30 August 2008

Skyline Moyes Party in Marquartstein

I just returned from the great Skyline Moyes party at Weßner Hof, organized by "Mr Skyline" Wolfgang Genghammer and his team. About 60 pilots were flying from Hochplatte take off, or were aerotowed, came in from Kössen or Hochfelln or other mountains, it was a great fly-in! Star of the tug pilots was Dragonfly inventor Bobby Bailey who barely touched the ground today. He had fun taking passengers into the air, showing them the beautiful castles and mountains of Chiemgau from the air, or towing up happy hangglider and rigid wing pilots.
I saw some Slovenian national team pilots, some Italians, Hungarians, Austrians of course - it was a big international event, and I had the honour (and power) to present our sport to the audience, interviewing pilots and telling people what it is all about. Nice to see the big smiles in peoples faces who went up for the first time!
Now I will be off to Frankfurt and tomorrow to Newark. My sponsor Timezone had a large shop at the party with great trousers, so I will sport my new great pair tomorrow in Manhattan - maybe those hip and trendy New Yorkers will appreciate them ;) I was happy that my friend and team mate Jamie wasnt at the party today, she already has plenty of access luggage kilos when she flies back next week and Im sure would have ended up with a lot more today, as the collection was excellent!
A last time to meet Oli for a while, he will be off to Australia to stay with his family and escape winter. Of course Gerolf was at the party, presenting the beautiful new Moyes "Malibu" a mix of beginners and intermediate glider. Tonight they will have Tom Weißenberger talking about his "Island jump" and about the biggest triangle started in Germany this year, in May he flew a 320 km FAI triangle from Hochfelln!
With Primoz, Regina, Jörg, Andi and me we had a great bunch of Team Timezone pilots at the meet, and people loved to have their photo taken in front of our sails with the Timezone wings. For tonight or tomorrow, they also expect Alex Ploner to drive or fly over from Italy, the new rigid wing World Champion.
I wish I could party with all of them tonight, sitting at the bonfire, watching the best of hanggliding. These Skyline parties have a great reputation throughout the area.

28 August 2008

Antenne Bayern, Anastacia and GO on TV!

I just came back from a radio interview with one of the biggest private radio networks in Germany, Antenne Bayern. They have an impressive studio at Ismaning, a few kms north of Munich.
When I arrived, there was excitement in the air - they told me that Anastacia was there, right now next door. And she outed herself and admitted for the first time that she turned 40, not 35! Great on her. I love her music, her incredible voice, her passion - and she patiently gave lots of autographs and had photos taken with fans, she seems to be a great person too! (no, I didnt dare to ask her for a photo or autograph, I just admired her from a few meters away and thought what a great job she does with her inspiring music).

For the very positive side of the German Open, I forgot to mention Henry Maek who put a lot of effort into the comp. He managed to get two TV stations out and they some great shows about the comp, one of the shows was even broadcasted life!!! Have a look at the impressions here: http://www.dhv.de/typo/German_Open.
There were also big articles in two local newspapers, which is a great advertisement for our sport.Thanks, Henry, I know how much effort it takes to convince those guys that it is worth coming over and filming a story! When I waited for the copy of the show, I heard that the RBB guys were really pleased, they all agreed it had been the nicest story they had done all week!

