22 Mai 2016

Rio without flying weather

Another short work trip to Rio right after the Hessen comp finished. I had my hopes up for Cristo weather, but this time the cold front pushed in much faster than expected, so the northerly got too strong and there was even some rain.
Instead I enjoyed hanging out with the Urubus and went to visit the little monkeys, which is always fun!

12 Mai 2016

Hessenmeisterschaft Awards

Where were our Russian friends? I´m holding their trophies as well, guess they must have partied Russian style last night and just couldn´t get to the awards ceremony before noon?
Big thanks to all our voluntary helpers for a great, fun and safe international Hessenmeisterschaft in all rigid, flex and paragliding class!

11 Mai 2016

Hessenmeisterschaft flex, rigid and paragliding in Greifenburg

After the German Open, most pilots went home, as the weather forecast was marginal for more flying this week. I like my regional championships, it´s great to see the pilots I started flying with, and with every flight even in difficult conditions I learn more.
A big group of Russian pilots joined our FAI 1 comp, amongst them some their top ranked guys Sasha Serebrennikova, Anton Struganov and Konstantin Lukyanov.
The sky was overcast on our first task on Monday, but no weather hazards apart from weak lift, so we set a 63km task around 3 tp. I was racing together with the two Russians, only on final glide they cut me off.
Yesterday was cancelled due to rain, and also for today we expected the rain to start very early. We saw sun in the morning, so we went up to take off really early, set up, and I set a really small task of only 30km (I´m in the task/pilot´s committee), because it looked like we barely had 1,5 hours to play with when we started into to tast around noon. Luckily we are only 28 rigid and flex wing pilots, and about 22 pg pilots, so we were in the air pretty quickly.
Sasha got up very fast and started racing straight away, while today it took me a bit longer to find some decent lift on shaded Emberger Alm. Pretty soon, I started with Anton and Konstantin again. Like the day before, they left me behind on the last leg ;) But it was a fun little flight. Not long after we landed, the rain moved in from the southwest in is still hanging around. About half our field made goal, while only Dieter Müglich got around the 53km of the rigid task.
At goal in the lush green field of Weisach, I met some Russian friends again.
Tonight we will all have a pilots party at Fliegercamp, and it doesn´t really look like flying at all tomorrow, with storms and lots of rain on the forecast.

09 Mai 2016

German Open Podiums

Sorry for being a bit slow on reporting, but I caught a really bad cold. I made it to the awards of German Open, but then I went straight to bed to be kind of fit for the start of the Hessenmeisterschaft, my regional Championships, today.
Big congrats to Suan, Gerd and Arne, great flying! But Mareen really made my day, it was so nice to see another German girl flying in a big comp and enjoying it! We will meet again soon for some more training :)
Also congrats to Tim, Norbert and Robert! You find all the results and more photos and reports in German here!

08 Mai 2016

German Open: Suan Selenati wins!

Primoz won the last task again with an amazing 10 minutes on the 2nd pilot, but as he had landed early in the 2nd task, Suan Selenati (ITA) won the international German Open ahead of my team mate Gerd Dönhuber. The awards will be at 10am.
I had quite a fast flight yesterday, averaging over 50km/h on a 103km triangle. It was enough to win the German Champion women´s title again!
In rigid class, Austrian Christopher Friedl won ahead of Tim Grabowski, but what I find amazing is Robert Bernat in 6th place (and 3rd best German pilot), an ex member of our paragliding national team. Within a year of flying rigid wing comps he got really good and he would be a great addition to make our team stronger at the worlds as well!
So big congrats to Suan for this big international title that he has earned with his great flying!

04 Mai 2016

German Open Day 1: Strong Foehn, day cancelled

At 8.30, Regina and Dieter started the opening briefing at the landing field of the camp site, head quarter of the German Open hang gliding 2016. An international field of 90 flex and rigid wing pilots is here to compete until Sunday.
During the briefing, a strong westerly picked up - the forecast was for a strong Foehn wind, a northerly up to 80 km/h had been measured at Sonnblick mountain while we were briefing, so we were a bit puzzled that the organizers were going to send us up. Lukas Bader and Martin from the Dutch team had been voted into the safety committee and talked to Regina and Dieter. Soon they cancelled the day, which also leaves the mud at take off some time to dry out when we go there tomorrow!
Some time to make an update of blog and fb, and time to talk about new, exciting projects with Matjaz!

25 April 2016

St. John´s River with Sherry and Joe Kittinger

On my short trip to Orlando, I had the best tour guides you can imagine - Sherry and Joe Kittinger invited me to an airboat trip along the St. John´s river, Florida´s longest river! It is always a joy for me to meet them. Joe hasn´t only helped Felix Baumgartner to beat his own record of the highest skydive jump ever, which Joe had already set in the 60ies - but Joe had also flown almost every wing that exists during his time at the airforce! 
Aerophile as I am, I keep bugging him about stories of his time as a pilot, and he patiently never gets tired to tell me more. And this time he didn´t only tell some stories - they got me speechless when they showed me an original F4 jet, actually one that Joe had flown himself! It´s set up in Joe´s memorial park. Sure it was for very serious reasons when Joe flew that jet, but I had to ask him what it was like to fly that wing. He smiled and said that it was one of the finest planes that he ever flew.
Of course Sherry and Joe know how curious I am about local wild life, so they thought it´s a good idea to take me out and see some alligators. And we saw plenty of those amazing creatures, any size! Our very knowledgeable guide Joe blasted with us to the top spots for seeing all different types of birds and gators. 
I had no idea that you can actually cross soil as well as water in such a boat, it was almost like a hovercraft. Really fun! The guys in Florida never get snow to skid and spin their cars around, so instead they do it in airboats on the water! Quite exciting with lots of hungry eyes sitting in the water expecting a snack ;)
I was also introduced to the original orange tree that was still one complete tree, before they had started grafting them. Thankfully Sherry and Joe warned me that it is a very sour and bitter orange. And so it was - but as I don´t like wasting food, I finished the whole sour orange, pulling funny faces much to the delight of Joe and Sherry. Oh Joe would get along very well with Bill Moyes, pulling jokes on "tourists" :) 
Hard to believe I had barely 24 hours in Orlando - it was filled with an amazing trip, great stories and the best company you can possibly ask for! If you want to know more about Joe´s life, I can recommend his autobiography to you: "Come up and get me" - he has an extraordinary humor, and if you like flying, well - to me Joe left an important footstep in aviation history, in a very modest way. 
I can´t wait to get back and meet these fantastic, lovely people again! Thanks heaps, Sherry and Joe, you really made my day!