Tuesday, June 30, 2009


A really quality task got set today, many more pilots got out on course, and the day was worth 929 points, highest scoring task yet.

The conditions were not quite as good as yesterday, but lots of lift sources in the launch, Burnt, and Rabies triangle. The course was:

Woodrat Lz, Exit 800 meters
Woodrat Launch 400m
Burnt 400m
Fly Air 1.5 km
Cemetary 1km
Donato's Goal

9 in goal, but not me today... I got goal fever and headed to Cemetary with just me and Bill Hughes in the lead. It got tough, and he survived and the rest caught up and they went to goal. Before the others caught us, I tried a different line and hit the dirt just after tagging Cemetary... Results will be here.

Tomorrow's forecast looks quite good, we could get a long task.

stay tuned


Monday, June 29, 2009


Conditions were similar to yesterday, but a little better and maybe a little more active - I saw a few comp gliders coming apart and loosing big chunks of altitude. I also saw a reserve toss right over Woodrat just before the start. The pilot got injured upon landing and I don't know the extent of the injuries... I may post more about what I saw as it could be helpful to others, but not at this time.

I must mention that Sam Mulder showed showed his selfless character when he side hill landed just below the top and went to help the pilot. (Sam is a firefighter and has first responder training). Well done Sam and hats off to you! I hope you got all the poison oak off of you. David Norwood also top landed to help, hats off to you also for putting yourself at risk to help another pilot.

More about the task:

We decided to keep the start similar but move goal to Dark Hollow which is in the Medford valley. As usual the transition to Rabies was hard for the sport gliders, there seemed to be a little wall of wind just before the ridge. Tomorrow we are going to think about making Burnt ridge the first turnpoint as it seemed to work quite well today.

The scores should be our very soon, but I know there were 20+ pilots in goal.

Bill Hughes won the day, I came in right behind him, and then Paul Murdoch and Bill Belcourt, not sure what order those two finished.

Results will be here.

A little about what makes this comp special: tonight I sat in one of the evening classes put on by a couple of the real pros of our sport and I am thinking of how much the people in the room are learning, the information transfer is worth 10 years of trial and error, unbelievable value. Tomorrow's class is one I won't miss - tricks on using speed bar.

Just the daily courses are worth the 395 bucks... seriously. But then we get to fly what looks like to be every day, and get mentored by pilots that know so much more than we do... and the social scene is off the hook. The river is really nice too.



Sunday, June 28, 2009


We have big inversions forecast for the first part of the week, and today was forecast to be like yesterday, which was pretty hard to go anywhere. So we set a task to try to satisfy our nominal distance and time but tried to make it achievable for the field which is mostly beginners.

The task committee worked really hard to achieve that end, and I thought we pulled it off, until I saw the scoring software came up with 24.1 km as our task distance (it calculates the shortest distance around the course), and nominal distance is 25km. We were seeing 29km on the GPS when we set the course. We had 15 in goal out of 62 pilots, and a lot of people came in just short of goal.

The task was:

Woodrat Launch
Woodrat Peak
Burnt Ridge
Fly Air
and Purcels as goal.

First 3 in goal: Bill Belcourt, Paul Murdoch, Brett Hardin. We got around the course in just under one hour, that only very slightly devalued the day, it was coming up short by 0.9 km for our task distance that knocked the top score down to 770 pts. But no one really cares as this comp is a training comp and NTSS means nothing here.

Mike and Gail really put on a fun comp, HQ is at their house and there are always tons of people hanging out here, BBQ is on, pool is cool, and there are lots of tutoring going on - they hold classes, and have an experienced mentor per 3 beginners, it is a really a good time and a good value too~

I lost my camera battery, so not many pics coming at you this week...

Results are here



Sunday, June 14, 2009

The clouds are White in Oz too...

Hey! This wing has a built in cloud magnet! You don't even need to steer! (Note the free swinging brake toggles...)

Seriously, I'm selling this wing for $350, it's a Boom Sport size M, and I bought it from the super famous Will Gadd! So you can impress all your friends by telling them it used to be his wing....

This wing is really easy to fly, very comfortable and I love it, but it's time for me to get on a competition glider and go faster, I keep getting left behind... Superb coast wing, or inland boomer rider....

The wing is in Portland, Oregon. Email me at cloudbase [at] gmail [dot] com if you are interested...

Sunday, June 07, 2009

WCPC Task 4, Final Day

Today was good, conditions were a little better, lowish base but a lot less wind. We had a task worth a 1000 points, which means the task committe did a good job setting the task. The start of the race was more like a Rat Race task:

Launch 1km Exit start
Rabies Peak (1km)
Burnt (400m)
Launch (400m)
Rabies (400m)
Cemetary (1km)
Donato ESS 1km, Goal 400m

Good clouds at the start and easy to stay up, but shady on course. After the 4th TP, as we left Rabies to start towards Cemetary, Woodrat mountain must have blown it's wad of hot air - a bunch of us headed for Burnt/Woodrat to find either massive sink (as was my case) or zero's. While I was packing up, I watch a group of pilots circle in super weak lift, just enough to keep from sinking out for 20 minutes, it took a huge dose of determination and patience and they finally got away, most of them to make goal.

