Thursday, June 21, 2012

Paul -- what were you thinking

In an effort to get his restricted lz sign off Paul Moyes makes a strategic blunder followed by a luckier than shit, stupidly planned, skillfully executed, we are happy he made it, landing.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

What a Whack

Wow that was a whack!

Just behind the lead gaggle at Isabella about 12 k on course Frank and I linked up in a strong thermal at about 5,000ft. We were just in the process of finding the center. He was 90 degrees off my right wing tip 200 feet away when he took a massive outside asymmetric. It was well over 75% with the tip half way down his lines. The wing created enough drag that he lost most all his forward momentum and as he dropped the wing popped open but it was parachutal with a 10 to 20% tip cravat.

The wing now began a snake dance above his head. I saw one big surge and one partial to full twist up but then the wing was back over head. I don’t know if this was before or after Frank stalled the wing in an effort to restart. My bet is that his twist up was while he was stalling the wing and the surge followed the release of his intentional stall.

It was at this point I got my camera around to pick up a few shots of his recovery effort and reserve opening.

In any event after his stall and surge the wing was back over head and horseshoed. The tips almost touched then the wing opened again and snaked. A total of 30 to 35 seconds passed between the asymmetric and his deployment. It is hard to say but it looked to me that the wing had just started to fly as the reserve bag was fully out. Frank indicated that he felt the same.

The deployment was very strong, the bag went straight out and it opened quickly. He tossed with enough height that his reserve ride was 7 to 10 seconds depending on whose clock you use.

The landing was safe for frank but not for his wing. – Check out the tree! Photo by Reaper.  

Quick post from the Rat Race

A silly little noisy video to prove I was in the air.

Sorry for the delay in getting a Blog post up for the Rat Race.  As usual there is more to do down here than fits in a day and it is a bit of a challenge to do the blog and everything else. I also got a minor bug and a corisponding sore thoat/cough. Even when I had a moment I was not feeling up to “working.”

Great weather so far for the racing. Day two and three in particular. We were skied out with opportunity to touch the clouds. Yesterday I got to 8,800ft or so and was happy with my flight. – Happy that is until I saw the results. The task was a big push out to Grant’s Pass area, about 26k, and then up I5 to the Medford valley and Jacksonville then back into the Applegate with a run towards the dam. A big flight but a good number made it. Lots of pilots made it farther than I, 57 in fact.

My cumulative score for the first 3 days of competition is 57 out of 86. This was not the results I was hoping for but the tape is the tape. Yesterday I learned that I must push harder faster. Reviewing video I spent way too much time tanking up on the way to the pass and not enough time pushing speed bar and flying fast.

The best part of the day was the start. I was at cloud base and right on the edge of the start cylinder at go time but because of 400fpm lift I hung around at 7,000 ft for 3 or 4 turns and the whole pack just left me. – Go figure.

The crew here is doing a great job dealing with the large number of pilots and I haven’t heard many complaints. But there is a saying in paragliding. “If the weather is good the pilots won’t complain.”

Today I hope to do much better but we will have to see. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Packing begins today. Still up in air regarding travel day, either Friday or Saturday.
Slipped into a slot at Fiasco's camping so I am pumped about being closer to the action this year. - I am sure I will be visiting Buckley Cantrell but it will be great to hang with Dave and the guys.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Rat Begins

This year the there are two concerns as we get closer to the Rat. - 1. Weather, it isn't looking that grand at the moment. - 2. Pilot Pile up, 175 in the air + maybe more. - A number of pilots are taking a wait and see attitude or just not planning on flying. - Too many wings for safety is the thought. - We will see how it all shakes out.

As for me, I am looking at going down late and missing practice day flying. - I am pulling a trailer for Brian Webb, which I pick up today. - As for the late take off, it has to do with the fact that Flying looks great on Friday here and I will watch and see - we may have mega flights at Chelan - A great warm up and start to a month of flying. -

Yesterday I had my best North flight at Tiger a 20k or so flight towards Duval/Carnation. Learned importance of wave surfing compression thermals.  - More on that later.