Shirt Winners

For each five entrants into the first raffle, I used some of the proceeds to purchase a shirt from the U.S. team support site. We had approximately 15 entrants, so three of you have a shirt now. (Guys who won stuff weren't run in the shirt raffle.)

Now I just need to know your shirt sizes. Here is who was drawn:

Michael Bomstad
Stephan Forslund
Sunny Venesky

Congratulations guys!

Thanks to everyone for the continued support! Don't forget a new raffle has started and all the previously listed items are still up for grabs....here's the list:

-One-on-one radio guided clinic day.................$60 per chance
-Five day radio-guided group clinic.................$40 per chance
(The 5 day group clinic dates will be March 26-30 at Quest Air)
-Carbon/glass pod for 6030 and Geko..................$50 per chance
-Garmin Geko 201.....................................$35 per chance
-Garmin Geko 301.....................................$45 per chance
-BlueEye Chill.......................................$25 per chance
-Baide hang glider lighters 5pk......................$5 per chance
-Team shirts.........................................one chance included with every donation - or available for $25+5 shipping from the team site (link on the right side of this page)


Day 4

Since three days were cancelled during the meet, this fourth task was the last. Goal was called just past the village of Montenegro and south of the highway out in the farm fields a few kilometers to avoid the tree farms near the town. Total distance was 62km pretty much downwind.

Clouds were forming well and were growing large by the time the start opened. The gaggle went left of courseline while I veered right to a small mountain chain. After a minute or so the entire gaggle had slowly decided to follow. Thinking the day was as good as it looked, I passed up the first thermal I hit before the ridge, sure that the spine would be putting out better. Fifteen minutes later, the entire gaggle was at base and I was still scratching at ridge height wondering what had happened.

With such a short task, I resigned to the fact that I had fallen to an unrecoverable position and the best thing I could do was just make it in. After Novo Hamburgo, a huge thick cloudstreet promised an opportunity to speed up, but after running its entire length without a beep I glided out into the blue dejected. I could see flashes of sun on the wings of the lead gaggle several climbs ahead and that kept me plugging along.

By chance I looked over to the side while gliding and spotted a vulture cruising from left to right. I looked in the direction of his glide and spotted a huge gaggle of birds above and 1/2 a km over. I quickly turned off course and locked into the best thermal I had seen all day at about 3 m/s. After getting to base height out in the blue in that lucky climb I was in good position to hop a couple clouds in front, and after getting a couple more decent climbs I was surprised to see that the leaders hadn't done so well on that run, and were in front but grovelling low. It was with a huge smile that I glided into the top of the gaggle that had eluded me for so long.

Conditions had weakened over the rice fields and I felt it was time to move on, even if down low. Marcelo Ferro was running wing man and we were able to make a break away while Dorival, Monex, and the others hung back cautiously. Connecting to the mountain chain just past Montenegro, we connected to a decent climb under some wispies while the rest of the gaggle sputtered below. Final glide altitude came and went, and after getting some insurance height, I led out and upwind of course to the left. I got a slightly better line than Ferro and decided to slow down a bit thinking I had the day won easily. Three to four miles out from goal I just happened to look up to my right and out of nowhere, there is another T2! I hadn't seen another glider in front since the breakaway but it looked like he had me beat. I gave it a shot on the final dive, but he simply had me by a little too much and took the day by a few seconds. Turns out it was Ze Gala, winning the day after flying out in front and alone the entire way. Three out of the four comp days went to a T2, while the winner on his Litespeed was just too consistent for all of us. Ferro boated in a distant third, plenty to take the meet.

Day 7 results here: http://geocities.yahoo.com.br/ofiaes3/sa09prova7superracebrasil.pdf
Totals here: http://geocities.yahoo.com.br/ofiaes3/sap09superracebrasilfinal.pdf

Here is an interesting launch sequence that turned out alright..

Photos Manuela Sanches


3rd day Sapiranga

A task of 72 km was chosen, this time running east along the mountain range we launch from over to another launch, then heading southeast out into the flats for a couple of pylons, then back to the range, with goal again in the flats.

Wind was coming up the launch as usual, but all the clouds were quartering over the back at a good clip. Fortunately the ridge has a jog in it that faces the wind so we all poured off launch and headed around the corner. The air was incredibly smooth for being parallel to the range. After the start, which I left plenty of room for improvement on, I was in the chase with the leaders a couple hundred meters above and out front. Two or three thermals down range we were faced with a decision-take the turnpoint at ridge height or spend the time to get high enough to grab it and cross the range.

