And here we go ---- These are newest, first. Future postings will be oldest, first. Click on "View Comments" to read.
Some X-C considerations
Page 1 of 16
Friday 07/07/2006 0:38:37am
Name: Ben Davidson
Comments: SJ, now that was a tale to put a smile on face.
Friday 07/07/2006 0:32:44am
Name: sunny jim
Comments: day five, chelan xc classic,tom sinks out at the chelan airport while I hold on to drifting thermals for a twenty miler..........floating low over small lzs and thanking God I'm on a single surface glider..........this brings Tom Johns and I within ONE mile of each other on the final day six!
Day six, Conrad Kurp(third place), Tom Johns, and I all thermal out together.
I lose track of my buddies and get low over Wells Dam looking for an ace card.
I look out over the columbia river and see three redtails going up like rockets and decide to join them........1200 feet per minute....to 9,500.....drifts me N.E. towards the Colville REServation.....I can hear the war drums.......getting low over the bridgeport Dam..barely going to make it to the rimrock on the far side of the dam .... must have triggered a thermal when I unzipped to land cuz I took a ripper from one hundred off the deck to ten grand!...straight on to indian country! ...can't make it over the next ridge so I turn back to land a short ways from the east end of Omak lake....great lz.. but as I'm breaking down I'm thinking...I'm in a hole with no phone reception and no radio contact"... I started worrying and asked the question, "how am I going to get out of here?....silence...and then.... "I got you here, I'll get you back"..... good enough for me.....keep breaking down....start walking....the lake looks refreshing enough...and whats this?...? Indians riding bareback shoulder deep through the water..everything looks slow motion.....practicing for the upcoming Omak Stampede suicide race where they race down a forty five degree embankment into the okanogan river and into the stampede grounds......"it's won or lost in the water", Zane Best tells me, sitting astride his stallion bareback complete with black braids down his back....I feel like I've walked onto the "dances with wolves" set and I'm Kevin Costner.....except I can't see anyone who can play, "stands with a fist".....too bad.
My new indian friends feed me fried chicken and cold beer and give me a ride out to civilization........and it
turns out that this 48 miler wins the meet for me.........SJ out
Thursday 07/06/2006 1:22:25pm
Name: sunny Jim
Comments: thanks Ben, I looked up my day one score and I the triangle on day one with the multiplier works out to 61 miles, not 66........Day two was a great day for single surface as well but not for me......I had a hard time getting accross to the clouds out by Mansfield and Tom Johns, who was in second place, jumped to first place by getting under those clouds and racking up a 47 mile single surface flight to almira, WA.!!
So now I'm in second place and tom Johns is fifteen miles ahead of me and the weather turns bad for day three and day four......very stable...no lift...at least not enough lift to get us accross to the flats....yet I notice that Tom Johns is steadily increasing his lead over me!!! Now, on day four, he is actually twenty four miles ahead of me!!! What Tom is doing is getting as high as he can and then he is just turning downwind and plummetting into the farthest landable LZ along the river! Brilliant strategy. If the bad weather continues he's got me for sure! the Chelan xc classic has just turned into a GLIDE-OFF!!!!
Wednesday 07/05/2006 5:31:43pm
Name: Ben Davidson
Comments: Nice going Sunny Jim. Wish that we were there. Funny, saw in the Oz Report that those lowly single surface gliders did generally better than double surface KP gliders. Charge onward!
Wednesday 07/05/2006 1:44:20pm
Name: sunny Jim
Comments: first day of the classic......with eight single surface competitors!..this group is growing! thats up from five last year and usually only three or four in past years......Day one was an easy clombout over the Butte and a great day for a single surface triangle so I whipped out a withrow/ mansfield/ and back to the butte.....I think its a 44 mile triangle with a 1.5 multiplier but now I['m going to have to go double check on that.........I can't remember!...but I think its' going to be 66 miles..........I flew Kamrons new single surface ship that doesn't have a name yet and I really liked it a lot...I did somthing new this time.....I flew with full stereo headphones under my helmut and I loved it!!! You just aint lived until youve thermalled up listening to "Lady in Red"........!!!!!!!!!!.......sj out
Friday 06/23/2006 10:21:49am
Name: Ben Davidson
Well, some might ask why I went but I have a personal rule that if I'm over Ellenville at 5000' and climbing, I go. For the last year and change, we have been wedded to the mountain with new pilots needing coaching so I've been condemned to landing in the good ol' l.z.. Finally a chance to play over the back. Great day. Real potential for real miles. My radio giving me trouble so I just tell Alegra that I'll land along Rt. 52 and leave her w/ our pilots. That route gives me a max. of 12.8 miles but hey, better than landing with the rest of the leashed world. Climb into murk at 7k and flying just in "T" shirt w/ no gloves it is getting chilly. Thermals everywhere. Cruise downwind with the worst sink being 300 fpm and lots of stuff to work except that I can't go far. And so, I shortly come down from 5k to land at Mad Sammie's farm along 52 just where I'd enter Stewart's airspace if I don't head N and make pickup an adventure - assuming that I don't make it over the river for some "talkaboutit" miles.
