30 April 2008

Austrian Nationals Greifenburg

Hello from Greifenburg - the start of the Austrian Nationals was postponed to Friday due to poor weather. Today it is very chilly, big clouds rushing past faster every hour. I hope the weather calms down a bit for the weekend, so we can get a good training for the Europeans in June!
Had we been here last weekend, we could have covered 200km+, even some paragliders flew that far... anyway, I enjoy being back here in the mountains.
And thanks Adam for your comment - I dont have your email so I cant get back to you that way. I hope you still get some good flights down under, Scott says the weather is still pretty good. And much warmer than here! I met Oli Barthelmes on take off today, he was shivering, he only just arrived back in Europe after a "winter" in Oz and has not adjusted yet to the cold. But hey, I think I never will ;)
I will get some pics for the pilots who will fly the Europeans here. Greifenburg is a place with great cross country potential, because of the great landing fields, scenic high mountains and a lot of different possibilities to set tasks. After having organized the Womens and Rigid Worlds in 2004 and the pre-euros last year, the guys have a good clue about how to run a big comp here.

28 April 2008

Epic Day on Rauschberg!

Yesterday the flying season started for me - I went to Ruhpolding, you see take off in the background. We still had to fight our way through the snow to get to take-off, but luckily there were some really great hanggliding and paragliding pilots to help me struggle my gear up.
After an early start, conditions weren´t quite as fast as expected. No clouds, strong inversion, strange air for this time of year. I decided to turn around at Wilder Kaiser and fly back to Ruhpolding, because I wanted to put a new sticker on my sail: the Timezone-wings. Looks great, but honestly, it took me 2 hours to put it on... On Wednesday a german magazine wants to write an article and take some photos with me, so all my gear has to be in best shape. I will post the new pics once we were lucky with the weather.

26 April 2008

Free Tibet, free Zimbabwe

Now it is official, Mugabe´s party lost the election in Zimbabwe! The opposition now has the difficult task to rebuild the country - I was lucky to see Harare before the country closed down, it is a beautiful country with great people, I so hope things will get better for them now!
The other big topic is Tibet and the Olympic games in Beijing. I think everybody has the right to have his/her own opinion and should have the possibility to articulate it, without being persecuted or tortured for it. When we are flying high above mountains, far away from borders, free as birds, it might already demonstrate our position on this question - maybe the mere action of our sport is just more political than other sports already, without talking about it. Maybe that is why my blog is censored in China.
My prayers are with the Tibetans and the Dalai Lama - I admire his honesty, his humour and his peaceful strength. Some day things must change for the better, for freedom.

To qualify for the women`s worlds...

I was asked by a friend who wants to enter the Women´s Worlds how to get in if she has never placed among the top 2/3 of a competition she competed in. You can apply for an exemption:

... if you have never placed into the top 2/3 of a competition before, thus you think you might not qualify for the Women´s worlds at Monte Cucco this year, please just answer the following questions and email them to Paula Howitt (email: paula@fai.org ). If you can get your teamleader or your national hanggliding association to support your request as well, there should be no problem for an exemption to compete in the worlds.
They just want to make it as safe as possible. Still of course we also like to see as many women there as possible! So just take a few moments, and then see you in Italy:


General experience:
Year of first flights ?
Year of first competitions ?
Number of flights and hours flown every year ?

Experience in competitions :
Name of competition, Location, Date, Level, N° of tasks of the competition ?
Ranking of the pilot in each task/ Number of pilots in the competition ?
Distance flown by the pilot in each task/ Distance of the winner

Cross Country flight experience :
Location, Date, Type of flight, Distance flown by the pilot ?

Glider :
Glider used usually ?
Glider you will use?

Comments of the team leader about the pilot ?
Is she able to take part safely to the World championship?

19 April 2008

Japan and Orlando!

I just got a pre-schedule for May, and it looks like I will have a short stay in Tokyo and a short stay in Orlando! Im looking forward to going back to Japan, and I have a few Schwenkel gloves size XS for my friends with the very small hands. Unlike last time, I unfortunately only have 22 hours in the country, so I wont be able to organize a meeting.
In Orlando, Im pretty sure that Jamie will take me either flying or to the beach to see her new house. Cant wait to get there!
Over here in Munich it is raining again, this is the third weekend in April where they had to cancel the German League. Im not too sad about that, because I had a change of my schedule: Instead of Portland on Monday, I already have to fly to Vancouver tomorrow. And the weather in Vancouver - like here, just worse, because colder, so it is rain mixed with snow :( so again no flight from Grouse Mountain.
On May 1st I will fly at the Austrian Open in Greifenburg, my first training for the Europeans. Until then, the weather has to improve a lot. Still snow on take-off! If it looks ok, I will get there a few days earlier because I was asked by an editor of the German magazine "Tina" to show her flying, take photos and do an interview. She wants a nice long story, and Im always happy to present our sport. Keep your fingers crossed for good weather!