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!

08 Dezember 2014

Superfinal Race in Rio

I´m celebrating Guido´s "carpe diem" legacy and just checked in for the flight to Rio. This is a bit of radical guerilla action, as I just arrived from Chennai this morning, put my uniform into the car and got all my gear ready for a hang gliding comp in Sao Conrado, one of the best spots in the world, and checked in for the flight tonight.
Thanks to my sponsors Red Bull and adidas who make this dream possible! Also to Chico Santos for his invitation and Konrad Heilmann´s help with logistics, which were pretty tight. I had to pack gear for India and Brazil (which is pretty similar), but also for Jordania and Bremen (which is rather cold these days) and even Australia in case I don´t get home inbetween. The pilots´ strikes are not settled yet, and with a standby line coming up soon, I really have no idea how and where I will be in a few weeks time... could be anything between Ashgabad and Teheran for me over Christmas?!?
What I do know is that I will meet some of the best pilots in the world in Rio to fly match races with, great old friends like Betinho Schmitz, Guga Saldanha, Nader Couri will be there to hopefully be my wingmen for a scenic flight to Cristo! For sure I geared up and just got a new GoPro 4 to get you the best resolution possible for new films!
I´m really blessed to have this great job with Lufthansa which enables me to travel in style and freedom to incredible events like this one, on very short notice!

07 Dezember 2014

Fusion cuisine in Chennai, India, GMT +5,5

Thought I invite my Canungra team over for a party, because they helped me get to score well in the competition, so as of Dec. 1st, I am happy to be back on No. 1 in the women´s hang gliding world ranking, after I had slipped down to 3rd this year.
None of my Australian friends had time to come over to Chennai (I thought it is half way for all of us, so just fair ;)), so I just treated myself to some of the best food I ever had. South Indian food offers a beautiful variety of vegetarian dishes, and it spicy which I like a lot, even if Dr. Craig reckons I might end up on his table of ulcer surgery one day.
I tried different local dishes from the wonderful lunch buffet here in the Park Sheraton Hotel and Towers in Chennai. The Rajma Ki Galouti (kidney bean patties) were very tempting, and I also like the Carrot Poriyal (spicy carrots with chili and coconut) very much, Cabbage Kootu (mild curry with cabbage and yellow split peas) and Kai Brinjee (rice with tomato and spices) My new favourite is Vazhakai Masala, green banana with chilli and coconut, supposed to contain a lot of iron, very healthy and just supertasty!
I enhanced these wonderful curries with Norwegian spelt lomper, tasty tortillas made of spelt flour and potatoes - I know the Indians and Mexicans would love them as much as I do!
As a drink, the tropical Red Bull summer edition with flavours of mango and passionfruit was just the perfect round up for this South Indian - Norwegian - Austrian fusion cuisine, enjoyed by a German :)

01 Dezember 2014

Mumbai and Oslo

Weather in Mumbai: as expected, I brought the bikini and saree skirt. Beautiful new airport with a great looking roof structure!

Weather in Oslo: as expected, I brought my warmest adidas winter gear :)

23 November 2014

DHV XC German Championships Awards

After interesting presentations of weather guru Volker Schwanitz and Hike/Bike/Fly films of paraglider pilot Torsten Hahne, we had the awards, first part - hang gliding. I won the women´s German XC title and a IQ Basic Bräuniger vario :)))

Some more awards for the paragliding XC soon, and maybe it looks flyable tomorrow in the mountains!

22 November 2014

DHV annual meeting: some honours for medals

 A very successful year in terms of medals for the DHV - Gold for Tim and silver for his rigid wing team at the worlds, gold for Torsten Siegel at the pg Euros, Bronze medal for my friend Yvonne Dathe at the paragliding Euros and for me at the women´s worlds in Annecy!
Also Ecki, our team doctor, proudly showed us that he is back in the hang gliding scene after years of paragliding, not sure if Ingrid his wife is really happy that he can now take off and land in front of their house ;)
Will be a nice party tonight at Rottach-Egern in southern Bavaria at Tegernsee.

