26 Juni 2010

Croatian Championships

The last day today at the Croatian Championship was stopped due to overdevelopment. After 3 tasks from Ucka (the north wind was too strong for Raspadalica most of the time), Slovenian Primoz Gricar won ahead of Swiss Carole Tobler and in 3rd Hungarian Balasz Ujhelj! Regina Glas from our team finished 17th and is second best woman. Congratulations to Carole for her great success!!!
You find more information and hopefully results soon on the Croatian homepage

22 Juni 2010

Matt Hall: Superman!

At the Red Bull Air Race in New York, I met race pilot Matt Hall and we talked for a while. He started competing in the Air Race last year and finished as the best newcomer in 3rd place.
Matt is based in Mereweather (Newcastle, Australia), so of course I wondered if he ever tried hang gliding. I stayed with Conrad Loten in Matt´s neighbourhood for a while and sure enough, Matt is a hang glider pilot himself - he was taught by Ross Duncan! Even though Matt has flown anything from sail planes to military jets, he is still enthusiastic about hang gliding and he comes across as a very modest, likeable and down to earth guy. He was chased by the media in New York at the race, yet he still found some time for a chat with me. To Matt, it feels very natural to fly a hang glider, and in his first real flight he thought, "Superman!" EIf you click on the photo, you can watch our conversation on youtube. This is the first of our Air Race videos from Sunday, there will be more soon.
On the other photo, you see Matt talking with Kermit Weeks, owner of the Fantasy of Flight Museum in Polk City, Florida.

21 Juni 2010

Paul wins

Yes after some showers it cleared up again and they could fly! It was exciting to watch the guys race around the course, with Hannes Arch ranking 2nd until the final race where he unfortunately hit a pylon and came 4th. Paul Bonhomme won the race, followed by Nigel Lamb and Kirby Chambliss.
More tomorrow, we are heading back to Germany now. Great film footage!

20 Juni 2010

New York, Timezone UTC - 4

I finally arrived in Brooklyn yesterday - flight time only 7 hrs 20!!! and found the way over to meet my friend Nadja in New Jersey. She took me to the compound and media center this morning and told me about what happened in the Red Bull Air Race yesterday. Hannes Arch won the qualifying! And he is only 1 point behind Paul Bonhomme in the overall ranking, so it will be a major race for him today.
It started raining just some moments ago and I really hope that it will improve until they start at 1 pm... the air is hot and muggy, so it looks like we will see some storms. Yet we are optimistic to see the guys racing around the statue of Liberty here from Liberty state park soon. Yves is filming, so you will see some of that footage once we are back on Monday.

18 Juni 2010

Bavarian TV at Tegelberg Worlds

As we were bravely setting up our gliders on Tegelberg in the snow showers, Bavarian TV came to interview us on the toughest day. They made quite a long film that you can download if you click on the photo - there are different formates and I hope you enjoy the film even though it is only in German ;)
I´m already preparing my uniform and packing my suitcase again. Tomorrow I will hopefully escape from the rain - it has been raining since I got back from Philadelphia (where it was actually raining hard as well on Sunday) - and watch the Red Bull Air Race in New York. Looks like a perfect Sunday in NY, sunny and hot and perfect for flying. We are staying in Brooklyn now, I hope I don´t get lost on the way from Brooklyn to Jersey City ;)

16 Juni 2010

ILA Berlin, Timezone UTC +2

Last weekend I was invited to join a discussion in the open forum at the ILA Berlin about the fascination of flight. Sure there were quite a lot of the old, perfectly restored planes from the Flying Bulls, and I was lucky to get on a flight with the Red Bull DC 6, with world hang gliding champion Guido Gehrmann as the co-pilot! It is always fun to meet him, and we had a fantastic scenic flight around Berlin for half an hour in perfect weather conditions, sunny with only a few cumulus clouds.
Please click on the photo to see the video from Berlin and fly with me, it is a youtube link! And thanks to all those idealists who spend hours on end to get and keep the planes in perfect flying shape - it really felt like stepping into a different time zone ;)

06 Juni 2010

The Alps, Timezone UTC + 2

Finally we got some great flying weather in the European alps, even if only for two days - it was a Saturday and Sunday, so a lot of friends could enjoy the sun and thermals.
I went to the pg Europeans on Friday to help the German team with interviews and films - congratulations to the winners and new European Champions Luca Donini and Petra Slivova!
Then I went to Greifenburg for the final day of Hessische Meisterschaft - congrats to Manfred Vaupel (best rigid), Pascal Andeopoulos (best flex with only 2 instead of 3 tasks!) and Andreas Schubert (head of Flugschule Wasserkuppe) who was best pg pilot overall again with a serial class glider.
I flew a nice triangle yesterday in Greifenburg and went to Hochfelln today, as my club DFC Achental organized the Chiemgau Pokal, a regional championship. At least I could contribute with my flight today, a nice FAI 157 km triangle, started in Germany. I flew into Pinzgau and met quite a lot of the pilots who just had the Austrian Championships at Schmittenhöhe - but I don´t know yet who won there.
When I put my flights into the online contest, I jumped up to 3rd place overall. It won´t be long before Giergl, the guy on 4th at the moment, puts his flight in and beats me again, I just have to enjoy being so high up in the ranking while Im there.
The weather is changing, at the moment there are storms coming in from the southwest, yet we might see some more epic days next week.

01 Juni 2010

Newark, Timezone UTC - 4

Yesterday I had a work trip to the US, right after the German Open finished. It was raining at home anyway, and when we got to Newark, we were greeted by summer weather: 28 degrees and a nice breeze. It was beautiful to walk around Weehawken and Hoboken along the Hudson today, sunny and mild, with growing cu´s. Prediction is for rain and some storms for this afternoon, so our flight back will be interesting.
I would like to go to Hessische Meisterschaft or Austrian Open when I get back, but it might only get flyable on Saturday again.