Wednesday, February 14, 2007


I had a great day. Got some new Pirelli boots for the car, its all 100% now. Flew Strezi on the Climax and landed in the park. My first flight in clean air and I loved it. I need to work on my technique, it took me a while to get the hang of keeping her straight with the rope on. It is still hard to turn, but there is a right way and a wrong way and I think I have been flying the fun too much lately and lost all my topless technique. Its coming back fast though. I am 100% confident about landing the climax now and that means I am enjoying every second of the flight. I went for a swim at Redhead after I flew and enjoyed the 25'C water and strong rip.

Monday, February 12, 2007

WA State Comps

I've decided to drive back to WA with just my car and leave the caravan in Newcastle. It is 3 days of driving 15hrs a day and is  similar in cost to an airline ticket, but I can take much more gear. I am planning to stay for the comps and then see if I can talk Matty into coming back to Newcastle for a while with me.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Back to Newcastle

I'm heading back this afternoon. I flew from the East launch today, but bombed. It's a nice hill and a great place to do some XC flying. I have to come back when I have got my act together. Jonny won of course, Bruce took the state title and Alistair took the floater class.  My car is missing on one cylinder, it appears that one of the spark plug leads has burnt through and is letting the spark go to earth, hope it lasts the way home.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

No Fly Days

Yesterday we had strong winds in the morning and then it overdeveloped leading to a rest day. Today about half the field launched before it overdeveloped above launch and started raining. Its been raining very heavily around Manilla. The weather forecast has been pretty useless all week as the low is almost centred on us and possibly being fed by the tropical cyclone up north.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

I flew the climax again today, I dithered expertly and managed to be one of the last off the hill. Just after a pilot who failed to attach his harness riser to his glider, he survived, just a damaged leg I think.
The glider flew nicely today, it was still Big Air 1600ft+ sustained climbs to 11,800ft and I got thrown around allot, but it was more stable now that I have wound the inner rings all the way down. I got to cloud base and spent an hour just getting to the know the new glider and then landed at Godfrey's again. I am quite happy with the glider now and am starting to feel confident about my ability to handle it again. Tomorrow I am looking forward to actually going down the course line.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Manilla day 2

I flew the climax again. It was not too bad climbing out over launch but was very rough as I broke through the inversions. In rough air I was having trouble controlling the glider. After 30 mins my arms were aching and I landed fine. I am thinking I might try winding the inner sprogs up a turn to see if that calms her down a bit.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Manilla Day 1

I set-up as soon as I got up on the hill today. There were gentle cycles and it was hot with a gentle breeze. As we hit the temp for the thermals to break through the inversion into the 30knot winds at 5000ft things started to get rowdy. Again I found myself not finding the conditions ideal for my first flight, but  I have never packed up my glider and driven down twice on a row, and also everyone else was going.... So after Alby bombed out and came back for a re fly I decided that was my chance, follow the bird. The take-off felt fine, I got into smooth lift and started turning, I was climbing out over launch  and the glider was turning nicely, easy to centre with just a little high siding, then whamo and I start getting really rough air, I was averaging a climb but it was hard work and the side wires were slapping, it was not particularly fun. I got about 1000ft over launch and then saw Alby circling in weak lift downwind, I pulled on the VG and went on glide to him hoping to join his thermal, about half way there he lost it and I changed course to fly back to the bomb out at Godfrey's. I watched Alby land and then set-up to land on the airstrip just downwind from the windsock. The landing was fine the glider has quite strong pitch pressures with the VG off and I needed one hand on the basebar to retain pitch authority in the final stages of rounding out, the stall/flare was gentle and the glider felt tail heavy as it stalled, aiding the flare. Whatever, it was gorgeous to fly and I enjoyed it, I can't wait for a smoother day when I can go further.

Manilla Practice Day

Noone could ever accuse me of being a particularly neat or tidy person, and usually I don't put that much care into the packing up of my gliders. But today when I packed up the climax I did the best job I could, its a beautiful sail and worth looking after. The setting up and packing up went swingingly, since the refurb the climax is like new, all oiled and free, easy to set-up and break apart again. In fact the only problem I had with the packing up was that I was still on the hill. After setting up straight away I had a chance to look at the conditions. There seemed to be a front advancing and the Cu's had lennis over them suggesting  high winds. The wind was crossing the Westerly launch and whilst there was definitely plenty of lift the radio reports were saying it was rough. I was thinking it might not be the best chance to bond with the glider if I am getting my arse kicked. After deliberating for a while I decided to launch but as I was getting my glider I watched a guy with a green under surface get absolutely hammered on take-off and then almost flip upside down and then with the bar to his knees went up like a rocket and gained a few hundred feet as he drifted back over launch. I started packing up the glider. There is a strange psychological thing coming into play in my flying, after fearlessly flying the climax for a couple of years I suddenly lost my confidence in my ability to fly it and need to make friends again.

Friday, February 02, 2007


Made it here fine, nice drive and the car survived. Some of the Canungra boys are here. Seems like a nice caravan park and a friendly town. Great food at the pub for dinner. Really looking forward to my first fly on the C4 tomorrow.

Dixon Park

Had a great afternoon at Dixon park. The wind varied between scratchy and honking and slowly swung around to the east as the day wore on. I flew with Harry when it was quite crossed to the east and it was a fun into wind crawl and then a blast on the downwind leg. I'm off to Manilla...

Thursday, February 01, 2007


On Weds Shane and I drove down to Stanwell. It took nearly 2.5hrs to get there. On arrival we rigged and took off in mostly overcast conditions. The wind was strong and there was lift everywhere. I flew my fun and wished for the performance of my climax as I watched Johnny and Ky racing from one end of the site to the other and back. I couldn't even keep up with Shane on his sting xc2 who also went everywhere. I got up into cloud and then as the cloud thickened we all landed and packed up. Just as we were leaving the cloud dropped lower and it started to rain. The fly/drive ratio was pretty good at about 1:2 and I'm going back with the Climax the first chance I get. I'm off to see Airborne now to see if my C4 is ready.