četrtek, 19. september 2013

Speedgliding Tolmin 2013

For the first time we did a speedgliding event in Tolmin. Friends who where organising Soča Outdoor festival where happy to invite us hang glider pilots to make something new at event.
Th eidea was to have two virtual cylinders one on castle top above Tolmin and one in center of Tolmin with goal at official landing.

The weather seemed perfect for the race, a bit strong wind on take off but September already killed most of the "lively" air, so we had quite a smooth run down.
In the end only 5 pilots showed up so we changed the mode gear from competitive to show and fun.
I made a goal line right after the festival area so we had to zoom in over people at 4pm when there where lots of spectators there.
In the morning other pilots convinced me that turnpoint in the middle of the town is too close and we wont be able to get down low enough to make it look good. Well, I listened and changed...
We made a lottery with starting numbers and I got the last one :) I never tried the course so I did not knew what to expect. Stanko went first... They where all calculating the glides and where saying we will have to be on full speed all the time.... :)
Stanko did it so fast that he in the end missed the castle, first turnpoint :D From there on it was just pure show for the people.

I took of did, the castle and then went of another one which was far far far, I had to slow down a bit to make it to the line just 3 meters above the ground. Seems like I should not listen to our smart guys as my turnpoint would work out great. It was nice to hear people cheering for the pilots when they came low over their heads and speaker who was explaining to the people what we are actually doing.
In the end best time was from Franc but he never looked at the gps so we have him on suspicious line :D Second was me and then Alan.

I got a nice feedback from people that it looked nice. They only see us from far away but having a chance to listen to the glider at top speeds was something new for everyone.
Next year I will make it bigger, but pilots will have to pay in advance as I had to pay big portion of transport for many pilots that did not showed up ... :)

Here is a raw video from a friend who was filming at the castle with his GoPro

torek, 10. september 2013

Weeks among the jell... pilots

After Kobala open I was kindly invited to help people at Camp Gabrje
at their two paragliding competitions with my video and picture skills.
First there was German open and then Serial Cup last week. Specially Serial Cup stayed in nice memory as it is kind of different format of the competition. Fun like, with a note to give knowledge of best guys forward. Few best pilots sat on more slower school gliders and where marked with a plastic rope behind them. In the evenings each of them prepared a lecture for the new upcoming pilots.
It was nice to see the organisation from this point of view. Gasper the organizer has miles behind him in this business and you can see that straight away. FAI 2 cat competition, but organized nearly like FAI 1.

I got a chance to fly new Pawn a school paraglider from Triple Seven Paragliders
and actually flew half way of Vipava valley. It would be interesting to see my face during 5 m/s thermals when paraglider suddenly goes far back while entering the thermal. I was told Pawn is really good at that, so it does not go so far back, but for a hg pilot this sensation is just weird, even if it goes back just a bit :)
When I left the thermal, normally I hit the sink, but with my hg wing I just pull in and get out, here I was stuck in this sink for seconds and was already pulling my legs out at 200 m over the ridge :) You just need to get used to the new feelings.

This weekend we will have a small speedgliding event in Tolmin which I will organize. I hope there will be enough curious people watching it at the landing as there is major party afterwards at Soca Outdoor Festival.

In the mean time, my brother got instructor for him and started the course of hang gliding. He was asking m but I said he needs to arrange it all by himself to show that he really wants that :) Well, I was impressed to see the skills on the training hill and I am looking forward for some winter flights with him. Family tradition goes on :)

As I said we had a lecture from Markoo Hrgetic, one of the best if not the best Croatia pilot who presented an lecture on how to make the best position at starting cylinder. Most of you will know all of it but I think it is a good refreshment and really good lesson for the newer pilots coming up. Here is the video:

torek, 13. avgust 2013

Kobala open 2013, task n1

We had a short 78 km task today, because front was coming later in the day.
Conditions where quite strong and turbulent but many pilots made it to the goal after the task that ran up and down the valley.
We formed a leading group of four pilots and finished the task quite fast. Franc was first, Iztok was second, my mistake after gliding to slow in unpredicted conditions but I should get quite some leading points.
Tomorrow looks like a rain day, pilots might go to Reggae festival that starts here tonight. But, you never know, too much flying during the night might be costly for next day if a miracle happen :D

Sent from my wonderful Nokia Lumia 920

torek, 06. avgust 2013

Home sweet home

The heat wave came to Slovenia as well, no clouds, only the mountain peaks, inviting from far to come up and cool down a bit. But getting there is a long way trough few inversion layers.
I remember a season where I have not seen the top of mountain Krn for nearly whole year, this year there is nearly no flight where I would not get sight on the top of it.