24 August 2008

German Open – some Highlights

The nicest moment of this years German Open was when Sarah, the cute little daughter of Henry Maek (he is one of the organizers), gave a great bunch of flowers to me for having won the German Champion title. Konrad Lüders played a song for the rigid wings on his violin, but I only knew the „Hungarian Dances“ that he played for the hanggliding pilots. Very fast run up and down the keys, very inviting to dance (at least for Regina and me), good job, Konrad!
Also special thanks to Wulf, one of the hardest working volunteers Ive ever seen in a comp. And my flying highlight was Harm the Dutch Dragonfly pilot when he dropped me off directly into a thermal yesterday – not an easy task up here in the north!
Uli Eysel was lucky and he is fine after the towing incident on the first day, but he has to have a gum surgery on Monday.
Im extremely happy that my Slovenian friend Primoz (Reginas boyfriend) is now German Champion in Class 5.
And now some of the controversies of the comp for dear Davis.
Concerning the competition, Im still not sure who really deserves the title.
On that first day, I didnt even get a chance to leave the airfield. I had two tows of horror with huge lockouts and decided it is not safe for me to try and tow in a 90 degrees crosswind of up to 30 km/h in gusts. Call me chicken – anyway, I was still disappointed that I didnt even get a fair chance on that day, because I didnt get higher than 50m off the deck.
Elio and Lukas looked at the towing conditions, also at the strong southerly and just shook their heads and also did not get on course. When even the towing pilots call it Russion Roulette and have doubts to tow in those conditions...
Second day that we flew, the pitch measurement discussion started. We had to change towing directions and move our glider about 800m along the field – when Lukas moved the other way. I asked what happens, and he said they want to measure his glider´s pitch in the shelter now... in the beginning of the competition task? Lukas is very strong, but after carrying his glider over and back, take off had already started and he was exhausted. They did the same thing with Andre Djamarani, the top ranked German pilot of the Europeans. Lukas and Andre could only start really late into the task on that day and I suppose both of them were physically and mentally quite exhausted, so they did not get a fair chance to compete in their own national championships.
On the other hand, winner Roland Wöhrles glider was not measured once. It seems like similar problems as last year – lack of concept, thus more disturbing than helping or working together. I had my glider measured in the goal, in the morning of the last task and in goal again, and was able to find agreeable settings, I could move my glider over in time, so I was lucky. Andre and Lukas have been the best German pilots this year, always highest ranked in the competitions they flew, but even the best guys can´t perform properly when they are forced to cross the line of their stress level.
We had a lot of discussions about how to do the measurements and how to deal with them at the Europeans, and there it seemed quite constructive and positive. Over here, that system was not adapted. Numbers and names were published so everybody knew who were the „bad guys“.
Out of the seven comps I have flown this year so far, this was definitely the most disturbing one.

23 August 2008

German Open finish

Yesterday Lukas and my glider were measured before the task and after we landed at goal. My glider was found ok, but they zeroed Lukas for the day because they measured lower settings than they allowed (just to explain the results).
Overall Oli Barthelmes came second, Hans Kiefinger 3rd, Jörg fourth and I ended up 5th and as I was the top ranked woman, I was also able to defend the title as German Champion.
In rigid class, Primoz Gricar became German Champion, Toni Raumauf placed 2nd in the German Open and Dirk Ripkens 3rd.
Elio Cataldi had a problem with his gps yesterday and landed at the airfield, so he lost his 3rd place.
Japanese pilot Akira Mutazono finished 11th.
My gear is packed, early tomorrow morning I have to work on the flight to Vancouver.
Next weekend I will be back to go to the Skyline Moyes party at Marquartstein and I hope to see a lot of pilots and friends there.

22 August 2008

German Open Day 5, 80 km out and return

Again a significant southwester, also some high cirrus moving through and shading off some areas. Still the task committee set an 80 km out and return to Golssen and back to the airfield Altes Lager.
Today I only needed one tow, Harm dropped me right into a thermal with his Dragonfly today! Lucky, because the tow was quite turbulent, the air was really rough.
I got high and decided to start out on course because it didnt look like conditions would get better. I was on my own, just a rigid wing in sight every now and then. It wasnt easy to get to the turnpoint even thoug we were flying with a tailwind, because the ground was shaded sometimes. I guess I rounded the turnpoint first, and only flying back Oli and Hans nearly caught up to me, but I made it in first, followed by Oli and Hans. Maybe 8 flex pilots made goal, and quite a few rigids, Toni Raumauff won the rigid day ahead of Primoz and Tim.
Looks like quite a lot of rain moving in tonight, we might not be able to fly tomorrow.
Thanks to Willi for the great picture of my father!