It was a weird day - if you weren't on a comp glider, slow and patient worked well. But pilots landed in a nice spread all along course, and we got nominal time and nominal distance in, so the scoring program was very happy and Eric Reed won the task and took the 1000 points.

Sam Mulder flew well, 22nd overall. I dropped 2 places from the day before, finishing 11th overall. Cumulative Scores are here.

Race Race is in 3 weeks, I will be there for that.


Friday, June 05, 2009

WCPC Task 3, Day 6

We got to launch and there were lots of clouds, but also sun. The task was: Launch to Wellington Ridge, to Cemetary, and goal at Donato.

Start was at 12:45, which is early, but we wanted to get the race on before the clouds built. Just as the race started, Eric Reed took a big frontal on his brand new wing, and something went wrong with the recovery, so he had to throw. Perfect landing, and not in the trees. Glad he is OK.

On course we headed up Rabies ridge towards Rabies peak, and we were pushing a head wind using a lot of bar. Multiple tries were needed to make any headway up the ridge, and gliders were getting low, turning downwind and landing. A few gliders got to base and made it over Rabies Peak and tagged the first turnpoint, a bunch of us couldn't get over the top and we needed to try something else, so we went around the south side of Rabies and got 3 km from the TP, and had to turn and land in the valley. Only four pilots got the first Turnpoint, and only Hayden made goal, Josh and Nick got close.

When we first got to launch, the tilt of the clouds showed how much NW wind there was, and setting the first TP that far into the wind was a mistake, it put the hardest part of the race as the first leg. Having so many pilots not make the first TP will massively devalue the day, but more than that, we could have called a task that resulted in pilots getting to goal, something we haven't seen much of in this comp. I am on the task committee, my first in a major comp, so I am pointing a finger at myself, but there are 4 other pilots on the commmittee that have done the job many times. Sure, hindsight is 20/20 but I think the signs were there.

Tomorrow is the last day of the comp and hopefully we will have pilots in goal.

Results are Here

stay tuned

Thursday, June 04, 2009

WCPC Day 5

The forecasts say stay at home today, and it's been raining lightly since we woke up. Friday and Saturday look better.

Stay Tuned

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

WCPC Day 4

Because T-storms have been threatening us every afternoon, we rushed up the hill and quickly set a task and set an early start time of 12:30. The T-storms get started as huge clouds way off in back of launch, but today it wasn't the typical big white billowing clouds, it was one big dark mass...

We all dove off the hill and grovelled. The dark mass shaded out the sun and everyone landed, and the task was cancelled. About an hour later, the sky cleared and cu lifted off... It looked very flyable until 3pm and shortly after the thunder and lightning started and then a bit of rain.

This is a must see, it was on Good Morning America, and is about the Worlds in Mexico in January.

WCPC Results are Here.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

WCPC Day 3

The forecast was for nukular bomb clouds (thunderstorms) but I guess we have to try anyway?

It was a lot of fun surfing the front edge of a big cloud over Woodrat mountain for almost an hour, and then about 7 of us left for Rabies from 2k meters.

Rabies was not working, but it seemed there was a convergence over longsword and a gaggle got high there, but the sky was going nukular, and so the task was stopped with less than 1.5 hours into the task, so it won't be scored.

A few wings actually got on course, which was pretty amazing given the weird conditions (wind coming from Ruch in the LZ). Rumor has it that Matt Dadam made the Grants Pass turnpoint, and I just saw him 5 minutes ago, so he survived.

Just after the task was stopped, we heard thunder and it has been raining and gusting around HQ, the sky is completely dark now.

So we will try again tomorrow.



Monday, June 01, 2009

WCPC Task 2

Very cloudy this AM, but it burned off and we set a 42k task that went from launch towards Grants Pass (TP at Bald Hill) then to Rabies and then Jacksonville LZ.

It was really weak at the start, but a gaggle crossed to Rabies and grovelled hard, while we waited over Woodrat Mt for the climbs to get better. It seemed to work, because we got higher about 20 minutes later and crossed, and what was left of the first gaggle was starting to climb out, so we jump in on their climb.

We slowly got onto the high ground and once we got to Rabies peak, biggish clouds were setting up across the high ground and we were able to mash bar and really cover some ground toward the Bald Hill turnpoint.

We stopped for a climb and then hit the TP, and turned back. The clouds were backing off a bit which was surprising, because on the way out they were building fast and sucking hard, and it was OD'ing to the south. Once we hit the Rabies turnpoint, it was apparent that there was to be very little lift on the way to goal, so those who slowed down and topped out before the Rabies turnpoint had a good shot at goal.

A few gliders had enough height to get to goal, but without any lift it was a toss of the dice, and in the end, Farmer was the only one in goal. I landed 3.75 km short in a big field with 3 others gliders. Back on the course line, the clouds blew up and the task was stopped, but we got nominal time in (1.5 hours) so we should get it scored.

All in all it was a really challenging but very enjoyable task, especially when we realized that the clouds were sucking all along the high ground and we stopped turning and hit speedbar and climbed under the street for a couple kms...

We had a little thunder today, but so far it hasn't hailed like it did yesterday afternoon....