Saturday, August 14, 2010

34th annual

The 34th annual splash down was simply said amazing and magical. Friday we had huge thunderstorms and the weather forecast for Saturday was so so.
Saturday morning the valley was covered by fog and low clouds. We had 15 Hang glider pilots and 30 Paraglider pilots show up at the 8:30 am morning briefing. Once we got up to the launch (around 10:00 am) the south wind already picked up and the clouds and fog was breaking. See some pictures from Stewart's Photo Album.

Eventually the south wind got to strong for paragliding and only hang gliders where in the air. We had a lot of spectators on the beach and even Brewster come down with a full busload of spectator. While hang gliders where flying we did a ground-handling demonstration. One with a modern serial class wing and I had the opportunity to play with a 1989 Birdwing (I flew this kind back then). What an experience for me and spectators could see colored wings and activity. I think I even saw Jeff starting a hula-hop competition. Then just as asked for, the wind died down and we could start flying again.The wind shifted from south to north and eventually got to strong to land at the Lakeside Pub (around 5:30 pm). Everybody could get their flights in and some could log up to 4 flights. I did 3 tandems, one with my son Erik and his teddy, the second with the Columbia Valley Pioneer reporter Kate and the last one with Penny's sister's son Declan. Katia (my daughter) did not feel to good to go flying and the wind got kind of to strong anyways, so she enjoyed the beach and the many other kids to play with.
The is not a hardcore flying meet where pilots fly long distances. This meet is more to show all the non-fliers what we have fun with and to raise interest in our sport. This event is also a social event for all the pilots, friends and families to get together to socialize and have fun. And this is exactly what we did, after the flights, everyone enjoyed the beach and then headed to the Lakeside pub for dinner. They had a great buffet ready which was leading into a fantastic party and dance with the Electric Squirrels. The Electric Squirrels are a great dancing band playing just about anything, thanks again for playing until 1:30 am.
Before I forget, during a music break we had our boat race between Hang glider pilots and paraglider pilots. This was a close race and had to be done twice. This year the paraglider pilots will be on the trophy (sponsored by CJ92). Can't wait who will be on it next year.

All in all it was a great event, for everyone who did not come, you missed a good one.

Here are a couple thank you's to make this all happen. First I like to thank Frank and Tracey to run this event and to keep everyone inspired and more so to back it financially, meaning to somehow make this work with the needed cash sponsors. Also a huge thank you to all the volunteers for their time and efforts and to the Search and Rescue group who come up from Kimberly to monitor the top of Mt. Swansea.

Sponsors and supporters where:,,,,,
Inside Edge Sports (Invermere), Kickinghorse Coffee, Rocky River Grill (Invermere), Rona (Invermere), The Rainbow Dunky (Kids clothing in Invermere), Valley Foods (AG foods Invermere), Valley Hair Styling (Invermere), Oasis Gifts (Invermere),

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