Paragliders had their nationals here so I flew some times with them, with the task getting back to Triglav I joined them and flew close to Triglav but in the end I even made it back to Tolmin. Wonderful flight, short but nice.
From 12th to 18th we have traditional Kobala open, a competition where I mostly did most of mistakes thinking I know the area :) Now it will be just an open competition not nationals anymore so the pressure will be smaller and I might change my tactics here.
After that, on 14th of September I will organize a speed gliding event.Soca Outdoor Festival which will be held here at that time. I hope for lots of spectators that will watch our sport over their heads.
A fun competition with only one run from Kobala to the castle, church and then landing, all packed in the

sreda, 31. julij 2013

Cucco task 4

After the front came over us, the wind turned to the N so Cucco N take
off was waiting for us. Task of 70 km was set of flying to Tree Pizzi take off, then running the ridge with coming back to the goal bellow take off. After the start it looked like we will have a blast day. It went up to 2000m so race mode was on. I started quite good but soon after flying on the the ridge of Tree Pizzi things changed. No clouds, wind that was running from N in the same direction as ridge made us flying in quite turbulent and scattered thermals that needed a lot of patience to get anywhere.

This is the thing that is still missing in my flying, on the days like this I am still so optimistic that next ridge ahead of me will be better, yet in the end it only makes you land while others wait for half an hour in the thermal to gain the height to go on. I landed soon after turning back from Tree Pizzi.
Alex and Christian also raced them selves to the ground yesterday, while Florian from Italy was the only one in goal. I lost a nice place and fell down to 9th now. Well, 2 years ago I would be jumping to the roof with this result so lets say it is still ok :)

Today looks like really strong NE wind with cloudbase lower than windmills.

Yesterday results here, overall here

torek, 30. julij 2013

Cucco task 3

You won`t believe but there was a task yesterday and I did not fly it. It was fully covered sky with zero lift, so we where all waiting on take off on what will happen. Word went out that it will be cancelled so I waited. In the mean time there was one young Italian pilot who dared to push things on by taking off. He was escorted with whistling.
At that moment wind suddenly picked up so much that we had to hold our gliders to not be thrown away. I was trying to get the idea what is happening in the minds of organizers as we had only few minutes left to take off. Few pilots went off while most of us where too late to take off. In the end I think 6 pilots eventually started the task with first one making quite some km as the day turned on later on. But, there was also rain at the landing quite soon, so I believe it was not totally right decision from the organizers part yesterday. First one received 45 points, exactly the one behind me :) So, it will be a bit more tight race than day before :)
After the window with no extensions was off, we could take off and play around famous Cucco take off. I was here last time on Worlds in 2011 and was here now first time with Moyes glider. Man, that was so easy now, landings, swooping all at finger change. I loved it.

In the evening we had a nice dinner on take off restaurant with really good Umbria food. We had a chance to see the front coming and it looked like someone draw an art picture, see it yourself.

Today we are going to Cucco north, but organizers are quite skeptic with strong wind. Another nerve game I guess :)

ponedeljek, 29. julij 2013

Cucco task 2

Yesterday we had a bit smaller task of just under 100 km up and down the ridge in Sigillo valley. Bigger cylinders where perfect for my new instrument as I was able to optimize them much better than with my old compeo.
There was much more wind on take off than previous day but to me it felt like thermals where just a bit more organised than the day before.
I was first on the edge of cylinder but missed the last thermal with Alex and Christian so the chase begin from behind. Quite a big group pushed forward to the very first turnpoint to the south where they got punished by bad air lower. I choose more straight line and got a nice lift back to Cucco where we raced the lower ridge. Anyone who flew here knows of the small hills bellow take off. It was quite nerve braking run but seems like I got the most of it right there. After that I flew alone looking at Davide Alex and Christian few km ahead of me.

