Archive for August, 2011

LoneStar nats, day 7,task 6 180 kms

Sunday, August 21st, 2011

The last day went out with a bang we called the longest task in US history with a 60km cyl around Corsicana and then goal in Cleburne a 180 km task.

The day started out brutal with stronger winds and broken lift below 3,000 i had to take 3 tows before i was in the thermal i wanted to start the race with and then after that the first two hours were very slow but then things startted to pick up and clouds were streeting up nicely so i just tucked under a nice cloud street and hoped cloud to cloud, i was thru the TP and about 100 km from goal as some of the clouds got dark but no rain was falling so i just kept on gliding. I had to negotiate a 10 mile stretch of shade which led to a low save 1,000 ft at 6:00 i toppd out at 8,000 ft agl and had a final glide to goal from 28 kms out. We had three pilots in goal Arnie F,Eric Reed,myself.

So the final result is in and Eric Reed dominated in open class with a 1,000 pt lead going into the last day. I was second overall and first in serial class, Justin Elliot was third.

We flew the two longest tasks in US history both over 100 miles and we logged a total of 575 miles in 6 tasks the most distance ever flown during a comp.

So the first ever US PG tow comp will go down in the history book as one of the most epic weeks of comp flying that has ever happened.

We will be back next year!

David Prentice.

LoneStar nats:day 6,task 5 131 km task to Corsicana

Saturday, August 20th, 2011

We decided to give the pilots a short day so we called a slight downwind dogleg to corsicana with a 1km TP in Kosse tx, we changed the start cyl to 10kms with 15 min start gates.

our launch logistics was working like a well oiled machine getting all 16 pilot airborne in less then 45 minutes. Several of us floated around the airport getting down to 200 ft several times but each time we would hook something and climb out.

We had a great gaggle formed up and we drifted to the edge of the cyl and at 2:30 many of us flew back upwind to get another start and then the clouds started to form to Arnie F and myself dove downwind while the 2 liners went back for a later start clock. The clouds were streeting up and it was a fast course, i got to 8,300 a few times and each cloud was working well.

I stayed high most of the course and i was making a long final glide form 28 kms out but my line to goal dropped out on me and i hit massive sink and was 14 km short of goal which was a 8km ESS cyl with a 5km goal cyl things did not look good for me as it was shutting down and i got to 1,200 ftr when i hit a bug fart that gained me about 700 ft at 120 fpm, i could see other pilots gliding for goal and so i went just in time to keep my goal posistion i was not able to land at goal but was just 2.16 short but in the goal cyl. It was a shortest day yet and the proof was 12 piltos in goal including Richard M who’s longest previous flight was 45 kms on his ancient dhv 1-2 ignition.

Today is the last day the this epic comp and we will be calling the longest task yet 200 km plus! We now have surpased the most miles ever flown in a US race to goal comp the previous record was set last summer in Chelan at 412 miles we are now at 460 miles with one task to go.

Stay tuned.

David Prentice

Lonestar nats: day five,task four 154 km dogleg to Palestine, Tx

Saturday, August 20th, 2011

We called this goal at the Palestine airport with a 1km TP in Teague, TX. it was a 154 kms task and some Palestine G.A. pilots had invited us to come land at the airport so we did.

We had three pilots in goal and several short of goal including Eric Reed,Chandler Papas,Marty D,Fredie Arnie F and myself. and it turns out that this giant ranch/farm that we landed on just 8 km short of goal is a maximum security state prison that is surrounded by 7,000 acres, we did’nt know we were on prison property till we were seen walking out with our packs on, then we were all detained, questioned, and were not allowed to leave until all the prisoners had been counted twice. We got home from that retrieve at 3:30 in the morning.

We pushed back Friday’s pilto briefing to 11:30 so pilots could sleep in a bit longer.

It was another 1,000 pt day.

LoneStar nats: day four, task three 140 kms

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

We had called a longer task at 117 miles to Cleburne but just before the start we saw a strong drift fromt he east which would make the task almost impossible so we did a quick task change and called a goal back in Hillsboro another 140 km goal.

The day started late, i towed up at 2:15 and stuck with one tow but every time i would climb out with some pilots theyu would glide back to the airport as no one was willing to go on course and eventually i dirted back at the airport and relaunched at 3:30, i had a goog gaggle with Tom Mistretta and Eric Reed.