21 November 2014

Photo shooting with Red Bull in Fuschl

Not exactly flying weather unfortunately yesterday, but we made the best of the conditions given. I had fun working with photographers Dale Tidy and Leo Rosas - I very much enjoyed the English/Spanish model lessons from the Australian and Venezuelan photographers, so nice that Leo accompanied us with "behind the scenes"-shots all day, which you see here on his photos.
This weekend I will join the annual meeting of DHV for some awards for the worlds and German XC championships. Always great to meet our team again, and to see many other friends I haven´t met for a while.

20 November 2014

Missing the Australian critters

I´m thankful that My Australian friends showed great patience with me. When ever I jumped around, screaming "CUUUUTE!", they knew it was time for a wild life photo ;) I miss all those Australian critters, it´s so cool to have breakfast with the Kookaburras and Cockatoos!

18 November 2014

Orlando, Timezone GMT -5

I went for some heavy duty trail running today in Orlando, my training program to get fit for the worlds in Mexico. Half way through it started pouring down in good old Florida thunderstorm manner, and I was soaked in seconds ;) Luckily the temperature was a pleasant 27 C, so the shower was kind of welcome... Anything is better than grey cold winter in Germany! And guess what I´m going back to now :(

16 November 2014

60 year anniversary celebration of Wunschel

Last night I joined a gala for the 60th anniversary of the Wunschel company in Röslau, Bavaria. I felt privileged that Dieter Wunschel personally invited me to celebrate this great event, and so I could just squeeze it in between coming back from Sydney and heading on to Orlando today. It was great to personally meet the guys who have been looking after the perfect Red Bull paint design on my helmets for the past 15 years! Can´t thank them enough! I had a great time at the event, but with jetlag on my shoulders, i was happy that many large fridges were filled with Red Bull up to the top ;)
Now off to sunny Florida again!

15 November 2014

In Munich: Abenteuer Deutschland

Briefly met photographer and good friend Florian Wagner today at a cinema in Munich where he did a great job on presenting  photos and videos of his tour through Germany on horses, 1700 km! It is a Globetrotter outdoor event in the CineMax Isartor with lots of great presentations of different outdoor athletes and photographers, and I was glad I could just squeeze it in between packing my suitcase again and heading off :)
Have a look at Florian´s book here! He rode up on horses and flew back down to Bavaria in a helicopter, capturing the whole route again from a different perspective - and because it was just a great excuse to fly :)

13 November 2014

One last flight in summer: "Palmy" Palm Beach!

After I didn´t manage to fly yesterday and the prediction for today was really good, I decided to stay a day longer. Olli picked me up and took me to Ian Duncan´s shop where all the Moyes carbon parts are manufactured. It was great catching up with Ian, meanwhile Rohan managed to get hold of Mick who took us up to the Palm Beach take off. Only if you are invited and instructed by a club member, you are eligible to launch here, because it is just in somebody´s back yard, and any problems would close down the site immediately.
Alan Taylor, the local pilot, looked after Olli and me. I was glad that I had them on my side wires, because take off wasn´t easy. With them leading my wing out, it was very smooth though. Once off the cliff, the air felt silky smooth. A flight meditation! I enjoyed the beautiful views of Palm Beach and Pittwater just behind it. Together with Olli I cruised along some other take offs further south, and after a wonderful, uplifting 3 hours in the air, we landed on Narrabeen beach with a happy smile in our face. What a day!
We had barely started packing up when Mick already pulled in to pick us up and take us back to the car! How lucky can we get? Big thanks to the wonderful guys who looked after us so well, generously sharing their private flying site with us and just making our day!
After dropping the gliders at the Moyes factory and saying good-bye to Vicki, Im now finally on my way home to winter, already dreaming of the next time in Australia.