A flight out to the flats that worked quite nice and straight to goal. All of them three where there already but I got told that Davide took the wrong first turnpoint which put him in such a lead in the beginning, so the day before it was me and now Davide. But missing the first one or the last one is big difference.

Results from yesterday HERE, overall HERE, my flight HERE

Today it looks like that strong wind that was trying to move my car during the night will die down a but, but there are showers expected later on during the day. My guess something shorter.

nedelja, 28. julij 2013

Monte Cucco task 1

First day was normal Cucco day, with wind from W, perfect to use Cucco south take off. There was only some clouds missing in the air but we gave it a go with 134 km task.
Day was switching on and off in the air, thermals where really a lottery with no signs on how to turn it, but patience made you go higher, only patience. 
We flew south trough the no landing gap to Assisi area, where I had quite some struggle to get trough. After 5 hours I landed in goal seeing that only Alex and Christian made it so far. After some talk and hearing that Davide landed at Gubbio I noticed something is wrong here and so I found out that task was changed during the briefing when I did not payed enough attention having all the points already set up. 
Alex changed it during the briefing as it seemed to short for him, well in the end it was a bit too long :) But for me not the right one. I was really pissed off, but by having guilt on both sides I had to shut up and sleep it trough.
I even saw quite some hang gliders flying exactly the route I had in, but it looks like they where all free fliers.
Today looks like they will play around with big cylinders, perfect for my Oudie3. 
We have quite a heat wave here, even if it is 20°c less than Australia it sometimes feels worse here with moisture in the air.
Results can be found here. My flight here 

petek, 26. julij 2013

Tolmin unplugged

After spending a day at the sea site, we moved to Tolmin and actually set up a caravan in the nearby camp Gabrje where you get a transport to Kobala take off and you have a landing right next to the camp. Picture perfect and a good change to the laziness at the beach.

I got a nice flight on the basic route to Gemona, coming back there is a fresh Soča river waiting to cool you down and lots of friends in the evening. Just could not ask for more.

As competition season is coming to a slow end, I searched on where I could possibly go to fly next competition before our Kobala open in Tolmin. Cucco was the most financially balanced way to do it, so I have already packed and in few hours I will be travelling down to Ancona and then to Umbria, 2011 World Championship site. Looks like a good weather is waiting for us, I hope for W wind to fly one of the nicest take offs in the world, Cucco top.

Now, lets hit the road.

nedelja, 21. julij 2013

Off-line, Buzet open 2013

Yes, it has been a while since I wrote anything to my so "up to date" blog. This time I thought of flying in Croatia as a time off for me, time to relax on most peaceful place at Raspadalica take off camp, with out electricity and WiFi.
That is why I unplugged everything, even if I had an internet connection at the most untouched place like Raspadalica take off is, but anyway I remain to just have most of the time to fly and relax.
Well, it seemed to work, I ended up first for the first time in the overall ranking in FAI 2 competition. There is a big cut to this glory by knowing there was only 10 of us who came to compete there, but in the end I had 3 really good pilots in the game to count on.
The game changes a lot when you fly with less people, I found my self twice in the leading position at the very first 20 % of the task and had to just fly my own XC flying which in the end showed up as a good example of flying in Istra.
3 good tasks, with first one, neck to neck racing with Joze and Primoz, where Joze took his glory by overtaking me for 2 seconds.
Next two tasks where made in a very hard rough air, where we had to really struggle for the position, but in the end, I was always making it, and making it so good that I had to fly by myself to the goal.
It helped a lot, that I was there flying already 7th year in a role, knowing the terrain, but E wind was still making lots of questions on how to fly the task in this wind that we where definitely not used to.
One big exception was there this year. I was pleased to have been invited to test new Oudie3 from Naviter. The company that runs the See You programming for really long time. Now they decided to give it a go, with super computer whit the knowledge that they have from the programming and flying skills. They came up with this product that has a vario that I can finally hear, a super dedicated map flying where every cylinder that we had to take in the flats, even if I knew where it was, I gained some 100 m from the Compeo fliers next to me.
I have it just to test it, till the autumn where the pitot tube will come to satisfy the hang gliding world. Until then, I will try to give the ideas that would satisfy our long needed change in flying instruments. You re invited to join the conversation of what you miss on your flying computer! Just type in the ideas to the comment section bellow.

