I have a good feeling about Zapata this year.
I was there the first year when we were static lining behind Davis's truck. When Dave Sharp flew the first 300 miler on a crappy blue day, I was in awe. I knew it was on.
I kept trying for years and forgave the place for it's many disappointments because I had seen the impossible. After just a little practice, several of us were cracking a hundred miles before noon....the place is amazing, but the mornings are when the magic happens. The over running is the hidden gem that looks so unassuming at first glance it's no wonder it went unnoticed all those years.
I don't even want the record, I want 500 miles and I know they are there for the taking. I'm obsessing over it. I know I will throw away some good days trying to ace the early start but I know that's what it will take to turn any sub-perfect day into the day. That and it needs to be blowing the earth sideways all day.
This time I have the glider for the job, a super clean harness, a radio that works, a driver and vehicle, and years of Arizona summers to think of when Zapata does it's best impression of 'hot'.
A project started mid-December of last year finally bore fruit. Six months of toil allows me to now construct these little beauties in one lay-up. They pop out of the mold exactly as you see here, already joined, already painted, and mirror finished. No seam to crack, no post-cure joining, just slap em in, pop em out. This is the most difficult project I have ever attempted and I am glad that I actually made it to the end. I test flew the pod today to see how the super-slick airspeed indicator works and I was relieved to find no problems with it. I landed as the sky overdeveloped and it hasn't stopped raining for the last ten hours. A completely unexpected bonus: somehow, enclosing the 6030 has created a speaker box effect and instead of using full volume on glides and 75% in thermals, I was using 50% on glides and 25% in thermals. Girls want it, guys want to be it; more on the pod later.