Cruising parallel to the mountain range, Igrejinha launch juts out on a perpendicular finger, placing all of us in direct rotor if we were to come in at launch height or lower. Dozens of pilots dove in regardless of wind and altitude. I decided my chances at survival were much higher with another climb so I turned around to join the tail end of the pack a kilometer behind in a weak climb. We gained enough to come in over the launch about 1000 feet.

The beauty here was that we arrived far enough behind the lead gaggle that they had already grabbed the turnpoint, glided off accross the next valley 90 degrees off course thinking they would beam out on the ridges, failed, and were all gliding back to the base of Igrejinha launch....while the end of the pack was sitting at base there.

Just about this time the seabreeze hit. The next pylon was only 15km or so ahead, but everyone was just gliding to the ground in the 20mph headwind. My group seemed intent and cautious and were all gliding very well, so I stuck with them and we slowly crept toward the turnpoint. One dropped off, then another, until it was me and a lone Aeros pilot. He seemed to have had enough and glided off to land almost on top of the turn, while I stumbled into an unlikely coherent thermal in the seabreeze down low. It surprised me again by turning into 2.5 m/s and getting me back to base. The drift was insane but the glide after was magic, and I arrived at the turnpoint at a couple grand.

I had visions of pulling a Manfred and doing some crazy courseline origami to make the task but after gliding back to the ridges, I was simply stuck in laminar ridge lift at 500 feet without a bump. I landed in a field with about 15 gliders.

Won a day, not the way I had hoped, but in the end it was over 900 points so it put me back in the race.

photos Manuela Sanches


Day 2 Sapiranga

19 January we got up the hill to slightly cross and brisk winds and had to use the southeast launch. They say that's the better launch but they both look like a couple acres of manicured golf green to me.

A task of 115km was called to the west. After a quick ride to cloudbase in front of launch, we headed out in a dense pack. Progress to Novo Hamburgo was quick if low. Thermals there were unremarkable but most pilots made it through.

Around this time, 2 pilots landed at an airport on courseline right under me. They were held captive for a couple hours, and it turns out we were all flying through- or over airspace that is our equivalent of a restricted area. Protests followed but were dropped later.

Just after the town of Novo Hamburgo, an extremely sweet looking cloud had formed and I decided to push a little harder to see if I could shake my bottom of the gaggle position. It worked out and I ended up in front for about half an hour, but unfortunately I couldn't back off a gear and let the gaggle work for me and I ended up low at the turnpoint 30km short of goal after a series of ridiculous decisions.

I was 1000 feet above a bunch of wet rice fields when the lead gaggle rounded the turnpoint just behind and above me and got a climb under a nice cloud that had drifted in from the southeast. If I had known there climb was as shitty as mine, I wouldn't have blazed off at 1500 feet over the wetlands. So my stupid move netted me a landing at a farm just off the highway short of goal. It seemed like an eternity before the gaggle stopped circling and headed off. Almost all made goal after that.

I hadn't recognized the change in the state of thermals after the turnpoint when I should have. I learned later that it is common knowledge for the area I landed in. The pressure was off now as I had thrown the comp so the next days I was able to take some chances that paid off. Day 2 results- http://geocities.yahoo.com.br/ofiaes3/sap09prova4brasil.pdf

All photos by Manuela Sanches



Sapiranga is in the most southern state of Brazil, just north from Porto Alegre and less than 50 miles from the coast. I just got back from a 7 day competition there, the first of a dozen or so on the Brazilian circuit this year. Even after getting only one flyable day last year in the same spot, I was keen to return after running a sweet triangle while watching the seabreeze convergence almost underneath me at times.

Day 1 saw a sky full of cumulus at about 5500 feet and slightly cross right launch conditions, but with 60,000 sq feet of grass and a concrete ramp, everyone got off in minutes. The task was 70km with 3 turnpoints and goal at a roundabout on the coastal plain just beyond the last hills of the region.

Once on course, at the second turnpoint I jumped ahead by gliding on courseline to the next turn, while the gaggle went about 45 degrees to the left. They obviously knew something I didn't but it looked like there was a cloud on the turnpoint itself so I went for it. The wind started to change and locating the turnpoint and the direction to goal was confusing with the huge crab angles. After the turn, the gaggle again went left while I glided on course.

The cloud they went to was awesome but I couldn't stand going downwind of course in a 30km/hr straight crosswind. Lucky or not, I ended up taking the final climb about 10 minutes in front of the gaggle and left at a 14:1 angle. My glide was netting me about 12:1 so I climbed a bit under the next cloud just to be sure. The glide after that was getting me about 10:1 but when I glided under a great cloud with a solid 6 up, I decided to keep on going. The wind had clocked during the flight from tail to quartering right tail, to cross, to quarter right headwind, and now was straight in my face at 30km/hr. I'm not sure why I didn't recongnize that this was a seabreeze or didn't want to accept it, but I continued on my final getting hammered into a crevasse in the rotor of some 600 foot hills. It was only when I was 50 feet shy of clearing the crest that I finally turned around and ran back down course at 800 feet looking for a save. I was a couple km short of goal at that point and only needed another 100 feet in that last climb to win by 10 minutes. Got a little greedy and ended up having to glide 10km away from goal to take a climb.

