Friday, May 30, 2008

Kraig saving rubber..

Well it is time for me to leave LA and head off to the east coast championship early tomorrow morning. Today was quite relaxing just getting organised for the trip and went for a early happy hour dinner. When we got home Kraig wanted to do the right thing for the environment and save on rubber. Here is a short clip of him riding Rylee's 110cc Quad bike that she got for her 3rd Birthday. Kraig has only just started getting confident on this toy and wont be long before the confidence gets to high..
Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Motorcross Track

Tanner all suited up and ready to ride.

Today was a Memorial Day so that meant it was time to go and have fun. We loaded up the bikes and headed down to lake Elsinore Motorcross track. I had decided that I was not going to ride to prevent any injuries and be the camera man for the day.
There were lots of riders out there with about 4 diffferent tracks to choose from depending on your skill level.

Kraig crossing up going over the doubles.

Tanner gets some air!.

Here is Kraig and Tanner jumping together!

I went to check out the Pro track to see if I could capture some good shots..

This guys is in outer space!

This guys is midway through the doubles!

These guys were jumping from right of screen and landing just off the left side of my screen. Just trying to put some perspective into the size of this jump.

Here is a quick video of one of the guys doing the 100 foot doubles!!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Family day out.

The view from Shelby's parents house..

Today it was off to visit Shelby's parents and family for a nice lunch at their house in San clemente. We had lunch then it was time to warm up a little and do some down hill skateboarding. Here are some videos of us skating down the nearby hills.Starring Kraig and tanner with me filming..

Saturday, May 24, 2008

ollie's Video from Germany..

Mike Jackson on Fire..

Some of you will remember this name from the Australian hang gliding circuit. Jacko was one of australia's top pilots for awhile, with his best result placing I think 3rd in the Pre worlds at Forbes in 97. He gave up flying a few years ago and started mountain bike riding. Then just last year he started cycling and has just competed in his first competition. This guy is very competitive in everything he puts his mind too and now the cycling world is just finding that out. Go get em Jacko..

Here is Jacko after his win!!

Click here to see results
Friday, May 23, 2008

Jonny Cam santa cruz flats day 6

Here is a quick video I made of Andre and Jeff O brien just before the turnpoint over Picacho Peak. You will see my batman flying high in my nose wires if you look carefully enough.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008

You learn something new everyday

After studying for my driving test this morning I was all set to go. As I arrived I signed in and waited only to find out that thy would not be able to issue my licence as I was not going to be here for another 60 days. I could have done the test but I would have to get a visa extension before I left to go home.
I also then found out that the licence would only last 3 months, so it was going to be a total waste of time and money. Unfortunately they already took my $30 for my provisonal licence without telling me all of this. So I think I will have to try with my american passport next time I return to this lovely country.
After that I went to work with Kraig and it is now 10:30pm and we have just walked in the door. We have been making battens and I rebuilt a glider this afternoon and then spent the rest of the night making the battens fit.

Here is my jail house that Kraigs lock me in for the day.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Driving Test

Tomorrow is judement day I am off for my Californian driving test. I think I am going to take the biggest car around just incase I forget which side of the road to drive on. Not sure how I am going to reverse park this toy but I guess it will not put any dents on my truck.
Monday, May 19, 2008

Sunday Telegraph

I just got this sent through to me from Australia. Looks like I went out to 670,000 people on the weekend.
Sunday, May 18, 2008

Fun at El Mirage

Kraig and Tanner with all the gear on.

Kraig gets air, (well a little)

Today we woke up early and made the 1.5 hr drive out to the salt flats of El Mirage.
We had a posse of bikes including the new editioned Raptor 700 quad bike. Kraig had his 450 CRF and Tanner had his XR 100 and I got to ride the new toy. We rode around for hours and even watched a little bit of time trails on the dry lake. One motorbike rider hit 360kph or 220mph leaving a huge dust trail behind him. A lot of people come out here to ride and drive their experimental machines at full throttle.

We then went and did some riding up in the hills around the lake.

The drag strip where people go crazy.

This is a view of the lake from the mountain we rode up. Double click the picture and you will see the line of cars surrounding the drag strip.

Here is our tracklog of our riding today. As you can see the dry lake is quite big and the hills around have lots of tracks.

Here is a video of Kraig on the quad I was riding.
Saturday, May 17, 2008

Bill Moyes Honourary Dinner

Bill doing his 15 second speech!!

After a day of work it was time to pick up Bill and take him to the dinner that deano organised. We picked him up and headed off the old spaghetti factory in Duarde. We had a function room out the back at the old famous place. It was a good night with 35 people turning out many of whom had not seen Bill for nearly 30 years.
I met Mitch macaleer and many others with interesting stories to tell over the night. I even met up some people that I had not seen for over 5 years so it was a nice night out.