We got to 3,800 ft before i made the first downwind glide finding a nice core at 2,500 ft and the rest of the day i never got low, we did get to over 8,000 ft and had some 1,600 fpm lift near a dust devil that brought dirt and debris from the ground to 7,500 ft agl.

Slowly eric Reed pulled away on his two liner and Tom M and myself stuck together more but i hooked a boomer and Tom got oinched so i was on my own and was 25 km from goal when i saw Eric Reed low i glided over his head and found a good thermal at 400 fpm at 7:00 p.m. that got me a 8 to 1 glide to the airport i was third into goal, the only serial class glider in goal.

We have now flown 285 miles in three tasks and with three days to go it seems certain we will set the record for the most miles ever flown in a US comp. We have heard that they flew 412 miles in Chelan last summer. If we just flew 50 miles a day we would  break that and our plan is to fly close to 100 miles everyday.

Stay tuned!

David Prentice.

LoneStar nationals:day three,task two 173 km.

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

Today we called what we believe to be the longest completed task in US Pg history, it was a downwind dogleg of 173 kms with Turnpoints in Kosse 40km out,Corsicana at 100kms out and goal in Ennis 173 kms out. The TP’s were set at 1km. Justin elliot won the day on his R.11 Eric Reed was second and Andy Macrae was third.

Justin’s gain was nearly 1,000 pts. and the field was strewn across course, with me and Arnie F dirting at 85kms after being at 7,700 ft agl early in the day and having some of the best clouds of the day pop over head on a day with very few cu’s at all most of them shredded up and short lived. But a giant blue hole and massive sink shut us down, but we were still happy as we pulled of a low save from 1,000 ft while a huge dust devil ripped from the earth just 300 m to the side of us, we had 1,600 fpm up and climbed to 7,700.

The rest of the week looks great and maybe even epic.

stay tuned.

David.

Lonestar nationals: day two,task one, 140 km

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

Yesterday the forecast was for 6mph winds at most altitudes but we had early pilot reports of stronger winds aloft so we went with the downwind task of 140 km to Hillsboro, Texas.

We had a much better launch logistics and most piltos got towed up in a timely manner, we had 15 min start gates to accomodate racing but not a race start since the winds were so strong.

I towed up at 1:40 and got a great tow with my bro Brian to 1,200 pinned off in a light thermal which drifted me out to the edge of the 5km start gate,Terry Bono was near me and dove downwind from 2,000 ft he was getting low so i glided back to the airport where i got down to 600 ft before i hooked into the next thermal which climbed to 3,000 ft then i saw two more gliders climbing out Andy M,Riss E, Eric Reed. We topped out a thermal at 3,800 ft and it was @2:16 i yelled to them lets go and we all dove downwind, Andy M was below us and he went out front, menawhile we all hit a small burble and started to turn, Andy glided on to Clavert and did’nt hit a thing dirting in Calvert, i knew we had to take it easy and stay high till things turned on better and it was about 45 minutes before we hit the first boomer at 1,000fpm.

We started to push faster Riss E was pimping off me most of the way following my lead, and after about 80 kms i saw Eric Reed catch up to us, as he had turned around for a later start.

We caught up to Terry Bono at the 100 km mark and Eric left us in the rear view mirror as he blazed on to goal.

I was 2nd into goal behind Eric R, Riss E was third followed by Terry B, there was a small group of pilots that arrived later who had faster times since they had taken a late start. Eric Reed got 988 points, 200 more then me. the was devalued due to 1/3 of the field not making more then 10 kms but only by 12 points.

Today looks to be a bigger day then yesterday and if the winds are what the forecast shows we will call the longest task ever in US history!

Stay tuned Y’all.

David Prentice.

Lonestar Nationals, day one, task one:Cancelled

Sunday, August 14th, 2011

The day started with thick clouds overhead and light winds, we had 9:30 pilot arrivals for video waiver signing and then tow operators briefing followed by the 10:30 pilot briefing, needless to say we got behind the curve and so things got pushed back, we had launch open at 12:30 with a race start 5 km from Hea 002 the center of the airport. Tp1 was in Rockdale with a 5km cyl and then return to Hea002 about 90km.

After the pilot meeting ended and we walked outside and the sky had changed with awesome cu’s everywhere and  some of them growing quickily.

