Archive for June, 2011

WRC 2011, first go.

Monday, June 27th, 2011

After 2 days in Leakey waiting for a chance at my 162 mile footlaunch record i could see that it was not going to happen, so i headed for south Texas with a overnight stop in Zapata to hang with Louie and Gita and of course some cool Brazillain bros. I left at sunrise Sunday morning while the WRE pilots were leaving for a 8:30 pilots briefing.

I stopped along the way to scout a few tow roads and i made it to Harlingen by mid-afternoon, i met up with Tommy and Deb, who i taught to fly many years ago. They have a tropical paradise on the south side of Harligen. We caught a late lunch and then hung out at the farm for the rest of the day.

I had seen the forecast for Monday and i was sure it was going to be the best day out of the last three so Tommy and i made some plans scoped out the maps and headed for bed early. We were on the road at 6:00 a.m. breakfast and weather check then off to the tow road a place we had ever been before. We found our spot at 9:45 and we were quick to arm the tow rig and i was ready to rock at 10:30 but after a weak first tow 350 ft i had to reset and the second tow was to 1,000 ft were i got off and dove back into a core that was 250 fpm  and slowly i climbed out getting to base at 3,200 ft but i struggled for the next 30 min before connecting the next great thermal and that time base was at 3,400 and from there on i never got below 1,500 and base rose quickily to 3,800, then 4,200 and i had a few cores that were in the 6 to 800 fpm, the couds were workign good but not streeting up greaat and i had to weave back and forth a few times to stay with the good clouds, this was costing me time and i knew i was not going to have a real record chance but i was over tiger country with a 6 or 7 mile hike out potential so i just tried to stay high and not push to hard.

I finally was back within a glide of a road and was still cruising high so i kept on knowing that i would eventually get near Laredo and would have two chances at major roads crossing my path and a convient landing. I flew east of the Escobas tow paddock and i could see all the familiar sites, the hanger at the tow paddock and all the roads i ever hiked out from and that gave me some level of comfort. 

Teh lift was getting stronger but the clouds were drying up and there was bigger gaps between clouds, i was again in the middle of nowhwere with 8 to 10 mile hike outs unless you get lucky to find a gas well worker do check rounds and get a lift out. I had some 1,000 fpm lift which led to a small fracto cu that would disappear in just a minute, and three of those linked in a row i was 75 kms out and Tommy was on the 359 waiting for me and i could see the sky ahead was not any better so i just went on glide for the 359 east of Laredo and three miles short i was getting drilled in a large blue hole and i figured i’d have to hike it out a mile or two and at 1,500 ft i started to hit some lift and it just got stronger till i was at 4,000 ft when it fionally slowed down so without a single turn i had gained 2,500 ft so know i had more the an easy glide to the road and after that i had to core sink and run fromt he lift and it took me 30 minutes to get down and i had some many chances to climb back out again but 500 kms was not possible today so i put it down at 101 kms on the 359 east of Laredo. For sure 350 kms was attainable today but not the epic record stuff dreams are made of.

I’m writing this from the Zapata town library, as we take a break from the long drive back to Harlingen it hot out there with no A/C in the car. looks like the next few days will not  be record as winds are lighter and more easterly and even forecasted to be East N.E. for a few days. these conditions are very strange!

I have been watching the 12 hr sat loop of south Texas everyday for the last two weeks and i have seen the pattern of clouds drying up in west Texas and even in parts where we normally see great clouds and i think it is proof of the extreme drought that is in place from Rio grande city all the way to Southern Colorado. I have seen hwo good it looks in east Texas and Lousiana and everyday it’s border to border cloud streets, the question is how high is cloudbase and how strong the winds are but it looks to me like there is 500 km plus in good Cu’s to be worked. East Texas is in a drought also. 

More soon, from the 2011 WRC


Leakey, Texas

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

I left Abq at 1:00 p.m. and drove all day and night i finally had enouogh at 2:00 a.m. and pulled over on some road side and slide the seat back in my Suby and racked out till 6:00 a.m. it is certainly not as cumfy as the large van but it’ll do.

I awoke to a light milky cirrus and light winds, i drove the final 20 mintues down into Leakey and the clouds rolled in from the south and filled the hill country.

I had breakfast in Leakey with Sam Kellner and Terry the only two local Hg pilots and after B-fast the clouds were starting to split into streets but the base was low winds light and now at 11:00 the cloud chade is too broad to have a real good day. Light east wind is forcasted.

Looking at the sat map the cold front that stalled out in south Texas is still dropping a light rain which is very good because this place is so dry, i have never seen Leakey this dry/brown there is hardly a blade of green grass anywhere, they are 12 inches behind normal rainfall. This rain will help generate some nice cu’s and soften up the thermals.

i will stay here locally for a day while i help the locals get up to speed with their tow operations, and Friday could be a good day for a foot launch record attempt. My foot launch record flight of 162 miles from Mt Buzz is still the US footlaunch record which i set several years back.

More soon,


It looks like Sunday may be a world record day

WRC 2011

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

I’m off to hot south Texas for some world record attempts, this years record drought should hold some world record potential.

already we have seen higher cloud base and good strong S.E. wind flows setting up in the area.

this time i’ll be shooting for the 500 km mark.

My last flight i made from south Texas was 400 kms which i did in 7 hrs and 15 min. i got shut down by a afternoon t-storm that dumped rain on my courseline and shut down the lift. No doubt in those conditions with A 10 plus hour flight the world record could fall.

I’ll do my best to blog it up for y’all

Also just to let pilots know we are currently at 23 regiostered pilots for the nationals in Hearne, Texas and i have decided to postpone the entrey fee increase until August 1st instead of July 1st. we currently have enough tow logistics to accomodate 72 pilots. We will give 10% of all entry fees to prize money.

Pilots can register by going to my web-site or the uspgcomps web-site

we have started a new wweb-site and once it’s complete it will be posted here.

Hope to see you there!