Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I want to look at the horizon and not see a building standing tall

Cowboy take me away...fly this girl as high as you can into the wild blue.  

Once again, home feels really good, even if only for 2 weeks.  The sun shined all the way up until evening when this huge cu-nim started exploding over the beach.  It was amazing....looked to me like the devil had taken control of the sky.  Now the rain is pouring and the thunder has started.  Growing up on the central coast of California where the weather is typically very very stable, a thunderstorm was a rare treat.  I love that they're a near daily occurrence here in the summer months.  

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Seems once again, we got lucky with the weather.  Tons of sunshine and the light breeze from a few days ago stiffened up a bit both yesterday and today making it possible to run a few racing rounds today.  There are just eight in the hang gliding division and all but one are on Litespeeds - heaps more paragliders, of course.

I was told by the two top Moyes boys (both of whom have egos sizable enough to say if it weren't really true) that no one could beat Kraig in a ridge race.  Zippy came the closest today, just over 2 seconds behind Kraig, with Jonny rounding out the top three a few more seconds behind them.  After two rounds, they decided to call it a day and let the paragliders have a shot.  Just for fun, Kraig hopped on a Litesport and showed them again what a great little glider that is.  He and Jonny raced neck and neck up and down the ridge and Jonny could never overtake him.  

Friday, May 22, 2009

Gone Soft

I had my first paraglider flight today. Slow and smooth....fun to peek in the windows of the rich and famous. I could get into it for sure.

Finally the weather decided to cooperate a bit. Although the forecast called for 7mph out of the west (way to light to run a race), it was way off. By the time we arrived at Torrey after breakfast it was already near double that and looking like perfect conditions. For some reason totally unclear to me, however, the organizers decided against running the race today. So instead the boys played around putting on a bit of an acro show for the tourists.

Jonny boy is sporting a new look.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

May Grey

The wind has been up and down and quite light at best. But, the boys and Zhenya had quick flights today with everyone landing back up top this time ;-) The forecast doesn't look the best for racing on the weekend, but we'll see.

So here were are.....

....at Torrey Pines! I've decided I must have a very serious malady - I mean, very serious. Six days at home after the Rally and I couldn't take even one more day. Maybe I'm just mentally preparing for a full summer away or more likely, I have advanced, terminal A.D.D....yeah, that's more like it.

The Torrey Pines Air Races start on Friday and meanwhile we're just hanging out at Torrey - something I never did when I lived here. Timothy, Zhenya and Jonnny are here so far and Tyler, Kraig, Alex Cuddy and probably a few more Moyes boys will arrive in the next day or two. I got quite a surprise when one of my German teammates tapped me on the shoulder yesterday. Sibile, who has flown for our team in years past, is here for her daughter's wedding this weekend. What a nice surprise to see her. I hear Guido will also be here for the wedding, so he'll likely pop out to Torrey today too.

It's nice to see friends, but I have certainly grown out of what many call the best weather in the country. 65-70 degrees year round might be nice if the sun would shine a bit more often. I know, I'm spoiled.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Putting the Cheeky Brit on the Big Metal Plane

....the hardest part of all of this.  Back to my (semi)normal life of missing those that are too far away.  
I think the Rally was a great success. It was small and we had a few glitches, and of course, we didn't end up where we wanted to at Lookout. But, we flew 6 out of 7 days in fantastic conditions. Everyone is talking about next year - including me. I really want to do it again, but a little differently. Jonny is calling it the Flytec Magical Mystery Tour. We're thinking of having 20 or more airports lined up all around the southeast and just going where the wind takes us. I think it could be such a fun time.
Top three, Jeff O'brien, Zac Majors and Glen Volk.

Me and Steve - the person who I believe does the most for hang gliding in the US. Steve Kroop from Flytec USA supports hang gliding donating ridiculous amounts of his time trying to keep the USHGA in line, raising funds for the US team and making meets like the Rally possible. I really don't think the hang gliding community has any idea how much me does for us.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

For Liz...

Breathing a sigh of relief

Last day of the Rally and I'm finally starting to relax a bit. I've been much to busy to post much here and it seems I'm over my limit for photos, so I'm spending my time making sure things run smoothly for the finish.

Today's task is a 140 km out at return to the north. Jonny and Dustin should be pushing big time as they have little to lose after their bomb outs yesterday. Zac, Glen and OB are another story in first, second and third place. We started with a clear blue sky and pilots a little reluctant to get into the air, unsure of conditions in the blue. But everyone got up and out of here without a single re-light. Alexia is preparing happy hour with daquiritas and a nice little dinner in the clubhouse - all very makeshift as we never intended to be here, but coming off quite well anyway. It seems everyone is happy and enjoying themselves and I've had such a good time I think we will do it again next year - even bigger and better!

Friday, May 08, 2009

Back Home

...at Quest. A little disappointing not to be able to push further north to Lookout, but the pilots voted to head back to Quest where we were sure to have fantastic tasks for the last two days. Today they are calling for light wind and very high cloudbase so we're doing a nice 147km triangle.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Into Georgia

They're currently gliding into some pretty grey looking skies, but
have crossed into Georgia just a few minutes ago. I'm hearing reports
that Carl is down just inside the Georgia stateline. Jonny and Dustin
are still gliding into the grey.

Driver's Lounge

Timothy and I found a Starbucks to sit and wait for the boys (and
girl) to catch up. Despite concerns about crosswinds and tree rotor at
the launch field, things went great. Everyone got up and away. My boys
are high and doing well about 140km from goal. Everyone is being blown
slightly east of courseline, but the clouds are lovely there and I'm
starting to think we'll have some in goal.

Yesterday's Winner

Carl says he went from zero to hero yesterday. All he needed was the
little incentive program.

David's Videos

David Glover is making nice little short videos each day. I can't seem to upload them, but here are the links. They're great fun.

Day 1 - http://gallery.me.com/gloverdavid#100092

Day 2 - http://gallery.me.com/gloverdavid/100102

We've been a bit concerned about today's weather as there is a front to or north. But, I just got a call from Davis and he says the high in Florida has pushed the front further north and out of our way. We have the longest task of the Rally today - 140 miles to Moultrie, Georgia!!
Here's Zhenya launching from Quest.
....and Dustin getting a little sideways.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Flytec Race & Rally

Jonny wrote something funny in his blog tonight. He said it was amazing to think that we set a 205 km task 9 months ago and we actually flew it. He was right. We couldn't have asked for more perfect conditions for the first day. Beautiful streets were setting up early and Davis was in a tizzy, running around saying it was the best day all year. I was pleased as it took a lot of pressure off me.

I believe 17 pilots made goal at Quest and most everyone was tickled with the day.

Tomorrow is looking a bit iffy on the weather so we're keeping our fingers crossed. The potential problems are thunderstorms further north and a westerly breeze. We'll wait and see. It's quite possible we can go at least part way to the 140 mile goal in Moultrie, Georgia and then drive what's left.

Rally Day 2

Way too busy to do much in the way of blogging- but things are going
great. Two great days so far! No one made today's goal - the sea
breeze kicked in early and spoiled things a bit. Look like Carl and
Jeff were the closest- about 18km short of goal in Williston.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Dustin wins the day....

...and the meet, coming in about 8 minutes ahead of the others. The
Princess is pleased!!

My HEB Jelly Buddy....

.....still waiting at goal where the sea breeze has now kicked in and
the meat rockets are falling from the sky.

The lead gaggle isn't so far out.