Sunday, September 27, 2009

Santa Cruz Flats Race

Kraig Coomber won the race, with Robin Hamilton second and Derreck Turner in third - all on Litespeeds!! We finished it all off with a great party at the resort before most headed off on all directions early this morning. Another successful meet and we're all looking forward to doing it again next year. I arrived up in the Bay Area this evening and I'm missing everyone already.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Goal Day 7

Turns out it was a tough task. Most went down near the last turnpoint and only three happy flexies made it in - Zippy, Dave Gibson and Derreck. This finish will likely move Derreck onto the podium and depending on where Kraig and Robin ended up, they'll likely stay in first and second.

Here are Zippy, Derreck and Dave coming in.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Goal Day 6

Excellent task bringing the boys back to the resort again today. Someone has lit a fire under Kraig because he seems unstoppable. He was first in again today with Dustin and Robin right on his tail. Derreck was a bit slow, so he might lose his 3rd place to OB today but there's still a day left for him to snatch it back again.

Day 6

Kraig is on fire. He was first in again today just a few second ahead
of Dustin, then Robin. Zippy and OB were next and I'm sure more are
coming soon.

Day 5

Good day at our desert runway yesterday. There is a particular wind direction and velocity that makes towing at the resort a little iffy, so to be on the safe side, we used another airstrip about 10 km away. It's a bit on the dusty side, but it works alright for a day or so.

Turns out the task was undercalled. About 80% made goal with Kraig coming in first and solidifying his lead. Overall now we have Kraig, Robin and Derreck....Moyes 1, 2, 3 still ;-)

We closed down the bar again last night. I think the staff here will be happy when we're gone.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Race Day

Another day of high wind at Casa Grande. But, we found another way to race, this time out of the heat. There's a great indoor cart racing track. About half the competitors came out to see who could come close to beating Kraig. Young Alex Cuddy and Brian Foster were closest, but like ridge racing, no one can beat him at cart racing

Even the Birds are Walking

Typical non-flying day yesterday. We found plenty of other dangerous activities to entertain ourselves.

Dustin, Phil and Russell and Lori took the sailplanes out, but with the wind, conditions weren't fantastic. They didn't get above about 6500 feet.

Kraig brought his dirtback with him from LA. What a perfect place this desert is for that kind of fun. Unfortunately, some of us are better than others at this particular sport ;-)

We finished it all off with a great party at the bar. Lucas was buying all the rounds with his recent winnings. He nearly went away with all the poker money as well.

Sitting at breakfast now watching the palm trees lay over and the white caps on the pool. Oops...might have to give the dirtbiking another whirl.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Task 3

We woke up this morning to high winds and not much hope of a task. But halfway into breakfast, the winds started to back off a bit so we called a briefing and rather short (84km) crossing/downwind task. The Princess is whiny and his usual pessimistic self, and he's probably right, but we're going to give it a shot anyway. The forecasts are saying the wind should back down to possibly something reasonable by 2. So, the current plan is to open launch at 1:30 with the first start at 3:00. Our fingers are crossed.

Love the facilities here. There was a group of Parrot Heads here for the weekend, but now that they're gone, we have the run of the place. Here is our briefing room/margarita bar/scoring room/headquarters, etc.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Lucas Wins!!!

....not the task, but the HP video contest! He's $40,000 richer
today ;-)

Goal Day 2

Lots of happy guys here. Looks like Dustina was first in, Zippy next,
then probably Derreck....people came in rather high so it's hard to
say on the order.

Day 2

Another 112km task, this time with goal at the RC field we used last
year. It's a good course that takes them across some nice mountains in
addition to the desert flatlands.

Difficult time at launch today. Quite a lot a relights which is very
very taxing on everyone in the 106 degree heat. Looks like the temps
should be dropping below 100 for te next several days though.

In on my way to goal now and while it's blue here, further on course
there are nice cu's. David just called from his retrieve car and
thinks they might be really zooming and could even be at goal by now,
just over two hours after the first start. We'll see.

Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Moyes 1-2-3

They said is was a very well called task, getting progressively more difficult with the final leg into a bit of wind. Several top guys didn't make it in...some just a few kilometers short. Kraig Coomber was first in with Phil Bloom just three minutes or so behind him and Robin Hamilton next. Five flexies made goal in the end (Eduardo from Brasil fourth and OB fifth) and Jim Yocum on his Atos.

Kraig had a lovely landing right on the driving range.

SC Flats Day 1

Great first day out in the desert. The new runway is amazing. While it's still a bit dusty out there, the improvement is enormous- no more eating moon dust as you launch.

They're out on the 112km course now in light wind and nice strong lift. They were calling 700fpm climbs right over the resort.

Arriving in Arizona

Nicole and I arrived in Casa Grande mid-afternoon yesterday to hot temperatures and super high cloudbase (they said it was about 12,000ft!!!) Most everyone is here and the dry desert air feels amazing. I haven't been over to the runway yet, but everyone is saying it's looks first rate. The early forecasts are calling for light winds, at least for the first two days, so we should have tasks returning here.

Things look really different this year. In addition to our beautiful paved runway, the city has purchased much of the land on the south side of the resort and built a giant sports complex with football fields and baseball diamonds.

Meanwhile, our little oasis remains ;-)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Coming back home was like going to jail....

never mind the wind
never mind the rain
never mind the road leading home again

Sometimes it's really hard to be home again. I've spent the last few weeks learning that they weren't lying- they do have a summer in the UK- and I got to enjoy all ten days of it this time ;-) It is sooooo gorgeous when the sun is shining and the flying is good.

My introduction to UK flying was at Llangollen (not pronounced at all the way it looks - those crazy Welsh). It's a small hill in North Wales where when conditions are good, you can go over the back on nice XC flights into the rolling hills. Day one Me, Myles and Shedsy headed south over the back for a 130 km goal a the Severn River. I only made about 60 kms before landing at the base of the Long Mynd (another flying site) but Shedsy made it and Myles was very close. Great day!!

We had a few more days of flying at Llangollen and hanging with my favorite second family. A little crickett, a little paella and heaps of mellow, relaxing flying. On the last day there, we all landed (including Carlos, who is finally back in the air again!) in the Kynaston's back garden.

On Sunday we went out to a coastal site south of Liverpool. It reminded me so much of the California coast and the many flying sites with landings on the beach. We were late in the day, so the lift was ultra light and smooth. Such a relaxing day.

It was painful to leave yesterday and a bit strange waking up back in Florida this morning where I don't have to bundle up to go outside, have no tea for breakfast and can wear my flippy floppys again. I suppose I'll get used to it.