Thursday, December 31, 2009

It's Gonna be a Great New Year!

Finished off the last few days of the year with fantastic flights, crowded beaches and close friends.  We BBQ'd with Curt and Lou, swam at Coogee with the Canungra boys and then partied with some Americans, Irish, Kiwis, Brits and Aussies.  Couldn't ask for a more perfect end of the year.  Today we make the drive to Forbes!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Move Over Damien....Make Room For Malibu Ken

Had my first flight on a Malibu yesterday and I'm in love...yet again.  This is the sweetest handling glider I have ever dreamed of.  I'll fly it again today and will write more...for now, must run to the airport and get my man ;-)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Malibu Barbie Day at Cronulla

Perhaps they issued a few too many visas to Brits this season in Sydney, because it's been raining for several days :-)  Anyway, it's still lovely and warm here.  The flight over from San Francisco was the easiest Oz flight ever for me, thanks in part to my "upgrade pack" that didn't get me into business class, but definitely got me some royal treatment.  I left the plane with more bottles of wine than I could carry and a whole crew of very happy flight attendants.  I won't forget that trick anytime soon!

We headed out to Cronulla yesterday for some playing around on the beach with the Malibu's.  Apparently my brain didn't arrive with the rest of me yesterday, so I thought it best not to fly (I'm regretting that decision now as today is much rainier than yesterday).  But, I'm hoping for its arrival soon and maybe the skies will clear for another chance to Malibu today.

Kathryn is amazing on the sand dunes...I suspect she may have been a seagull in a former life. Needless to say, I'm envious!  The most I could do was basebar around on the top of the dune for a bit.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Flytec Race & Rally

Registration is now open.....register early and often ;-)

Click HERE for the registration page.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Back to Me

Steve (Mr. Flytec) and Bob (the "awesome" one) invited me to come down to the Florida Ridge with them this weekend. They were putting on a parachute clinic. I went along for the ride even though the weather wasn't looking the best. We had solid overcast and warm rain on Saturday, but today was gorgeous. It felt so much like a good spring day with cloudbase at 4500 ft and 85 degree temps on the ground. I had a great little flight chasing Derreck Turner all over the place - well, trying anyway ;-)


Home this evening, just in time to pack up for the next getaway!!

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Finally managed to drag my swine flu infected body out of the house today to a lovely little ridge soaring site about 5 minutes from Carl's house. I'm still weak and it was too cold for me to get in the air, but Carl cruised around for a while in this pretty little place. Although it's mostly freezing around here this time of year, the sky has been blue at least part of the day most every day since I arrived and it felt so good to get outdoors and enjoy it at last.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Today's Launch of Shuttle Atlantis

Only six shuttle missions left and as little as I'm home these days, it was nice to catch this one. Myshel and Maxie came over - he brought his camera to get some shots of his own.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Last Days in Canoa

Back at home now and (as always) wishing to be back in Ecuador. Like every year, it was an amazing time packed with excellent flying, warm friends and great times. I think most all of the new pilots loved it there and will likely be back next year - along with even more new ones. Raul and Manino did a spectacular job with everything and I know we're all very grateful and anxious to come back next year.

The Wills Wing boys kicked butt with first, second and third place in the open class. But my Litesport dominated the sport class. Finishing 6 minutes ahead of all the U2's in the sport class over two days, I have a feeling there will be a few more Litesports there next year ;-)
So many good friends - it's hard to leave. Here I am with some of the Ecuadorian pilots.

Another fireworks display on the beach and a giant party after the prize giving.
Then we all packed up, drove back to Guayaquil and caught our flight home. Everyone's least favorite part.

Monday, November 02, 2009

The Princess pulls it off again ;-)

Dustin first, Shapiro second, OB third, Kraig fourth.

More tomorrow.

The Race....

...I just landed finishing the sport class task (in first place it
appears ;-) when the fast boys came by sooooo close. It looked like
Kraig was leading, barely ahead of Dustino but that order switched
making the turnpoint. Anyway, OB and Shapiro were right on their
tails. What a close race it will be!!

Sent from my iPhone

Finally a Race Day!!

We worried again about wind conditions yesterday when we woke up to the clouds overhead coming out of the east. Not good. Luckily, the first start wasn't until 4:30, so there was plenty of time for things to switch around. It was a gorgeous sunny morning and everyone was hanging out on the beach or by the pool. Just as it was about time to head up the hill the wind started looking better and better. By the time we got up there it was blowing nicely, just crossing a bit from the north (which also quickly changed to straight in) and the sky was the more usual overcast with cloudbase at about 1200 feet - perfect Canoa day!

The sport class all launched first as we had a 3:30 start. I decided to fly the sport class because the task is much shorter and I've been fairly sick the past few days. It was a good thing as I don't think I could have raced for 55 km. I finished the course then watched the big boys take the start and race along below me. It is an amazing site from above. They all look like they're on the verge of landing at any moment - they're sooooo low. All but Kraig and Alex took the first of two starts. Dustin was smoking fast as always - he knows this place so well. Shapiro came in second, OB third and Kraig and Alex fourth and fifth.

The publicity for this meet has been like nothing I've ever seen. The entire town (and then some) was out on the beach for the finishes and it was one giant party. We all packed up to great music on the PA that was set up for the band that played last night - yeah, another party all night. I wish all comps were like this one ;-)

Sunday, November 01, 2009

First Day Cancelled

Two fantastic practice days...then the rain came just in time for the first task :-( After two days of beautiful sunshine we woke up yesterday to the more normal looking grey skies. Up on launch it wasn't long before it started to drizzle and then rain lightly. Cloudbase was not high above the mountain - not that that matters so much - the boys typically race below ridgetop anyway. Raul waited as long as possible, hoping for clearing conditions, but it never really happened. Most launched and cruised around below the ridge. I've been a bit sick, so was happy to pack up the glider and drive down the hill for the first time in the history of the Canoa Open. They said this was the first task ever cancelled.

Here's Colombian Daniel Velez with Nico Glennon (Mike's son). Nico is 17 - he was our photographer last year and he's since learned to fly. It's great to have him up on the ridge with us. He'll be kicking all of our butts in no time.

Today's conditions are anyone's guess. The clouds are moving westward....baaaaaad. But the wind on the beach is blowing lightly in. Either way, good times all around. Most of us went into town last night for a little of the local nightlife. Some are regretting it this morning ;-)

Friday, October 30, 2009

La Escuela Abbrogado

This morning we all walked over to the school that Jeff has been raising funds for. We had various supplies to donate - DVDs, workbooks, markers, etc. We arrived just in time for recess and had a blast playing with the kids for a while.

The school was started by a Floridian who came down quite a few years ago. It's been open for about two years and they've got about 50 kids at this point. They're hoping to build two more classrooms soon and will have kindergarden through eighth grade eventually. The school is taught in English - they don't just teach an English class each day, all of the classes are taught in English. The teachers are from various places, one from Alaska, one from Manchester, UK and a few local teachers.

The kids were great fun and enjoyed having a bunch of us running around acting like children...well, what's new.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

OB's Landing Today

...published with his permission (encouragement in fact ;-)

First Flights

Once again yet another perfect day in Canoa. Everyone was so keen to get up to launch many new people that haven't flown here. We had a fair bit more wind than normal, so many of us opted for the lower launch which they say is nicer in strong wind - wonder why we have never used it before. Even at the lower launch, conditions were iffy at first. Everyone got off the hill fine and the new boys raced around all day until the sun started getting low and we all landed in front of our new resort. We're all sitting around having dinner, everyone on a giant high. If only Carlos was here, I'd be in heaven ;-)