21 August 2008

German Open Day 4, 120 km to goal

Today the wind calmed down, cloudbase was at about 1500 m and a task of 120 km to the Polish border was set. I needed two tows to find some lift that took me up - the others had already left, so I was on my own most of the day.
Primoz passed me and for some few kilometers we flew together, but I couldnt keep pace with his Phantom. Anyway, I made goal, about 8 people were there already.
I just got back, results are not out yet, but it looks like Hans won the day, followed by Oli
Thanks to Christiane Kappes for the photo.

20 August 2008

German Open Day 3

Today the wind is really strong again, so the day was cancelled for the flex wings, for the rigids they are still waiting for a decision.
Yesterdays task was apparently valid, as the protest did not get through. Again not exactly a decision for safety and fairness, just a decision to keep enough tasks for a maybe valid German Open, if the weather turns flyable again this week. Disappointing.
On the photo another impression from the Orangerie at the castle in Postdam.

German Open Day 2

We tried to fly a 53 km task on Monday, but it was extremely difficult to get into the air and stay there. The wind was blowing hard from the south, we were starting with a crosswind into a lee side situation, thermals were light and broken, drifting was not possible because it drifted you into tiger country.
Oli landed again and got up very late, then Lukas, Hans and Elio came back even later. Hans was the only one who had a reflight at about 5pm, and he was the only one who made goal. About half of the field signed a complaint that was turned into a protest because the flying was not safe and also the ordered launch did not properly work, it was more than one and a half hours to get 23 pilots into the air because we had many lock outs and weak links broken. The chances for the pilots were not fair, depending on when they got into the air they ended up on course. After the protest, the day was neutralized.
Today the wind was even stronger than yesterday and was cancelled straight away, with the prediction of gusts up to 60 km/h on ground level. I had seen a huge line of cloud cover on the satellite, moving at about 200km/h, it arrived here just after midday.
My Mum always wanted to see castle „Sans Souci“ at Potsdam, a 45 km drive from here, so today we went there and had a look at the grand gallery of portraits. The most famous one, a Rubens, had been taken to Russia after the war and is currently in St Petersburg at the Eremitage. The castle and the beautiful gardens and fountains reminded me of Versailles close to Paris. Definitely worth a visit!
Tomorrow the frontal system is expected to be through, and I hope the wind will ease off as well. There is plenty of space for towing at Altes Lager, the runway is big enough for a 747 to land there, but it is only straight east-west, and the grassy areas around it are not prepared for towing, which makes it difficult to take off with a strong ssw wind.

18 August 2008

German Open Day 1

Here at Altes Lager, 60 km south of Berlin, we have covered skies and not a great forecast. So far we postponed the briefing to 13.00 hrs because the sky was covered, every now and then a shower. Maybe it will improve a little, maybe not. I would not mind a rest day today, because I have to fly with somebody elses harness and helmet, because Oli forgot my equipment at Skyline ;) at least he brought my glider! And Wolfi sent the harness up today, hopefully it will be here tomorrow.
We have Elio Cataldi (European Champion) and his family here, also a Japanese and a few Hungarian pilots. We are about 55 pilots, I dont know how many trikes, and one Dragonfly. As soon as there is another decision, I will let you know.

17 August 2008

Meeting a friend in Munich...

Last night Ewa was on her way to Greifenburg where she is helping to organize the Junior&Ladies-Challenge, when she stopped by my place and we had dinner. Great to catch up with the paragliding world as well. On the picture you see two happy European Champions, two girls who love the sky! This year the flying women of Germany were very successful. Ewa finished the Europeans on 18th place overall as second best German pilot!!!
Today Im leaving for Jüterbog, 1 hr south of Berlin, to fly the German Open. And I keep my fingers crossed for Ewa at the Worlds in January in Mexico. It is her favourite place to fly, so I hope she will have a lot of fun, success, and - most of all - a really safe meet!

14 August 2008

More photos!

