weren't going to get much further. I headed for the biggest paddock I could find and Kathleen followed. We were just in the nick of time. As we started to pack up, the thunder and lightning and rain started and didn't stop for over an hour. We look like a couple of drowned rats ;-) and still no Tim to pick us up :-(

At least it was an exciting flight and an adventure out in the field!

Sent from my iPhone

Another Tough Day

After predictions of thunderstorms and a huge cu out near the
turnpoint, they sent us off on a 72km task. Got to fly most of the day
with Kathleen. We were both low so much of the time, but it was great
fun to have an expert with me. We made the long turnpoint

Day 8

We're up at the north launch yet again. But, they've asked us not to
rig because apparently there is a very large thunderstorm cell to our
north that could move in. We can't see anything from here though.

In the meantime, there's nothing to do but attack the boys ;-)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


I guess my still frozen fingers are a bit trigger happy.

So, here is the rest of the appears that Kathleen landed at
the edge of the goal cylinder and I have not been able to find out if
she made it in or not. Otherwise, it looks like Corinna was first for
the day again. This could mean a big shake up in the standings!

Sent from my iPhone

I'm at Goal Again!!

...and oh so happy!!! Absolutely gorgeous day with super high
cloudbase. We were getting up at 3000 meters and I nearly froze my
butt off.  Flew most of the day with little Julia...what a great pilot she is becoming. 

Day 8

64 km for the girls today...really hoping conditions are nicer than
yesterday. Things are looking better already though, the Swifts
rocketed up and are on course.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Here it is 6pm and the rigids are finally coming in. I think Alex was
first with Christian close behind in second. Seems it was a tough day
all around. For the girls, most of our team went down fairly early
with just Corinna in the air until late. I dont know where she ended
up, but apparently she is down. Kathleen made the second turnpoint and
landed there. No idea yet who may have won the day.

As for the Swifts, Manfred was first and happy to not be landing out
like yesterday. He said that was only his second time ever landing out
in a Swift.

Not a Happy Day

Trying my best to fake a smile, but I'm seriously disappointed and all
I really want is CW and a few dozen Krispy Kremes.

Tomorrow has to be better.

Day 7

Here's Ute, another one of my great teammates! She and I have been
flying together quite a lot the last days.

We've got gorgeous looking conditions (so much for that bad forecast!)
and a nice 82km task.

One More Day, One More Time more sunset maybe I'll be satisfied. But then again....

There was grumbling last night that the forecast for today was identical to yesterday. I'm really hoping that's wrong. I desperately need more days to dig myself out of this hole I'm in. In the meantime, I'm getting to know the Russian girls. I think little Julia is the youngest girl in the meet at 21 and a delight to be around.

Here we are from Russia, the US, Germany, the UK, Finland, France and the Netherlands. 

Monday, July 28, 2008

Task Cancelled

Even before launching I suspected they would cancel the task today.
There was big development at both turnpoints and rain a bit further
out. But, we launched and I had quite a nice flight until about 15
minutes after the start when they came on radio saying it was
cancelled. I'm getting more and more comfortable with the turbulence
and gaggle flying and I'm so pleased about that. My baby is flying
like a dream as always and that just makes it easier and easier for me
to enjoy myself.

Landed at an ultralite airfield with all of the Japanese and Russian
girls and several others. Sometimes I feel like a giant ;-)

Day 6

Sometimes we're not so happy with the CIVL ;-) The Russian girls took
good care of Flip today.

We've got another rather short, 68km
task, while the boys called a much more ambitious nearly 200km task.

I'm in Love!!

The girls kind of revolted yesterday and starting derigging before they cancelled the task. I think we were all a bit uncomfortable with the wind and low clouds, so we just decided to make our own decision.

But, there was plenty of time to flirt with the young boys ;-)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Waiting Games

We're waiting on the north launch where the wind is howling and
cloudbase is barely above our heads. Looks like they will cancel it
eventually. Meantime it always fascinates me to learn about pilots'
lives outside of hang gliding. Out team leader Rudl is a retired F4
fighter pilot. I had no cool that he has flown both ends of
the spectrum...super fast fighter jets and super slow paragliders.

Julia and Shaitan

Chatting with sweet young Julia and she asked me the name of my
glider. My baby is called Damien, Spawn of the Devil, Damien for
short. Turns out her glider us also named after the devil- Shaitan
means devil in Mongolian. I was surprised to hear that most girls dont
have names for their gliders. Who's name do you scream then when your
glider isn't doing what its told??

Feels Like Sunshine, it Feels Like Rain

The prediction is for thunderstorms today, but so far the sky looks lovely and I'm hoping for a task to redeem myself after yesterday's muck-up. They have delayed the team leader briefing until ten so that they can drive up to launch and check things out, so we'll have to wait and see.

Yesterday's sky was super cool.

Brian makes launching a 140 lb glider look so easy. The Swift really is such a gorgeous, graceful looking airplane (or spaceship, as Davis would say ;-)

We had dinner in Gubbio a few nights ago. Gubbio is a little village on the side of a was a turnpoint the second day and I arrived there quite low and got to check it out from above. I must say it was considerably more relaxing seeing it on foot.