Good to have rejoined you XC pilots.
Monday 05/22/2006 3:06:59pm
Name: Tony de Groot
City/Country: Ojai, Calif.
Comments: 15 Miles, 2 hours, Max ht. 11000 ft
Decided to go to a site with more xc potential. I didn't get a lot of distance but it sure was exciting. When I think back about today the most intense, vivid image is that of thermaling next to a wall of rain, glancing with each turn at the growing darkness above me and thinking, two more turns, not more, don't let it catch you, this is so dangerous, get up and get the hell away from the growing monster that is threatening to zap you out of the air like some insignificant bug. The day started mellow enough. We were late, but the development was much less than the day before. Tony DeLeo was on launch and his Atos was already set up. With me was Greg Brown, Lee Kahn and Terry Taggert and our driver Jeff. I set up fast and just as DeLeo was going over the back I launched and struggled up from below the knob out front. Not a fun place to be in a Falcon as I'm not sure if I could make the LZ on a glide but I climbed up but the lift died at 8300 and I searched around for something else. I short time, very short time later I was below the knob again praying for anything and telling myself that I was going over the back with whatever I got this time. Got one that was drifting back to 8500 and took it. Yeah, it was low but I had a 30-35 mph ground speed headed toward a better L.Z. and usually can find something on the other side but didn't. No trash and some minor lift but nothing solid and headed for dry canyon where I was somewhere down in the 5000 - 5700 range not much above the L.Z. Caught a little one and hung on. Lee came out and went to land at Dry Canyon near me as his zipper in his harness broke. Greg got up to 9200 at launch and came over and past me diving further toward Mount Pinos where clouds were forming nicely while I groveled in light lift around 6000 ft. There was a growing cell that had been coming our way from the Cuyama side of the valley and it started raining and dropping thunder bolts. Nobody heard much thunder but I think it was because of their air speed and wind noise in their ears. Flying slow in the Falcon I heard the low pitched rumbling every time and it made me, uggghh, concerned. As the cell got closer Lee mentioned a small gust front of 8 to 12 mph but I was getting more established in the mid 9000 range and was drifting over the bad lands with the road below me. I saw Terry Taggart glide in just above me and keep going. I started to follow as the cell dumped rain and was growling and growing. The Pinos area was developing into all kinds of dark unfriendliness and Frasier was developing and I was in my putt putt Falcon over the bad lands trying just to get to a landable area that was Lockwood valley. Greg was skied in front over 13,000 and then saw something that scared him bad. A bolt of lightening around Frasier that sent him looking for a safe place to land in Lockwood, quick. Struggling for Lockwood it started raining on me. Hey, are we having fun yet!! Terry was going fast and was heading out to the far edge of Lockwood as I wiped rain off my goggles and kept driving for a better LZ and sun. Got ahead of the rain and hail and got to some nicer lift ahead of the wall of water and while climbing up along it's shower curtain edge, kept glancing up at the growing beast behind and around me. Each part of my turn close to the wall of rain got a few drops on my goggles. It was beautiful, amazing, foolish and dangerous. More lightening around Pinos. Had a beautiful hawk join me further away from the beast in the sun line and we climbed to over 11000 feet but the giant overdevelopment was again starting to chase me down. I drove and drove for the south end of Frasier toward smaller clouds, and sun, but instead of niceties I started getting slapped around. Maybe at 9300 I had enough to go on glide but I wasn't sure about the retrieve potential. In the distance a giant anvel head was overdeveloping in the desert and I had had enough. Turned around and parked in a strong headwind heading back to land in Lockwood as lightening bolts descended over on the other side of the valley. Landed nicely on a dirt road about a quarter mile from the road where Lee and Greg came over to help me get out. Terry got up to 11000 at Frasier where I wanted to go but by the time I was there it was overdeveloping and I wanted to stay away from any more thunder heads. We got lots of beer, sandwiches, and ice cream at the Mountain liquor store to quell our nerves and picked Terry up after a nice 65.5 mile flight landing at the I 14. He wanted to go over the windmills at Tehachapi but it was going nuclear over there and he didn't want to get the venturi winds if they came down that way and glided all the way to the fourteen. Lots of excitement but I'm happy to be home and just watching some T.V. with my girlfriend.