After the competition me and my girlfriend decided to take a chance by visiting the coast at the beautiful Croatia islands with purest water you can see. The plan was to be there until Tuesday, but after one day of laying at the beach, we both agreed to just change the position to Tolmin where things can happen. We are just not the type of people to lay down and relax for "too" long time. Some, ok, but too long, not.

Croatia open organizers will do their best to bring more people to the competition next year, I am sure that they will make it as it is just an amazing place to fly and maybe in the end, most reliable of the Europe ones.

If anyone has any suggestions for the hang gliding part of the programming of the Oudie3, I will be really happy to hear from you all, the guys working behind that are great and will do their best to finally make a new step in the hang gliding competition instrument evolution.
You have the word here!

Now, Cucco?, Berlin? I want to compete! :D

sobota, 13. julij 2013

Slovenia nationals task 3

The last day looked like the most promising of all, but a call to the weather station on Kovk shocked us all. Really strong NE wind which put in doubts even Lijak take off.
We where waiting on Lijak to see what happens and wind slowly started to go down while we had really nice wind to take off there all day. Looking at the birds more outside it was clear that famous rotor was to small at the time to fly it.
Wind died down to the normal range, so we set up a short task. Soon after take off we knew that day is really good and the clouds started to form. I had a really great start and was doing great until I saw that my GPS did not turned the start even if I was turning with the rest of the group at the same point. I lied to my self, that everything should be ok and went on with stone in my stomach. Then the low battery warning came which was another super inspiration for flying.
I had a great run and decided to risk going out to the flat a bit lower and coming back to Lijak take off, while group behind me took straight line out and to the turnpoint while they overcome me by few km. I raced the ridge and got in to the goal 10 minutes behind Primoz who won the day.
I slipped my 3rd place in nationals ranking. It seems really hard to be good in such a great field of pilots as Slovenia have lately. This should be a great team for the Euros next year. I feared most that, my punishment for not flying in to unsafe conditions will come out as it is. The precious points that meet director took from me by deciding to stop the task half an hour later than it was said to be, got me in to position where I am now with standings. The answer was, that either way task had to be stopped at 16:30, when they set it at 17h and when you cut half an hour from it, in the end you get 16:30 :) Smart ass...
Congrats to new National champion Iztok who deserves the place and Alan for second place, they both showed good flying on all days, everything else was pure lottery with exception of last day.
There was a group opinion that this competition was run really bad. I feel sorry for foreign pilots and hope they wont think this kind of meet running as this meet director had is common for Slovenian races.
No weather report, points sent to GPS-es in different formats, flying while organizing in dangerous weather and so on. I could count more.
Results HERE, pictures from the last day HERE
Now a bit of rest for two days and then Buzet open!

sreda, 10. julij 2013

Slovenia nationals, task 2

I was looking strange when our organizer called us to go to Kovk take off, which most unsuitable take off for Bora wind which was predicted for today. I even did not rigged, as I was sure things are not going to change. Well, while I was typing the coordinates to my Oudie instrument, (we will talk about it more later this summer) I saw that the wind changed for a bit longer period.
Task was set to 118 km which took us up and down the ridge all the way trough rotors of Caven to Lijak in Nova Gorica and back to Nanos.
After slow start we started the race at amazing 2500 m, unbelievable... Clouds where growing and we smelt some troubles in the air, but the race was one. I had a good start but picked up pa bad line and had to fight to get back to the first group. I managed to get them half the way. Some pilots took the line behind Caven and got enormous height and glided to Gorice while rest of us raced lower.
On the way back a decent shower built ahead of us, lighting came, that is where I decided to go down and not risk of flying trough the shower when there was another one waiting behind it.
There will be a lottery with results, another day with lottery :/ If they accept stopped task. There might be a chance that they even cancel it, but I hardly believe this will happen.
I was in a good position at the moment so lets see what lottery will bring up.
After all the land is soaked now, I think tomorrow forecast will not give us a chance to fly, but let us see what happens. Friday finally looks like a normal day, so we will get a chance to do proper racing.
After that I am preparing to go to Croatia. I lost many points for my national team because of Trofe Carlo Zanchetin. Don`t know who is responsible for that but in the end my third place there won`t count for FAI points, which makes a big difference in fight for the place for European Championship next year in Spain. Still looking forward to fly in Buzet with most reliable weather so far.

