20 Januar 2015

Paragliding Worlds in the news

http://www.zdf.de/ZDFmediathek#/beitrag/video/2325484/ZDF-heute-Sendung-vom-20-Januar-2015If you have tried to follow our aerial sports in the media, you know how hard it is to come by any information at all. Today I was thrilled to see a short report in one of the main German TV channels at their 7pm news "heute". A few images from Colombia, mentioning that Martin Petz, a German team pilot, won yesterday´s task, and the German team currently ranks second behind the Swiss team.
If you want to follow the German daily reports and see more film clips and photos, look at the DHV page. Also you can find the daily live tracking here.

04 Januar 2015

New video of Superfinal Race Rio

Rio Superfinal Race Dec 2014

After a small mishap in December, I am grounded and found some time to edit the footage from Rio a few weeks ago. Enjoy watching some scenes flying with friends, soaring with Urubus, above the beautiful city and the gorgeous natural reserve of Parque Nacional da Tijuca, landing in São Conrado.
Big thanks to Chico Santos, ABVL and their incredible team of volunteers for organizing this event - I am sure it was the start for a new series of exciting competitions in Rio de Janeiro, the coolest place to race hang gliders in the world! Thanks to Red Bull Brazil for their support, to adidas and Lufthansa Brazil - it felt great to be able to race with the best equipment possible. Also to Konrad Heilmann and Leonarda Beltrão for helping me with the logistics!

14 Dezember 2014

Here comes the rain again...

Overall results here.
While the paragliders already started into their quarter finals, we set up our gliders and were optimistic that we would fly soon too, despite quite an obvious northerly (tailwind) breeze. After the first couple of the paragliding group started into their match race, they stopped and cancelled their day, because rain was approaching.
The usual discussions started on the hang gliding take off now - some pilots really wanted to launch quickly after the task was set, but the shade of a large and fast growing cloud spit some cold air down on us, so I told the organizers that for safety reasons I will not fly now, and congratulated Zippy as he would have won. Before the first pilot could take off, the rain started, got heavy and turned into a full storm. Soon after that, also our day was cancelled. We packed our wet gliders and drove down, as the tail wind was so strong now that it didn´t even make sense to wait for a short window without rain.
The forecast for tomorrow is not promising, which means that looking at the points, Geraldo Nobre won, followed by David Brito (who beat me yesterday) and Betinho.
If we don´t fly another round tomorrow, it will be scored just by the points that everybody got.


13 Dezember 2014

Rio Superfinal 2nd round

 Slowly Zac and I understand the rules - something new comes up every day :) so in fact we are not "out" yet, but there will be a round of the top 16 tomorrow, 8 heats with direct qualification. I have lost points because of time today (I got carried away flying with the Urubus, those cool vultures who look really relaxed in the air when they let their legs hang down), at least I got a good score for my landing.
I guess because of the bad weather forecast, first they said it is a direct in or out with the first round, but it seems to have changed today.
Anyway, tomorrow I will fly against Zac - a little more challenging every day! Might be our last flight too, as Sunday still looks pretty grim.
We went around four turnpoints today, all very close distance and very close flying with the other guys. It is also fun that the paragliding guys have their competition in the same place as us, there are some groovy new designs around, good for me to catch up.
So far, Chico Santos has done an amazing job organizing pilots, instructors, tandem pilots and regular pilots for all these events within just one week. I wonder if he ever sleeps??? As the head of the Brasilian association ABVL, he is doing a great job to improve safety, get people together, get positive media response and organize two competitions with high profile pilots - it´s great to see this huge amount of idealism and passion for our flying sport and the people connected to it!

12 Dezember 2014

Rio Superfinal first round

This competition is a different formate to most our other comps. It is a match race, two pilots start at the same time and then race each other. Either to fly exactly the same time and land on the spot (30 minutes yesterday), or to fly around as many turnpoints as possible and land on the spot.
In the first round, I had a really high profile competitor with Konrad Heilmann. He is not just a local Rio tandem pilot who flies here every day four times, but he is also a top guy from the Brazilian national team and just won the Wings over Wellington competition in Australia. I thought my chances of going past the first round are limited, and I just wanted to enjoy as much airtime as possible, so I went for the turnpoint option, as that allowed me to fly for 50 minutes.
It was difficult in the beginning of the flight. We didn´t really get much height and had to glide out to Hotel National on the beach as the first turnpoint, but then back to the take off for the second one. I got back very low and had to scratch up from way below take off, but eventually made it, went back out to the last turnpoint which was the same as the first, and then raced to the goal line to finish my flight at 49minutes 45 seconds ;)
Konrad went for flying the exact time, but apparently the turnpoints count more, so I think I might have got into the 2nd round.
Zippy pulled off the landing of the day with lots of spectators cheering him, and he also got to the next round, as well as Betinho. Christian Ciech only just arrived the day before the comp and wasn´t aware that the turnpoint radius is only 100m (normally 400m), so he didn´t get the task score, but only time points, and isn´t quite sure if he is in the next round or not. We will see today!
Homepage of the event and results here!

11 Dezember 2014

First flight

It´s nice to come from beach flying in Sydney back to beach flying in Rio! I had a nice, relaxed little flight in Sao Conrado yesterday and enjoyed the views and the smooth air.
Today the competition starts, with a good forecast for today and tomorrow, but very marginal for Saturday and Sunday. A cold front lingers around Brasilian style and can´t quite decide when to arrive... We will hope for the best and see!

10 Dezember 2014

Getting ready to fly!

It´s great to be back in summer and meet the cool Rio crew again. Chico organized a big competition, in his well know professional manner, with a big stage and sponsor´s wall, for interviews and announcements for the spectators.
I´m happy that for once I have my own little Moyes RX here with me to fly, it will be fun! Weather forecast looks a bit doubtful for Saturday and Sunday, so we just need to fly a lot before that. Apparently Christian Ciech will be coming over as well, and the top Brazilian pilots will compete in this exciting event. It´s very local, but great for the audience and a good training for us pilots. It will be mixed with paragliding as well, I already met Bruce Goldsmith yesterday.
So off to Sao Conrado now, up in the air soon!