Deano awarding Bill with his Oscar Trophy and Deano gets his vegemite!!
Thursday, May 15, 2008

Bill Moyes Arrives

Well today after going to auction and picking up the GTI I made the lovely drive into LAX to pickup Bill Moyes and Tommy Crump. I brought them back to Kraigs office in San Dimas where we found them a motel 50 metres across the road. We then went for a dinner and herd lots of stories about their recenet adventures in Fiji. Tomorrow night their will be a big official dinner for Bill Moyes at the Spaghetti Factory where many pilots and friends will attend.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008

More Photos from Marina

Here is another Photo I just received of me crossing the finish line from one of the volenteers. Carmela was out there all weekend taking great video footage and still shots of us all. To see more photos CLICK HERE.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Marina Beach Finals

After a close race on saturday the organiser decided to make the race more fun. Instead of the short course they wanted to fly the long and famous race to the steeple and back. This is about 14 miles total distance and the record for this task was set by John Borton flying a Aeros. I believe his time was around 16 mins so they were keen to see if we could beat that time.

The ramp with the ridge in the background!!

The weather was cold and windy which kept the beach clear of people but there were quite a few spectators watching from the car park. Today was going to be the decider and the times were close so that meant you could not afford to make any mistakes. We were only allowed 2 flights so we needed to make the most of it. Ken Brown was first to launch followed by Kraig then I was just behind him. We raced with full VG with our wingtips only metres away from the dunes for what seemed like an hour of intense control and accuracy.

I was about 3/4 of the way to the turn point and felt like my arms were going to fall off but I could see that I was doing well and needed to hang in there to improve my position. Ken and Kraig came smoking past me after making the turn point on their way back to the finish line.I did a nice turn and stuffed the bar for the slightly more downwind leg home. The ground was moving by so fast that I was scared to look at how close I was getting to the dunes as I knew there would only be one way of crashing (really hard).

Konrado with his RS walking to the ramp..

I kept my mind on the job and tucked me arms in as much as I could and went flat stick for the finish line. I crossed at about 6 inches off the sand and pulled up before taking out the spectators that were there trying to capture the moments with their cameras.

Before our last flight we did a quick score check to see who had the fastest time for the first run. Ken brown was 14mins 30 seconds Kraig 13 mins 59 seconds and I had just set the new record time of 13 mins and 49 seconds. That is nearly an average speed of 60mph or 95kmh considering we are flying crosswind you can see how fast were having to go. This meant that going into our last flight kraig and I were now only 2.5 seconds apart with ken slipping back about 20 seconds.

Ken Brown is still happy after being beaten by the Aussie boys!!

Unfortunately by the time we had all recovered from our first flight the wind had changed and come in more south so that meant that our next flight was not going to be any faster than our first flight. We still had a go just to make sure and it sure was another thrill seeking flight up and down the ridge.

Ben Dunn in the hang gliding simulator at the festival of winds about 300 metres down the road from launch.

This was by far the most exciting flying I have done on my Litespeed in a long time and I highly recommend everyone to turn up to next years event. The open results are as follows.

The winners will get paid.

Open class: 1st Kraig Coomber RS 3.5 $500
2nd Jonny Durand RS 3.5 $300
3rd Ken brown RS 4 $150

King Post Class: 1st Donny Litesport

Money in the hand!!
Monday, May 12, 2008

Marina Beach

Kraig flying the Malibu

After waking up at 3:30am and making the 6.5hr drive north to Marina beach for the Festival of Winds,the conditions turned on.
There was not much wind when we arrived but they locals told us to set up and g et ready for when it comes in. There were a few attempts in the floater gliders and once they were able to stay up,it was time to bring out the Litespeed RS.
This competition is a low key out and return ridge race. The last time this comp was run was about 20 years ago so it is great to see it has returned.

The Litespeed Rs waiting for action.

We were allowed to keep our fastest run of 3 flights on a 6 mile out and return for today and tomorrow will be the same except we only get 2 flights and probably a 10-12 mile out and return course.
So far Kraig is the fastest at 8mins 05 secs and Ken Brown 2nd mins 14secs and Me third at 8mins 20 secs.
It was amazing flying our gliders so fast and low over the beach then pulling back up to the ridge and flying away. This was some of the most fun I have ever had flying on the dunes and I am looking forward to tomorrow.

The day was finished off with a nice BBQ at the organisers house Lee Gardner and even a few light beverages thanks to Ben and his bartending skills.
Friday, May 09, 2008

Old Friends

Sid Taberlay, Australia's best mountain bike rider!!

I went and visited my friend Sid from Australia this morning. Sid and I first met at the airport on the way to Giants Of Rio in 2003. Sid was the guy who had the hardest part of the race and did exceptionally well making it all possible for us to win. Since then I have run into him only once which was at Bogong Cup 2 years ago. We have been talking through this lovely thing called skype and have been sharing stories from around the world.
He mentioned that he had just moved to Pasadena which is about 40 mins from where I am staying. So this morning I went and visited him and we went for a late breakfast and shared some LA stories. It was so nice to be hanging around an Australian fresh off the boat. He will be based her for the next 2 years in between his travels.

Fun In LA.

This is my new Porsche that Im getting around in..