Today I went up Rauschberg with Chrissy and Stephan to take some aerial shots from my glider. It was the only possible flying day with a bit of sun this week and we were lucky to catch it. At the moment there is already thunder and lightening outside, another huge front will roll through tonight. I really hope they dont get too much rain in Wuppertal, as they will launch the Red Bull X-Fighters event on Saturday. Motocross drivers won´t mind the mud, but the spectators I guess...
Later I will go and pick up the photos from Chrissy and then post one or the other for you, so you can have a look at the beautiful Ruhpolding, the place where we had our German Open last year.

11 August 2008

Slovenian Open and British Open

Congratulations to European Champion Elio Cataldi (ITA) - yesterday he won the Slovenian Open in Tolmin, ahead of my favourite Slovenian Pilot Primoz Gricar. Also great performance: Stefan Boller in 8th place (best German pilot) and my Timezone team mate Jörg Bajewski in 16th place! Have a look at Jörgs Blog here: http://joergbajewski.blogspot.com/

After four rounds at the British Open in Laragne, the winner is Moyes Litespeed designer Gerolf Heinrichs from Austria. With Walter Mayer the Austrians also won the team score way ahead of any British team.

Next Monday, the German Open will start in Berlin, I also hope to see Elio Cataldi there. After the German Open, see you at the Moyes-Skyline-Party at Weßner Hof on the 29th and 30th!

10 August 2008

NDR 22.45 tonight

Tonight I will drive to Hamburg with my parents and some friends from my hanggliding club here in Bremen, because I was invited to a sports program of the North German television NDR and Radio Bremen. They will show a film about the worlds in Italy and interview me. Helmut Wilms set up his glider in the studio! They sound very interested - they insisted on me bringing my vario and explaining it, Im very happy to have a chance to show more people what our sport is about.
The show starts at 22.45 until 23.45, very late.
I only just arrived back from Hyderabad/India yesterday, so tonight I will bring plenty of Red Bull to the studio to stay awake ;)
Heute Abend werde ich mit meinen Eltern und ein paar Freunden von unserem Bremer Drachenflugverein DFC Weser nach Hamburg in Fernsehstudio vom NDR fahren. Ich wurde zur Sportschau eingeladen, um etwas über unsere WM zu erzählen. Außerdem hat Helmut Wilms seinen Drachen im Studio aufgehängt, darin soll ich mit anmoderieren. Es wird sicher ein Spaß werden - obwohl ich gestern erst aus Hyderabad/Indien von einer Arbeitstour zurückkam... zum Glück hab ich für diese Fälle den richtigen Sponsor und werde einfach das ganze Fernsehstudio mit Red Bull versorgen, dann schlafe auch ich nicht ein. Die Sendung fängt nämlich erst um 22.45 an und geht bis 23.45 Uhr.
Die Redakteurin scheint sehr interessiert, ich sollte auf jeden Fall mein Compeo (Vario/GPS) mitbringen und erklären. Wie schön, daß ich unseren tollen Sport der Öffentlichkeit vorstellen darf!


05 August 2008

tonight on TV

Tonight between 18.00 and 18.45 on Bayern 3 there will be a report about the hanggliding world championships on television.

On Sunday, August 10th, I will be in Hamburg life at NDR between 22.45 and 23.45, they will show footage of the Worlds and interview me.