Organizers are doing their best to have things running up on net with pictures on Facebook, results are a bit slow on HERE. Enjoy the multimedia ;)

torek, 09. julij 2013

Slovenia nationals task 1

First day we got a day with a bit less Bora wind. This is strong east wind, but we have a miracle take off here that is hidden from this wind and we can still fly. The task was set to 69 km with two triangles as there is not much space, where you can play with task, but in the end it turned out to have enough twists of big tasks.
I took off an was going well with first group where we started really high, at around 2300 m which is really high here. First two points where in the area where clouds where still developing but then we had to go out. We took a straight line and hoped for a good air at the other side of the valley on the "wind" side of the hills, but knowing what a gamble it was we just found some lift that drifted us far from the way. I made a glide back to the goal, where I was on the way to the 4th turnpoint and landed there. The whole group landed and it seemed like there is no ticket to get back from that far point.
1 hour later, guys took care and went a bit back to the good air and went for a further point from there and making it.
Iztok Jarc won the day ahead of Alan Sattler second and Frim Jože in third place. All of the rest will be in the zone where we landed.
Traditional first day for me, but with a good start and good gaggle to go on.
Tomorrow looks kind of the same wit less wind. I think Lijak all over again.

ponedeljek, 08. julij 2013

Slovenia nationals 2013

It has been a while since I wrote anything on my blog, but this still does not mean that nothing was going on. I just refuse to sit next to computer too much. My neck is still causing some problems and sitting next to computer does not help at all.
In the mean time we made a photo shooting day with Samo Vidic, professional Slovenian photographer. I survived flying with Canon Mark III on the tail, with some counter balance of course.

Next project was for Nokia, where we spent two days filming solely with Lumia 920 phones, I cant tell you much more, but I think this will be something special to see :)
Today, on Monday we have first day of our nationals here in Vipava valley, but some drops of rain and strong Bora wind predicted is calling for a day off for today. Tomorrow looks good.

sreda, 19. junij 2013

Another check in my bucket list

As I was writing in my latest post, I had to go to Red Bull HQ on Monday morning without knowing what is about to happen. We drove from Ljubljana to the east with me having no clue or what so ever of what we will be doing on that day.

Even when we turned at a big sign of the Slovenj Gradec airfield I still could not put the puzzle together.
A guy who came to sit at our table started to talk about this day arrival of The Flying Bulls, that is when goosebumps came in to the action. They where about to come with two helicopters from the fleet of Red Bull Flying Bulls.
I feel so privileged already with having a taste of Zero G flight, now I was going to fly the helicopter upside down which not so many people in the world had a taste of.
I remember many years ago in Bassano when we where there with my parents when there was a helicopter doing some wingovers, but this is most likely to be a wilder ride than this one in Bassano.
Two helicopters landed, legendary Cobra and German BO105 CB.
I was there to fly with a great pilot Rainer Wilke. Even if I am so much more used to have wings and rotor
blades don`t give me so much confidence, I felt totally safe in hands of such a machine and such pilot.
We took off and soon started with a small wingover, everything goes so smooth, the G forces are strong from time to time, but they are developing slower than in fixed wing aerobatics. One of the most interesting things was to get the helicopter banking back, slipping back slowly and then go for a front tumble with a bit of zero gravity moment. Not something a hang glider pilot would like to feel on a hang glider but here it was sooooo much fun. I truly enjoyed every part of the flight, from looking at how they heat up the engine to the flying it self. With one word, unbelievable!

