Southern California XC League

Marshall Peak, San Bernardino, Task 1

Saturday Aug. 23, 2008


Let the games begin! This little XC League down here in southern California had a great start.

Marshall is an excellent venue for some summer thermalling and turnpoint racing.

Here's the man behind the plan.

Dean Stratton, 2007 US National Champion and California XC distance record holder.

First things first, let's get the rules straight and get a good grasp on how to use the GPS.

Excellent classroom discussion prior to the day's main event.

Dean's partner in crime – his dad Bob. Thanks for all your support Bob, and glad to see you in the air.

Celebrity appearance on launch – El Presidente, Robb Miley,

the South Coast Paragliding Association (SCPA) president.

Launch conditions looked descent, the familiar haze/smog of Marshall greeted us 22 competitiors with open arms.

Task committee was chosen and we created a paragliding task and a separate hang gliding task.

Time to saddle up, Marge helps Bob assemble the kit.

One more check, yep still a bit smoggy, good to go.

Jason Kinch had a great start, hanging at Regionals high and ready to enter and exit

the start cylinder of Marshall LZ at 3:00. Then it was back to Regionals.

After Regionals we flew to Towers, Jason with a good lead on a 1-2 glider.

Our next turnpoint was back to Billboard, just west of Crestline's launch.

Goal was a 400 meter circle around Marshall LZ, the nice big green patch of grass at the base of the mountain.

The important thing to remember is the 400 meter circle.

After completing the course, I turned off the GPS and joined Jason Kinch on a nice flight back to Billboards...

and then to Pine, shown above. The air was a bit more spicy over here.

We joined some hang gliders at Pine and then did a nice valley tour.

This is looking west to the I-15 / I-215 connection and Cucamonga Peak just beyond.

Jason leads us out to I-215 for a grand tour.

As we get back to the LZ, Jason has some fun on approach.

What a great oasis in the dry hot desert of San Bernardino!

Call it good.

Some land a little farther out.

And even farther.

None of this would have transpired without the work of this tireless and top instructor -

Rob McKenzie and his wife Diane, of High Adventure.

Rob brings in a hang glider on his first high flight.

Fun to watch someone's first mountain flight landing.

Good stuff.

Everyone chills after a great flight.

Packing up.

A good day by all.

Story time.

Jason and Roger kickin back.

Heidi and Marge.

Bob Stratton packing up.

Dave Metzger.

Greg, Bob, Dusty, Dean and company.

Dean downloads a GPS as Ron prays he hit all the turnpoints. Great seeing Ron back in the scene.

"Old Red Shirt", Jason (in blue), Gary, Foster, Greg, Bob and Heidi.

About this time, Jason realizes he was 1km away from goal when he turned

around to free fly instead of being within the 400m goal radius. Ouch !!!

Clearly he flew the course the fastest, but didn't make goal the fastest.

I'm afraid to say I was the next in line and thus picked up the best score of the day.

I hate to benefit from the GPS issues, but I guess that's why Dean created the League, to help us learn about competition.

On that note, it was a good time to find a watering hole and take on a new task...

Dean had one thing on his mind. Yeah she just got married moments earlier, but maybe he could give her a good sendoff.

Time to get pumped up and get your game face on.

He employed all his old party tricks to catch the attention of her sweetness.

When the spinning trick didn't work, he upped the anti, bought her a shot and stuffed cash down her dress.


And then... well, let's just say Dean won Task #2.

Salud amigos! Ben toasts the day's many accomplishments.

Roger, Marge, Bob.


A damn good day down south. Cheers!

Gotta see that one more time.

See you at the next So Cal XC League event.

Thanks Dean for all the fun!


© Circling Hawk Paragliding

Bo Criss • Santa Barbara, California • 805-403-5848