My brothers nicknamed me Fat Ass quite a few years ago. I was thinking "wide load" when I saw this shot and I'm convinced I'm turning into one giant cheese ball ;-)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Short :-(

Didn't make it today. Had a tough day all around. To start things off, I somehow barely drifted into the start circle before the start and didn't realize it until my computer wasn't giving me the first turnpoint direction. I went to the turnpoint and then realized my stupid mistake. Had to go back and get the start and then the first turnpoint again, so I was way behind. Then I spent the last 45 minutes of the flight about 150 meters off the deck, sweating like a pig, going up 50 then down 50. I really though I was gonna get out of there and be the hero, but not this time. At least there was something very sweet waiting for me in my paddock....thanks baby ;-)

Day 4

Here's my sweet teammate Christa. We have another short task today,
just 58km. But conditions are looking quite nice so far, so I can't
help but wonder if its too short...probably shouldn't say that or I'll
bomb out :-/ But anyway, the wind is much much lighter than yesterday
and although there is some high cloudiness around, there is also some
nice cumulous development.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Update on Johnny Carr

Apparently someone was smoking a bit of crack yesterday. Johnny has broken a small bone in his foot, but it is very minor. He has a giant cast on it, but there will be no need for surgery and he's in no big rush to head back to the UK. His sweetie Fran has come to look after him and he is as happy as ever.

You're the Swimming Pool on an August Day ;-)

The wind got a bit strong on launch, so they cancelled the task for the girls. I actually thought it was doable, not all that strong, but I'm a big chicken so I have to admit I was pleased that they cancelled it. They stopped the rigid task after not too long as well. Word was that the top of the lift was not high enough to safely get the first turnpoint. Apparently there are no landing fields around that turnpoint, so they thought it best to stop the task. Down at the goal field it seems not too many of the rigid boys were happy about the decision. The Swifts are still flying.

I'm tied for 12th at the moment, but hoping I can move into the top ten!!

Day 3

Another somewhat short task for the girls today- 73km. They're calling
for lower cloudbase (although the sky is completely blue at the
moment) and stronger westerly wind. The boys are going for 179km-
makes us look like whimps ;-))

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Johnny Carr in his Purple Laminar....

Just found out that Johnny broke his foot this afternoon on launch. I saw his blown Swift launch, but was told that he was ok and would likely have the glider fixed up and flying tomorrow. Unfortunately, that was not the case - Kathleen and I are heading to the hospital to get him now. He will need surgery on his foot, so will be heading back to the UK. What a bummer!! Conditions on launch were very very light and it seems he may have just taken off in a very light cycle and couldn't get the glider flying. I saw a wingtip catch and he spun around back into the hill. It didn't look nearly as bad as it apparently was. Poor Johnny :-(

I fell in love with Johnny years ago in Florida when he would sing as he came across the goal line. It used to be "Johnny Carr in his purple Laminar..." to the tune of Yellow Submarine. When he no longer had a purple Laminar, he would just sing "Johnny Carr, Johnny Carr, Johnny Carr" all the way across the line.

Looks like there were plenty into goal today - at least half the girls and heaps of rigids. Slightly under called task, I would say. Corinna came in first, with Kathleen just a few seconds behind.


Spectacular day with less wind and not nearly as much turrbulence. Had
the time of my life and made it into goal hopefully in the top ten.

Here I am with the Class 5 day winner....oh Alex ;-)

Day 2

Gorgeous looking sky today! They're calling for nice conditions and
we're back at the south launch today. The girls have a rather short
69km task. Class 5 and the Swifts will go 163km.

Turns out Robert did win the day yesterday- I guess there was a bit of
confusion at the scoring desk.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Shots From Today

Turns out that Alex won the day for Class 5 today, not Robert, as I reported earlier. Itagaki Naoki from Japan was second, Robert third, Jacques Bott fourth and Christian fifth.

For the Swifts, it was Manfred, Steve Cox from Switzerland in second and Brian Porter in third.

I guess it was a tougher day for the girls than we expected. Still just Kathleen in goal. I had a tough time going into the headwind after the first turnpoint. Had a fine day though and I'm happy.

Kathleen Wins the Day!!

Kathleen is the only girl in goal so far and will likely be the only
one period. . Very well done Kathleen!!!

Looks like Robert Reisinger was first and Alex second for Class 5.

Of course Manfred was first for the Swifts.

Day 1

84km task for the girls today. I wouldn't say it was my best
performance :-( The air was a bit on the rough side after the first
half an hour and I was very nervous. I just landed not quite halfway
through the course. But at least that dreaded first day is out of the
way. Will do better tomorrow ;-)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Come Rain Come Shine

Today is the last practice day before the first task tomorrow. Unfortunately, it has been extremely windy and we had thunderstorms all day yesterday, so not much practice other than the first two days when we arrived. Nice to relax and get to the know the area though. We're having plenty of team briefings and it's good for my German practice. Today we'll head up to the Trepizzi launch and check it out. It will likely be too windy to fly, but nice to get out and go through the motions anyway. They're thinking that we will be at Trepizzi for the next several days if the weather forecast is correct.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Opening Ceremonies

Lovely opening last night with a band, giant party and happy pilots. It's really more cool than I expected, being here with a bunch of flying girls. Thanks to Carl for playing photographer for me....yes, that's why all the photos are of girls ;-) He headed back to the UK today and I'm moping around wishing he hadn't left.