I have been here in LA hanging out with Kraig working in his office and doing a little bit of flying. We went and rebuilt some gliders at Torrey pines on monday and had a full 12 hrs of flying in perfect conditions.
I had not been there since my Dad was here flying in 1990 so I was finally happy to take off and soar. The view of some of the mansions are just amazing that border the cliff faces. One house even has it's own elevator down to the beach. We had some great ridge racing and landed at sunset.
Unfortunately my camera was flat so I did not get to take any pictures but hopefully we will get to go back there before I leave for some more fun.
Saturday, May 03, 2008

Greg De Wolfs Santa Cruz Video

This is a really nice short clip to show that we were not really on holidays and this is hard core work..
Thursday, May 01, 2008

Davis is Back!!!!

For some reason davis kept reminding me of someone all week and I finally figured out who!!!!!
If you think this looks like the Doc then please send a donation to Davis to keep him from having to go back to the future..

Looking down on the gaggle

At the start gate waiting for the time to tick over.

Kraig takes a test fly on a finely tuned Litesport. He has been having some bad landings lately so we made sure he had the wheels on there for safety.

My Mascot Batman!!

Here is Batman flying with me at the top of the stack!!

Unfortunately Batman landed in a muddy field short of goal and he did not want give up until he had his head burried in the mud.!!

Day 2:
Francisc 0.0km 000° Cylinder R=8.0km
LaPalma 31.0km 090° Cylinder R=1312ft
RedRock 38.5km 151° Cylinder R=1312ft
Sunland 34.7km 289° Cylinder R=1312ft
Francisc 28.2km 324° Cylinder R=1312ft
Total: 132.4km
Well after a good day yesterday we were keen to do an even bigger triangle as the forecast was for higher climbs and lighter winds. I got high at the start with Jeff OB and Nene and took the 2nd start high above the rest of the guys. We did a very long first glide and got low 5 kms short of the first turn point. We had to scratch for awhile low and drift away from the turn point before finally getting back high. At this point t he last start gate guys were just starting 25kms behind us.
I thought we needed to start moving otherwise we were going to be caught up in one glide. The three of us pushed on down toward the 2nd turn point finding only light climbs. I could hear Kraig and Brett only kms away from the first turn point so I kept pushing hard with Nene just behind. Just before Picacho peak Nene and I got high for the first time since the start and Jeff was lower and pushed on for a stronger climb.
It was about now that I realized the last starters were having the same difficulties we had and there distances had not changed for the last 20 minutes. As I approached the Picacho peak I herd this jet and for the life of me I could not see it until I found him low in front of me terrain following. He headed straight up the front side of the peak in front of us and disappeared into the horizon. That was enough to scare me even though we had some separation you just start thinking if I was lower and little further in front would I have been the target.
Just before the 2nd turn point the three of us got high and then rounded the turn point and pointed our gliders into a 25kph headwind. Hmm this was not going to be easy, I kept charging out though and got low before hitting 400fpm climb with Nene. Jeff came in below us and missed and moments later he was standing on the ground watching us climb out. Nene got the better of me on the climb as I was searching for a better core to avoid drifting so far back. He left before the top of the lift and stupid me followed from below instead of staying there and climbing higher. We both did a long glide and mine ended up low over some rice fields where I eventually landed. He got another light climb over my head low and then left it and glided another 1km before landing.
Over 1 hour later I see Andre high with another glider after being very patient and taking any lift they could find. The both land another 10kms past Nene and I to win the day. It was actually Derreck Turner that won the day flying his brand new litespeed S5 that he took delivery of the day before the comp.
Andre mentioned that Derreck was flying really well climbing and gliding and making great decisions all day. Andre just followed him thinking it was Filippo all day and then got the surprise when he landed. I lost another 60 points to Andre today now 200 point behind him.

Photos Santa Cruz Flats

Here is Andre Wolf flying his winning Litespeed RS 4 in the dry cactus land that surrounds our green gold course.

The comp (clown) I mean organiser Dustin who did a fantastic job getting so many pilots out to the dust bowl. I hear he is working with the 5 star resort to make a dust free comp next year. I am definately going to look forward to that as that is the only draw back to the comp.

Day 1:
This turned out to be one of our better days getting consistent strong climbs to around 8,000ft asl. I started on the 2nd clock with a big Brazilian crowd and Andre and I were out in front for the first leg. Andre got away from me after the turnpoint as he dove low into the green fields and was rewarded with a good climb. I did not get the good climb and slipped behind the lead guys.
Arriving at the 2nd turnpoint I saw the lead guys had caught up with the first starters and were high heading back into the 20kph headwind toward goal. I rounded the turnpoint and started on a long glide with Kraig and Robin. We were forced to take a light climb and drift back before getting back to 8,000ft asl. I was on top and headed slightly more to the left of course line while the others stayed on course. I had a couple more climbs then went on final glide for goal. Kraig and Robin landed 7 kms short of goal and only 12 made it all together.
Andre was the fastest finishing a couple of seconds behind Dustin who took the 15 minute earlier start. I was 7th for the day losing 150 points to Andre on day1.

Mr Glovers's Santa Cruz Flats Video

This is a video that David Glover put together from the Santa Cruz Flats!!