I have to thank to Red Bull for this one of a kind experience and of course to the Flying Bulls team as well, for letting me have a taste of something so extra ordinary.
You can have a taste of it trough the video that I made, 1080p please ;)

ponedeljek, 17. junij 2013

Trofeo Carlo Zanchetin (Day 2)

Little bit late as we had to drive back yesterday and there was no time in the evening to do the blog work. On Sunday last day of nice Trofeo Carlo Zanchetin we flew another 94 km task with lower cloudbase. They choose another take off over Revine, I remember that place from two years ago when we also flew from here. I did a bad start and was soon quite behind the first group but things changed later on during the race so I catch up with Davide who was third from the first day. We crossed the valley quite low but got a thermal that made us cross the plateau to Aviano. In the last thermal we where together with Davide and Arturo who where a bit higher than me and the long glide out to the flat was calling for proper height as there was a lot of sink the day before there.
Thermal died, they both left and I just had to get that extra 50 m to do the glide out so I took my time to find another thermal and secure third place with a nice glide to the goal.
Alex won both tasks with decent lead, Davide Guiducci came to second place and I finished third.
Looks like I finally made two days of flying with less mistakes. Glider is superb, every thermal is a place to relax and think of the flying ahead.
I need to thank the Rova familly here for their hospitality every year, they let us sleep at their place in their wonderful garden. Thank you for everything.

So, I rushed home, as they where planing some stuff with me at Red Bull for Monday morning which I was not told about. Here is a picture to see what was happening today, story and the video tomorrow :D

sobota, 15. junij 2013

Troffeo Carlo Zabchetin

First day I nearly stayed at home as I still did not felt ok with my neck. Alan told me to go and see what happens during the day. We went early in the morning on the road to Revine.
Two day competition with 30 pilots, mostly from Italy, but as always in Italy, strong pilots as you would expect from World team champs.
Little bit over 100 km long task that went trough nicely for me as I ended up second behind Alex with Davide behind me.
Looks like neck will survive this test, we will see on Monday :)

Sent from my wonderful Nokia Lumia 920

sreda, 12. junij 2013

You spin me round round

Last three weeks where not spent in the way I would like to be spent. Problem with my neck muscles and nerves came to this stage that I felt quite some spinning trough the day. Some days I felt better and went for flying with feeling that it is getting better but it just got worse. Few stressful visits to the doctors and we found out where is the problem that causes my problems. Now massage at sport therapist made me get back in shape and ready for flying. I have to say that weather was cooperating with me as ti was a bit easier to lay down and wait it trough.
This weekend there is postponed competition in Revine. 6 competitions cancelled after our Winter race here so I am really looking forward to get in the air with other pilots.

Yesterday we had a small seminar with Red Bull at Red Bull ring in Austria. It was nice to meet all athletes from the team and spend real fun day at the track. Driving off road buggies and the cherry top KTM screaming machines. I tend to drive normal on the road but this was just amazing to drift 400 kg with 250+ horse power, but,... racing in the air is racing in the air.
I guess I better not tell my therapist about yesterday :D

sreda, 15. maj 2013

Red Bull 400, run to the mountain

In the last post I was writing about going to Planica for the event Red Bull 400 run. I am still here, I survived with no real training and it was a lot of fun.
The competition was made from two runs, where 5 groups of 50 people rushed to the steep slope of Planica ski flying jump and from each group 10 people where finalists.
I was in the last group. I don`t know why, but I felt some adrenalin rush before the gun for the start. I learned to stay calm before take off in hang gliding competitions, but here I could not help myself :)
First run was made only to the place where ski jumpers jump. I came up somewhere in the middle of the group and definitely not in the final ones.
I was dead on top. Really dead, last 40 meters my legs where not working properly anymore and my lungs where catching last breath. I thought that I won`t go for the second run to the top.
As I came down I was soon feeling ok, but still had doubts about running to the very top. But, as the speaker announced the second run is about to begging for "lucky losers I said to myself: "I came here to run to the top".
Lumia 920 shot 

Feeling more relaxed and knowing that goal is just top, not to be there fast I started a bit slower and went on till the top with out any problems. First people passed me, after the point where we stopped in the first run, I was passing others. You really need to know how to do it, and people who have done it before, had a chance to make it better than the rest of us who came there totally unprepared.
I came to the top so easily that I even did not need to sit down and catch a breathe, I just walked back down. I think next time when event will happen, I will go again and prepare myself just a little bit. It is just such a fun competition.
I left my GoPros at home, but as soon as I came to our GoPro Slovenia stand who where also sponsoring the event, I had GoPro on me in no time :) If you have 5 minutes, you can look at how the pace goes down in last meters and with chesty mount, you can even hear my drumming hard beat in the end.

