Friday, September 23, 2011

A Gaggley day

My Mentor - CRV says I need to blog more.

Here is the gaggle over the "backgammon" mine as we've named it.
Half way round the course at Newman peak
Thermalling with teammate Bill.
Gliding over conservatively into goal.

Scheming my appraoch.
Turning onto final.

score's are here and overall
more upto date blow by blow commentary here :
And my live tracklog updated as I fly here :

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Santa Cruz Flats 2011 Day 3

Playing with the spot Tracker software some more...

Yesterday was a tough day from many. So tough and unfair that the day was devalued to 650 points or so. I was the last of 5 into Goal. But I had a really rewarding few hours flying with Larry.

scores day3 and total.

Santa Cruz Flats 2011 Day 3

Share your Adventures with SpotAdventures
On a tenuous glide to goal, 12.5 : 1 worked out this time, with even 300 feet to spare.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Santa Cruz Flats 2011 - in the air

Yesterday was some fairly technical flying for some. It appears a good strategy here is to fly conservatively and high.

Jamie checks I have my head on straight...
The start was very slow, the day did turn on about 1:15pm or so, which seemed to me to be about the same time it turned on yesterday.
I went on course 15mins ahead of yesterday since I ran out of daylight then!
Here's a fairly typical view here in the flats.
Some pretty gnarly terrain, with big Seguaro cactus just to make the possibility of landing out that much more intimidating.Picachu peak (an old volcano) is just to the right (south) of courseline.
And back at goal - I got stuck near Eloy airport for 40mins, better late than short!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Santa Cruz Flats 2011 Day 1

I flew with my new SPOT device today. It worked fairly well considering I forgot about it and rolled it up in my harness bag and stuffed in in the leg pocket face down ... OOooops ;)

I landed short today, not by much, I walked my glider in the rest of the way! 700meters maybe ?

Jamie is blogging at There should be some scores up soon somewhere. I shall try and take some pictures tomorrow.

I am quite impressed with the Spot messenger service. It works as a satellite transponder so it sends location info back to the satellite. That info then lands on the internet, and can also be automatically sent out as text messages. Check it out below.

Day 1 Santa Cruz Flats Hang Gliding Race 2011

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Monday, September 12, 2011

Indian Valley - Labor Day 2011

I've missed this event the last few years, all my flying buddies in the local area that can make it get invited up to a private camp ground where we all eat and hang out between flying. Its a fantastic spot hidden up near Lake Almanor and Mt Lassen. And a tremendous amount of fun. Of a few launches, this one is known as "The Burn" It's a flat slope at 6200ft so it would be an appropriate description of the run, but actually it's named because of a fire quite a few years ago.
Indian Valley has some topography that just melds with the weather to create the "wonder wind", keeping pilots aloft until way after they should land ;)
It was easy to hang out at 10k just boating around, and taking in the scenery. You'll see that little lake "Homer" again in a moment.
One of the big events this weekend was Tracey's induction to the big mountains. Of course this air is some royal introduction to the mountains and not only that, Carmela to whom I am now indebted (more) helped Tracey mentally and otherwise prepare for the flight, since I was off chasing clouds, finding exactly where the strongest sink was ;)
Tracey launched about an hour before sunset... I hung out ZZZZZZZzzzzzzzz ;)
There was about 20fpm everywhere at that point. I chased her around trying to take pictures with my go-pro. My other camera was dead. Wideangle doesn't work so well unless you are really close - like inches !!
The next day we planned on a short hike around Homer Lake before glass off. Left a little late, walked a bit longer than expected and all but missed the glass off. Sorry about that Wayne.
It was a nice walk, the dogs sure enjoyed it.
The green rocks on the north side were quite green, maybe this is why copper creek is named such!
The pines caught the not so early evening sun.
That evening Ryan was dropping some heavy hints that Hough would be launchable the next morning. He was right :) he put together his freedom in record time and was gone in a flash. Joe followed him soon after. The it was Tracey's turn. 
Its a really steep, no wind launch, down into a volcano crater across the crater lake then out the main valley..
Quite spectacular I am sure you would agree.
We launched pretty early in the morning since launch faces west and prevailing winds are almost always from the west later in the day. Todays forecast was no exception.
Early morning means smooth air. Good for site intros and good for expression. I've upgraded to a stronger harness and fatter sidewires and felt a little better about doing these kind of maneuvers :)
From there we were on our way home. Another huge thank you to Stacy for taking care of all us "kids", (kids at heart anyway). Fabulous weekend. Be sure to check out this "lucky escape" video of the Hough launch. And Tom's video capturing the Indian Valley flavour :)