Came in 10th, 15 minutes behind the winner. Andre, Nene, Maskara, and most of the rest of the leaders had landed in the goal field but unfortunately all were short of the line by a few hundred meters due to the ripping seabreeze pushing through. So the winning group came from the late second gaggle, which became a theme over the next few days.

Overall: epic day. First day results here http://geocities.yahoo.com.br/ofiaes3/sap09prova1brasil.pdf

All photos by Manuela Sanches.


Raffle items

I don't know if it was clear from the last couple of updates, but the pods, GPSs, XC clinics, and fairing kits are still available. With just a few more entrants for the Garmin Geko and T2 carbon fairing kits I will give a couple of those away. We're starting from scratch with the pods so odds are good!

Here's the current list:

One-on-one radio guided clinic days.................$60 per chance
Week long radio guided group clinic.................$40 per chance
Carbon/glass pod for 6030 and Geko..................$50 per chance
Garmin Geko 201.....................................$35 per chance
Garmin Geko 301.....................................$45 per chance
BlueEye Chill.......................................$25 per chance
Baide hang glider lighters 5pk......................$5 per chance
Team shirts.........................................one chance included with every donation - or available for $25+5 shipping from the team site (link on the right side of this page)


Congratulations Jonathan Dietch - winner of a new Flytec Carbon Racing Pod. And congratulations to Mark Frutiger - winner of a one-on-one XC Racing Clinic.

And thanks to everyone else as well. If you weren't one of the winners, your name is going back into the hat (or D-bag) for another chance at a team shirt or some other little items. For those bidding on the T2 fairing kits or the Gekos, I'm still waiting for a couple more entrants to cover costs then that raffle will move forward.

Round 2 starts right NOW! New items up for grabs include the Hang Glider collectors lighters ($5 a chance for a 5-pack), and the new 'Chill' flying shades from Blueeye available through Flytec ($25 a chance).

I've been flying with the Chills for a few months now and they are another level above all pseudo flying glasses I have used in the past. Best wrap around fit and least distorted lens quality of any shades in my collection. I prefer rose lenses but they are also available in smoke and bronze lenses.

So thanks to all the entrants, I am now placing my order for 3 team shirts full price from the team support site and they will be thrown in to the raffle for those who didn't win this time around. Good luck!


We have a WINNER!!

Two actually, to be named tomorrow. One lucky guy will be receiving a bad ass carbon pod for his 6030 and another lucky pilot gets a full day one-on-one XC clinic. Video will be up tomorrow of the bomb drop here at Quest that we had to choose the winners.

And check out this friggin sweet set of lighters that my girlfriend found on a recent trip to Paraguay-

ARE you kidding?? Made in China, sold in Paraguay, and I am certain Heiney has no idea all his photos are on these things. These things are surely collectors items for any true hang pilot! Get your chance at a five pack for $5 in the raffle.

btw, most photos by John Heiney. the pendulum ramair being boat towed...I'm not certain about that one.


U.S. Team T-Shirts now available

The U.S. Team could use your help. Flytec USA has donated these shirts to the team to help cover our costs in France. The shirts are $25 + $5 priority shipping. Go here to order: http://flytec.com/worldteam/support.html and find other cool stuff available from Flytec and the other team members.

For every 5 entrants in my raffle (see previous blog entries), I will purchase a shirt at full price from the team site and re-enter your names for the shirt.

Thanks for all the support!

The first round of drawings is coming up and someone is about to be the proud owner of the slickest instrument pod available. The drawing is next week and since the pod was the most popular item, it will be first up. Whoever wins will be contacted so that I can whip out a custom carbon mount for your particular control bar.

Clinics have been nearly as popular and I will also be giving away a one-on-one radio guided full day in this first round.

The week long clinic is in the works and will most likely take place in late March or early April. For those who have a shot at the full week, your ticket is in the system for a late February drawing.

Whoever is keen to get a set of T2 fairings or a Geko GPS, speak up!!! I need more interest in these before I send em out. It's likely that the odds will be *extremely* good for these two things due to interest.

Up for grabs: (see previous blog entries)

One-on-one radio guided clinic days.................$60 per chance
Week long radio guided group clinic.................$40 per chance
Carbon/glass pod for 6030 and Geko..................$50 per chance
Garmin Geko 201.....................................$35 per chance
Garmin Geko 301.....................................$45 per chance