And the pro version video of the event HERE

torek, 07. maj 2013

Comp season?

I guess most visited web sites among Europe pilots now are weather sites,
well that might be always :) Austria open was postponed, so 5th competition was gone. I hope next week it turns out better to fly this competition. New area for me there but am really looking forward for some competition flying.
I tried a new mount that Alexandra is using on a daily basis. Batten sticking out from the nose, I don`t know how she makes it, I just strapped a batten to the keel hoping for a good landing. In case of bad landing it would punch trough the sail so better be confident about your landings before doing this.
As Austria open was postponed I rushed to work to change the free days, luckily I was able to switch the days and yet got a Sunday free. On Sunday, there will be an interesting competition in Planica. Red Bull 400 is a competition where runners compete against each other on running up to the flying ski jumping hill. It used to be the biggest in the world before they build a new one in Vikersund 2 years ago.
I remember the days when we went to train there when I was a young boy, we where jumping on 90m hill but I was always looking at the summer times to start the real flying. But, in the end watching them flying with skis makes me want to start it all over again. I think wingsuiters have some kind of same sensation when they fly over the rocks, changing their position with just a small moves on the body.
So, many years ago I was flying down, now I will try to run up. I am not in some great shape for running but I will give it a try and I need to get to the top, even on all four :D
Here is a video of the competition from last year

ponedeljek, 29. april 2013

Busy week

Remember my trip to Australia for World Championship this January? I was
there for three weeks and have been lucky enough to sleep at Roylance family that kindly took me and Tyler under their roof for whole time of staying in Forbes.
You can not imagine how much important it was to have a cool down place to sleep, a truly relaxed family to carry our ups and downs trough the competition, a lovely lady that was always willing to cook something for us. All in all, Roylances had a big role in our relaxed mood trough out the hell a like temperatures and epic long flying down under.
We talked about their trip to Europe this spring where we found out that with a small detour on their route, they could come on a visit to my place which I was pleased to show.
Few emails and whola, I suddenly saw a familiar face in my street, Debbie and Chris at my door. World is small, when you travel it a bit :)
I thought of the options that I could show them in only 1 day time and got trough the main views in our valley with Tolminka gorge and few mountain rides up with the car to see the views of our nature around. I felt myself like a tourist and Chris ones asked me, do I appreciate the surroundings I have at my home. My answer was that, after you go around and see places, you see many beautiful places that your foot step on to but in the end you also start to see your home a little bit different, more beautiful, not just as something granted. How to give back as much as possible in one day, while we where making noise in their house for nearly 3 weeks? I thought of only one thing that could make Chris day a remembering day here, a tandem ride with a hang glider. Sun came out, wind was perfect so we took a ride from Kobala in to the air. Not quite long flight but am sure a memorable one.

After a nice dinner they went on to Italy, while for me, the air was waiting. We flew two days with quite stable conditions, the Rx is proving on every flight to be the best choice for any kind of weather, racing, punchy small thermals anything you name it. I am really satisfied with this glider.
I hoped to fly another competition in Laveno but it was a third competition that had to be cancelled this year. Hope that for Austria open, skies clear up enough that we go on with comp season that I am really looking forward to.
On Thurdays I stopped at the local airfield to meet the guy who runs the scholl for trike flying which I am looking a bit in to, maybe after the season. We ve meet an old friend that works at Pipistrel factory, running numerous hours in the planes, I see him there working every time I stop by. He offered a flight to us, so I was happy to have my camera in my pocket, ups, Lumia 920 that captured a bit of loops and spins we did with it. Loved it! I hope one day we make it to fly a Taurus sailplane up to our mountains, a sailplane where you seat next to each other not like normally behind each other.