04 August 2008

Meeting Steve Morse again

Sorry that there was nothing on TV last night, they must have changed their programs last minute - but we will go on trying and I will let you know if anything is on.
As a little excuse, I have this exclusive picture for you from the Deep Purple concert in the cloister of Benediktbeuern last night.
Some of you might remember that I landed in an airfield at the world Championships two years ago that is owned by Steve Morse. He is not only one of the best guitarrists in the world, but he is also a keen pilot and interested in anything that flies. When I landed in his front yard in Florida, he smiled at me and asked if he could help me pack up the glider and wanted to know everything about my instruments. Charlie who made the film about the worlds told me who Steve is - difficult for me to imagine that this modest, friendly guy is a show biz mega star.
Steve invited me to the concert last night and even though the schedule was supertight, we managed to briefly meet yesterday before the concert started.
I was blown away, Steve was so friendly, happy to see me, congratulated me for the new title and told all the other guys as well about his encounter with that hanggliding girl. Then he took his guitar and we followed the band on stage, staying right next to the guy who was looking after Steve´s guitars.
Peter Achmueller was with me, and we both could not believe that we were standing next to the great band Deep Purple, rocking away on stage. Amazing music, and an incredible flair under the clear bright milky way. A warm, perfect evening for that open air concert, and a location to give you goosebumps. For the first time I heard and saw Steve playing life, performing with great virtuosity. How adorable when a genius is so down to earth - or should I say, up in the sky ;) ?
I just wish Steve had had a bit more time, I would have loved to take him and his family flying into the alps - it was a perfect sky with beautiful clouds yesterday... maybe next time!

03 August 2008

Fernsehen heute / on TV today

Wenn ihr deutsches Fernsehen bekommt, heute im ZDF um 17.55 Uhr läuft ein Beitrag über unsere WM im Sportblitz, später gibt es auf RTL 2 um 20.00 Uhr einen Film in den News.

If you can receive German programs, today there will be a film on ZDF at 17.55 in the sport, then later on RTL 2 at 20.00 a film about our worlds in the news! I hope I manage to record it.

02 August 2008


We just finished a very beautiful and emotional closing ceremony of the World Championships. I cant post photos right now, will do that tonight when we arrive in Munich (if we ever arrive...). Manfred and me were called "Mega-Campione", because we both won the Worlds in our class for the 4th time!
What a great event! Thanks to Flavio and all his helpers who made a dream come true - we had a safe competition, a lot of fun, great tasks - 8 days of flying with 6 interesting tasks! - and, most of all, everybody enjoyed themselves and wants to come back next time!
Thanks to all the people who believe in us and helped us so much - the DHV, Rudl, Ecki, my parents, Rebi and Klaus, Luise, Charly and Rafael, all the people who kept their fingers crossed for us and enjoyed reading the news. It is very encouraging for new pilots to try competitions, because we obviously learnt a lot and also had fun.
And - by the way - Jamie, Monique, Ute, Regina, Christa and me did not need a single upright over these two weeks of flying!

Now we will head back to Munich, tomorrow night Im invited to the Deep Purple concert in Benediktbeuren by Steve Morse - so more interesting news later.
And thanks to Jamie, I already can show you a photo of our gold medal team on the podium today!

01 August 2008

World Champion/s !!!

It`s pouring with rain outside, thunder and lightening and all. Today we went up Cucco South, a 92 km task was set. It got really dark when we started on course, and the storm development over our 2nd turnpoint Scheggia was already inevitable. About 15 minutes into the task, the day was cancelled. I put my legs out of my harness to let everybody know who doesnt have radio contact, and then went back to land in Sigillo.
This was the last day of the comp, and that means Team Germany is World Champion again, and I am World Champion for the 4th time! And it was bloody hard work too, a lot of fun to race with Kathleen, Francoise, Carole, Natalia and the others! The Russian team is vice Champion, Team Japan is on a great third place - this time, next time the Japanese want to win, they said! With Aki and Akari they have two great young pilots on the team who will be very strong soon.
On the photo you see Alex Ploner, he is now FAI Class 5 World Champion for the 2nd time! And the Italian team won the gold medal as well, Germany came 4th.
Manfred Ruhmer is old and new World Champion in Swift class.
Now we will party and party and party... it has been a pleasure to fly here, to be on a new team who is fresh and motivated - and they all did better than ever before! I guess RED BULL gave everybody wings, not just me ;) So did Adidas as our team sponsor - watch out for more pictures tomorrow after the award ceremony!
Thanks to Moyes for a great glider, Woody Valley for a supersleek and comfy harness, Brauniger for the most reliable GPS and Vario, also to Timezone for the great leisure wear. Now I cant wait to see Charlies film footage out on dhv.de, you find it soon on dhv tv. l