Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Lumby meet

June 11th to 13th we took our VW Westfalia camper van to Lumby with the kids. What a great experience, the kids loved the camping, Lumby days with all the activities and the parties in the evenings. Randy Rauck did an excellent job organizing the event and what really made this event so great was that all pilots/friends/families could camp on site, party and share their stories.
Friday was very warm but still very unstable we only got a couple sled rides done late afternoon.
Saturday started great but turned to a stable day. Only one person (Claudio) made goal in paragliding and John McClintok in Hang gliding. The days where hot and I am certainly not used to wait for a long time on sunny launch sites without a hat. After 2 hours of flying I got a huge headache (due dehydration) which made me land (after a total of 2.5 hours flying time). I was kind of bummed as I knew I could have done better then 10th for the day.
Sunday was sunny and hot again with a strong wind in the forecast. After we where on launch at Copper, the task got moved to Saddle Mountain (across from Copper) we decided to follow Randy Parkin and fly at "Boldy" (by Vernon) After I launched I could sky out to over 2000 meters and headed to Lumby. The winds got stronger and the wind was blowing along the Lumby ridge, which forced me to land just south of Lumby.
Overall a great flight considering that really no flights could be done from Saddle Mountain and the comp ended with only one task.
Sunday was also the 1st day of the Canadian Hang gliding Nationals and there was a great crowed for Sunday night as well. We stayed one more night and again I could see again how much fun the social part of flying events can be.
My message is to not only see a Comp/Event as a serious competition and get stressed about it. See these Comps/Events as a reason for a good party, good flying and a great learning experience as you fly and talk to many people alike.
Our next meet we will attend will be at Wasa, BC for the fun XC meet on July 2,3 and 4 2010.
More details at 

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

May had a lot of unstable weather - Equipment review

April started out great for flying, May had a couple good days but overall it was very unstable and not many flights were happening. In the mean time we have been busy with the canoe's (incl. camping), bike rides, kids' soccer and at the Skateboard park (Erik's favorite place to ride his bike).
Penny did a lot of training and got super fit for her 25 km trail run at Nippika. They had a couple hundred participants and Penny was 3rd overall and got 1st place in her age group. Way to go Penny!!!

In the mean time I'd thought I'd share some of the questions I. have've had. Several people have asked me about the harness/backpack and the MBT's I used during the race.

The Altirando XP from Supair was the harness I used and still use. This harness is excellent and I just love it. Here are a couple remarks of what I love most about it.

  • The backpack is very comfortable to carry and most outstanding is the ability to pack it flat and tall as this keeps the weight close to your body. The further you move weight away from your body, the heavier it will feel. My pack weighs about 14-17 kg depending on supplies (5.5 kg the wing, 3.9 kg the harness/backpack, 1.4 kg reserve plus helmet, clothes, GPS, Vario and water/food. 
  • The harness is very comfortable to fly and allows you to assist turns with weight shifting. The Nova Triton needs a harness which allows you wight shift in combination with break-line input as it can not only be flown by break-lines. 
  • The extra bonus is the leg fairing or pod you can attach (0.850 kg). This is excellent as it saves you from wearing extra pants or a flight suit (a flight suit alone is at least 1.3 kg). It is warm, streamlined and fits nice with the front-mount reserve. The front-mount reserve is also serving very well as a cockpit for your Vario and GPS.  
I am very happy with that harness as it is way more compact and with the extra packing space if needed I can add more stuff to go traveling with this pack alone.

In the video below you can see how the pack carries and a short clip about MBT sandals. MBT is not a good shoe for trails in the mountains as it an unstable shoe with far less traction than proper mountain shoes. But at the same time, I have to say that I would not have been able to walk these long distances (especially in the valley's) for this many days in a row and to be able to recover so quick with only a couple of hours of sleep a night, had I not been wearing the MBT's. I am still wearing MBT's every day as I have sandals, runners and dress-shoes.
Here are the reason what I like on these shoes the most.
  • The round sole virtually makes you walk and feels very soft. 
  • The MBT system forces you to have a upright posture and this is a mayor advantage as a upright posture will provide you with a good blood circulation for the organs and you will not get tired as fast as with a bend over posture. 
First I got told to use MBT only for training as it builds up your core strength but not to use them for the race. After all the experiences I had with MBT, I am training with them and would use them in the race any time again.