torek, 16. april 2013

Spring is here

This weekend there where two comps scheduled in Austria and

I really looked forward to have a competition again, but the weather took its roll again. For Vipava however, it was looking great, so I choose to stay here and take as much flying out of free days that I got for myself.
Stephan and Achim from Germany contacted me, they wanted to escape from Germany and get out to the sun that was coming this weekend after long time of rainy weather.
My living room changed to a hostel again :) It is nice when you have a place to offer to people when they come to enjoy our sky.
On Saturday me and Davide where planing for big triangle but in the morning high clouds made us rolling out of the house really slowly, so we took off at 2 pm, but still I had a nice flight around Gorica area with nearly landing in Deskle after clouds shaded the valley off Soca and made
me scratching trees for quite some long time.
Next day was looking quite average, Polona and the rest of the young hang gliding team went to Kovk, we went to the ramp here thinking about flying to Ajdovscina and joining them.
After take off, we all found nice lift and suddenly clouds started to appear on the edge of Banjska plateau, ticket to Tolmin I said. Only one cloud and then a 25 km flight over high plateau but at 2000 m I decided to go for it. Davide changed his mind and went flying far to south to Vremscica, while Achim and Stephan tried to get higher. Flying to Tolmin went smoothly, so with both of my GoPros ready, I was looking at the white summits of our Julian Alps, hoping to get up to them and film this big amount of snow.
After returning from Stol I suddenly found Achim next to me, so we went straight to the mountains behind Tolmin. It was impossible to get back to Gorica, we tried but all clouds where gone already.
A bit of fun before landing with swooping the castle ruins above Tolmin which are clear of high trees now, be aware tourist now :) There will be quite some fun up there from now on I think :D
Needless to say that there where two happy faces on landing that day :)
After all, I had also filmed all of it, so I can share this moments with you. Speakers loud on, 4 minutes of time, 1080 HD please and... Enjoy :)

četrtek, 11. april 2013

Tracklogs from Worlds in Forbes

Sander van Schaik made this nice photoshop file of the tracks that we have made in Australia marathon World Champs in January. I came up with an idea to imprint them in to the map of Slovenia with the same measurements and look how it looks like. Nothing special to a XC pilot but I think very nice shot to show to people who are not familiar with our sport. I get this questions lots of time, how far can you fly, how long time etc. This picture tells a story how it looked like to fly this epic Worlds. Imagine you fly exhausted for many days and you land nearly in Munchen, then you rush back home, throw something in to yourself and next morning you need to be all prepared for another round of 200 km of flying.
I remember that when we took of with a plane from Sydney I fell a sleep and woke up 3/4 way to Dubai. I sleepd for nearly 9 hours. Iranian guy next to me was nearly laughing when he saw my face looking at the screen where we are. He said: "Man you had to have hard time in Australia". Hard, but sweet! :D
As we are looking at the picture of Worlds track logs, each line represents one task of 10 days that we flew. Some went far away, some where triangles, so you even don`t get the right impression of all the long flying. But, lets take a look at the World record that Jonny and Dustin where on too and was made by Dustin in the end. This is how it would look like to fly a hg World record from Nova Gorica.

Quite impressive I would say :) Imagine your phone call after landing. "Hey there, you have some time to come to pick me up?". Hm, yes... "Ok, I am close to Netherlands, take your time" :D

ponedeljek, 08. april 2013

Dreaming awake

Basssano ended up in rain for whole 5 days. Last day they manage to set up a small task but no one made it quite far. I used this time to work more and get my days off for upcoming events. Kulm cross country looks like might be the next, but, again there are some strange forecasts for the weekend.
Primoz called me from Bassano to join me on Monday to fly on Lijak as it looked like the only place to be flyable this time. I found out that getting my GoPro hero black on the sprog in our, "big rotor" conditions, is not the best idea. It worked nice in smooth Stanwell air but here it was sometimes to much as you need to jump in to the small cores of bumpy air over Lijak. I will need to make this magnetic stuff for the wing.
Never the less we flew, which is like a miracle gift this spring.
I use the days with too much wind to bike a bit and get some condition training with that. It is just nice to be outside after such a long period of rain.
Yesterday I got to find a new cut from Dreaming awake movie that is in the making under David Aldrich control. Really really quality stuff, I hope they come out with great story that will connect this amazing footage from steady cam systems and helicopter filming. If you have few minutes to sit down and relax take a ride with Dustin Jeffs and David on a flight over Big Sur.

Dreaming Awake in Big Sur from David Aldrich on Vimeo.