We were preparing at the north end of the runway as per usual but then the wind shifted north and while i was getting more pilots at the HQ a few pilots decided to move to the south end of the runway and so it took time to move everything tot he south end so we moved back the start time to 2:30, we towed up the first pilot at 2:45 but with light winds he just did’nt get very high. The winds came in from the west and the cross/light cycles proved very hard for the 2 liners.

We had five tow rigs ready to go and pilots were lining up to tow, so i got ready and was quickily the man up, i took a dicey cycle that no one else wanted and i was able to make it work but only due to many years of tow experience. After a low tow of only 800 ft i pinned off into a small thermal and workd it up to 3,000 ft then it turned on and i was at base in no time, then it was cloud avoidance as it was lifting everywhere. As we moved toward the 5km cyl a shaft of rain began to fall to our N.W. and then there was a line of showers to our N.E. we were waiting for the start to open at base Eric R, Fredie B, Myself i could see tow rigs on the ground lined up ready to go and pilots layed out but no one was getting towed, the cross/light wind made launching hard and pilots were slow to get airborne and with only 500 to 800 ft tow they were back on the ground in no time.

There was talk of canceling the task due to the slow launching as not every pilot would have a fair chance to get to the start cyl in time to race. I personally thought that with only three pilots high ready to start and 35 minutes still left it was not needed to cancel the task but instead let pilots race and the scoring software would sort out the points. Not long after i saw a shaft of rain start falling east of us upwind  i radioed to the Meet Director and the task was canceled just moments later.

It was certainly a good shake down day and we will have some improvements for tomorrow but now we have proof that the  Paraglider competition scene has some bad weather jinx attached to it, It has not rained here in Texas for over a year and of course today the sky grew dark and virga fell from the clouds and rain drops dotted the streets. The bright side of things is we know that we can bring rain to drought stricken areas.

After the task was canceled i flew back to the airport and spiraled down and as i did there were four pilots climbing out like home sick angels.

Tomorrow the weather looks much better! and Tuesday looks like record setting conditions.

Stay tuned!

David.

Blast off! Lonestar national championships lifts off!

Sunday, August 14th, 2011

Why is it that every time we gather for a comp the weather seems to show it’s worst face?

Red rocks in Utah had only two days out of seven and most every comp worldwide has been plagued by crap weather.

It’s not so bad here in Texas but as the comp pilots rolled in yesterday the darkest clouds that have been seen here in many months loomed off to our west and the winds switched to N.W. which i basically a miracle here in south Texas this time of year.

Most pilots got up for a tow or two and several pilots stuck around 2:30 even with the totally shaded sky.

This morning the weather forecast shows a 20% chance of showers with calm winds becoming S.W. at 5mph there is a thick layer of cloud covering the sky but there is some blue patches to our east. Today looks like it may be weak compared to what we saw last week but this should be gone by the start of Mondays task as it’s calling for S.S.W winds at 5 mph.

The national champion will be decided here over the next 7 days as the Red Rocks nats with only two tasks will not hold any validity if we end up flying more then two tasks which seems impossible to not get to do.

We have Dean Stratton,Eric Reed,Marty Devieti, and 4 other pilots flying the new 2 liners which have proven to tow just like any other wing, if the pilots can get the thing up over head.

More history making details soon so stay tuned!

David Prentice

Yet again the bar is raised!

Saturday, August 13th, 2011

Fredie did’nt like it that we broke his 120.5 mile record while he was driving retrieve for the three of us who broke his record so yesterday with no retrival options available and while the other pilots opted to stay local Fredie got off early and flew another site record of 137 miles.

That’s three days in a row of record beating conditions.

Lonestar nationals start tomorrow morning!

Stay tuned!

David Prentice.

Hearne, yep it’s all that! another new site record.

Friday, August 12th, 2011

Yesterday three of us hooked up at the 30 mile mark and gaggleed for the next five hours.

we had cloudbase at 7,000 ft agl and climbs were smooth at 400 to 1,400 fpm and we landed on plush grass in Tolar Texas setting a new site record of 130 miles.

So when i say you can fly over 100 miles here everyday it’s no joke!

T-2 days till the most epic comp in comp history begins.

Has there ever been a comp where a 100 mile plus task has been called everyday?

Get ready it’s about to happen.

Stay tuned!

David Prentice