Thursday, April 30, 2009

Florida Ridge - Task 2

Yesterday started off quite tricky. Lake effect or just a heavy inversion at 3200ft kept me low and struggling all the way through the last start gate. I flew with Zhenya right off tow but there was not much to circle in. I got lucky just after starting with a strong climb to cloudbase, that got me back on course and even caught a couple of pilots at the first turn point. One of which was my team mate Mark. We flew together for 15mins before I had to run from a cloud. I tried to stay upwind of course line on the leading edges of clouds and tried not to get lower than 4000ft as the climb rates seemed way lower down there. That strategy seemed to pay off yesterday. Although I haven't seen the results yet.

The task was a dogleg to the northwest, simlar to the day before but 139km landing just short of Tampa.

Results should be up soon

Here are some other flying blogs.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

First task

After 3 days of wind, we were able to get airborne. It was still blowy on the ground but not so bad up aloft. Final glide was pretty fun. I started with Konrad and Charlie, Derek was out infront a little. I was gliding along checking my numbers, I had 14:1 but that seemed really tight Just as I was thinking I should slow down in lift (I was in 200ft/min flying straight) Konrad and Charlie came cruising by. I was too tempted, and I bailed after them. 4km out we were all getting low and the numbers were getting worse. I hit 500up and went round twice, then dove for goal. Just as I started diving for goal Konrad and Charlie started turning to rescue their goal. Cruising across the top of them, I came in just behind Derek who had taken a later start.
Results are here.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Florida Ridge

is down at the south-western corner of lake Okeechobee. It is day4 today and no valid task yet. >We did however go and fly a couple of days ago. Man towing each other up into the ridge lift from a deserted hotel on the east coast. . Many took a turn flying over the building face. Florida high point being around 30 feet, the view was pretty goodTom also got some good footage.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Across the country to Quest

So I got back from England, and 3 days later I was packed on on my way to LA to pick up the Moyes truck to drive to Florida. Fortunately my Brazilian buddy Konrad joined me for the trek across. The start was delayed 1 & 1/2 days due to customs. We left LA 7:30pm Monday and arrived at Quest in Florida 8:30pm on Wednesday. The GPS said 2650 miles, we stopped only for gas and the accasional meal. I slept for 12 hours when we got there, and felt OK enough to fly the next day. Dustin towed me into a nice dust devil at 3k.With a face full of dirt and candy wrappers I climbed up to 7.2k. Then went on glide with Jeff. We were quite similarly matched, although his setup is cleaner he had considerable bar pressure, and things equalled out.We got about half way to Wallaby and topped back up. I flew around with Paul quite a bit. He headed over toward Claremont and I followed.I never realised Florida had so many lakes. I flew up north for 12ks or so and returned back to Quest, it was cold and I had mistakenly dressed in a T-shirt. A nice introduction to flying in florida though. Tomorrow the Florida Ridge championships start. Winds are forecast to be high, but there is a chance of a task toward the west.


On the way home I stopped in at Coventry where I spent 4 years studying. I was curious to see what has changed, and what remained the same. The old cathedral ruined in WWII remains next to the new one.
I seem to remember this statue being up next to a clock on the wall of a close by building ?
The Dog and Trumpet is still there.
These arches are new, and I fould out later my buddy Giles worked on the foundation design.
I took a look around the transport museum while there too. A beautiful Maserati.Here is a nice Jag that never made it to production.Giles has been working on the new Birmingham hospital for 5 years or so, and is putting the air conditioning in currently.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Happy Birthday Mum, or is that Grandma now?

For her birthday my Mum got a private ski lesson. It was here first time on skis.
Having done half a day on skis 10 years ago, I was a little apprehensive as to how it might work out for the both of us. But Mum did great :) Getting the snow plough down.I had a go too. Only had one tumble. After we called in to see my sister and nephew again after. For it was my last day in France for a while.

It was time !

And Off my sister went! My Nephew was born in a town down by Lake Leman.
We had to wait a little, so we took a stroll around the old fishing village.
I was eager and excited to meet my little 6 hour old nephew. One brand new happy healthy family.

A day skiing in Montriond.

My sister helps run morzine ski chalets and we were lucky enough to stay in one of them. It has been an excellent season there in the business sense. Fully booked all season long. Some of that was the excellent snow, which is now why on is way to melting.We went Avoriaz and skiied around the French-Swiss border. It was a great day for pictures. This is the town of Avoriaz, It is a bit strange looking. Eastern block style I thought, apparantly it was designed to look like the mountains... Hmmm From Les Mossettes (one of the higher points) you can see Mont Blanc. The highest mountain in Europe.

To Geneva

The last day in Scotland we went around Fort George, a castle built in 1748, intended to instill British rule over scotland, it never came under seige, and is in good condition. It is still used as a barracks as well as a museum.

From there we jumped a flight to Geneva and met by Mum, Dad, Sister and Brother in Law. I was about to become an uncle.


It has a been a busy couple of weeks. I wil try a catch up piece by piece as I drive from Santa Cruz to Florida Ridge nr Fort Meyers, for the Florida Ridge Hang Gliding meet.

First off after walking up Beinn Eighe, we went and checked out a band called the red hot chilli pipers. It was very entertaining, much more so being there.
Click on the picture for a video.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Beinn Eighe

Up Beinn Eighe, this corrie tarn is about half way up in elevation. It was a really warm day for early April and the snow was melting like crazy. The ascent got a bit more challenging after the tarn. A couple of days before we would have needed snow shoes, axes, crampons and ropes to get up to here, and on. Beinn Eighe is an awesome monroe, from the top you can just make out the east coast, while the west coast and lochs are in plain view. Looking at the west side of the Atlantic over the saddle we ascended.The way down was a bit tricky too with drifts of half melted snow to cross, beautiful day!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Stac Pollaidh

Over to the west coast today, for some good weather and spectacular scenery in the Assynt-Coigash National Scenic area.Its hard to get a scale on these hills, they are smaller up close than you would think, impressive nevertheless.The land here is very barren Torridonian sandstone. Not hard to imagine this whole area covered up in the last ice age. The hill was not the easiest of walks either, the rock is quite crumbly. The coast has some cool fjords too, mostly to the north.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Glen Affric

This fairly big glen is just 20 miles west of Inverness. It has some nice tracks through it perfect for mountain biking. There are a couple of hostels and holiday cottages a few miles up into the valley to stay in.There was a pretty big snowfall earlier in the week that left some really nice snow on the mountains.Around Loch Affric, are some of the remnants of the ancient Caledonian forest, the Scotts pine is a beautiful tree. The warm weather was causing the snow to melt quickly. This trail was pretty deep in melt water, one spot we had to wade through some fast moving ice water, Brrrrr. The Red Deer is pretty impressive too, almost the size of Elk. They like the taste of young Scotts Pine.