31 Januar 2016

Ispo Munich

Always exciting to find and try new gadgets at Europes biggest sports exhibition Ispo in Munich. Here I´m trying some new glasses from adidas, and I can just swap them for the ones I currently have in my Tycane! Can´t wait to try them when flying and see how they work with the visor of my helmet.

It was cool to meet other Red Bull athletes there, like Dominik Gührs (wakeboard) and Florian Neuenschwander (ultra long distance running - he won the Wings for Life World Run in Germany).
Sure the winter sport guys were busy racing in the mountains. 

06 Januar 2016

Mexico, D.F.

It´s always an intense work flight to go to Mexico City, but I can´t help to smile all the way because I like the country so much. Great to dive into the cultures of Toltec, Aztec and Maya history, this time I went to see the pyramids of Teotihuacan again. Very good training to walk up the Sun pyramid, and after that half of the Moon pyramid too!
Of course I like shopping some fresh veggies on the Merced market, some things I can only get here, like blue corn tortillas, nopales, xicama... the list is long :)
I owe all my local knowledge to my wonderful Mexican friends Miguel Gutierrez, Aldo Rohlfs and many others who took me around explaining many secrets that "normal" tourists will never experience, and I am very greatful for that! Also I usually have some new colleagues with me to introduce them to the most interesting sites and flavours of the city, so they will always look forward to their next stay in this amazing place.
How do you like the special Mexican Christmas tree in our hotel, made from all real Christmas star flowers?

21 Dezember 2015

Christmas markets and a lot of work flying

This time of year has been incredibly busy with work. Even over Christmas time I didn´t get time off, but I have to "wait" for a flight - I´m on standby, which means that I´m sitting in Frankfurt airport, ready to go where ever the company sends me to. Nothing has happened the last couple of days, I guess it will be right over Christmas.
Luckily I managed to squeeze in a few days in Bremen to say hi to family and friends. The Christmas market - and the Glühwein from Ratskeller, the old, traditional wine cellar under the old town hall of Bremen, is one of the best I know. And thanks to El Niño, it wasn´t even cold :) almost reminded me of Christmas in Sydney - weeellll, just missing the dune gooning, and some of the best friends one can have!
Even in Chicago a few days ago it wasn´t below zero, no snow in the city yet. But I still prefer the weather I found in Bangkok two weeks ago - a pleasant 30 C and a bit of sun here and there!
You can still bet where I have to go to over Christmas - very likely some strange place my colleagues are not too keen on, like Teheran or Lagos, Tashkent or Almaty? Anyway, I will take pictures and keep you posted! I wish I could have gone to the Forbes competition which starts on Dec 31st, but I needed all my holiday to make the German Open, the Euros and the pre worlds in summer. Good luck to all the pilots who go there this year, hope you get great weather and good flights!

16 November 2015

Sao Paulo, Grand Prix F1

I was happy when I was informed two days ago that my work schedule had changed, and instead of Bangkok, I ended up flying to Sao Paulo on very short notice.
Impossible to hide my big smile when my favourite Scotsman David Coulthard took his friend Daniela, her mother and me out to the pit lane before the start of the F1 race. Sure enough, I had a close look and almost climbed into the front wings of Daniil Kvyat´s car, trying to understand all those carbon profiled beautiful details! A guy came over and pulled me out, a bit puzzled about this girl getting too close to the car.
I confirmed that I wasn´t a spy, at least not for the motorized kind of racing, and explained my passion for aerodynamics and carbon fibre structures. Turned out he is a fellow pilot - and he then really started explaining some of the details that had been and still are a mystery to me. I so wish there had been more time!
The race itself went smooth, with poor safety car driver Bernd Mayländer getting deadly bored.
Big congrats to Nico Rosberg for winning the second race in a row ahead of his team mate Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel.

10 Oktober 2015

Day 7: 60km around 1 tp

Tony Armstrong won the day to Lake Moogerah, but even though Attila didn´t get to goal, he will still win the comp ahead of Jonny. I had a hard day in the strong wind and didn´t dare going into locked gate road too low, flying back to reach a decent landing area on a turf farm (short cut lawn). 

08 Oktober 2015

Canungra day 6: 50km/h wind, day cancelled

Finally I feel like I have arrived in the right timezone! We went up to the SE Beechmont take off, the Durands´ home site, but it was gusting up to 50 km/h with low clouds racing over our heads, so meet director Davo cancelled the day. Chances for tomorrow are better, and we might even fly a really long task. Also for our last day on Saturday the forecast looks great! Not quite the record of 8 tasks flown in 8 days like last year, but still a very good year in Canungra!
Last night we had the classic "Red Faces" night where everybody tries to embarrass themselves with a funny show act. Davo won big time with his "Vegemite show". He showed all the different things you can do with that brown yeasty stuff that Aussies love on their breakfast sandwich - an acquired taste in my opinion, I just can´t cope with the smell of it... Davo brushed his teeth brown with it, smeared it into his face, on and under his arms and on his hair - soon I had to hold my breath, as the stench was overwhelming! Suddenly Rangi jumped up with a slice of bread and brushed some vegemite off Davo´s shoulder - and started eating the bread. It was a funny show, and Davo won the Red Faces by a great margin! It´s great to have fun and time to socialize - Linda, Shirley, Judy and some others had prepared the third dinner of the week, really great food for all the pilots and their drivers. The flying here is great, because it´s very technical. You have to change tactics several times a day, going from hills to mountains to flatlands, from convergence into headwind sea breeze. But the main asset of this place are the people who make it all happen - my friends for half of my life! Thanks to you all for your efforts, for some world class flying, for a great time in the best place in the world - Canungra!