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News and Updates
Pre Event


11/4 - 50 pilots have entered to date. There's going to be some nice competition.

Please remember to:

Fly Safe - Don't extend your abilities or the weather parameters beyond your normal flying risk levels. Please don't speed through the neighborhood up to launch.

Get Pledges - I challenge all pilots to seek a minimum of $100 in pledges. Our combined contribution to the Red Cross and Hurricane victims depends on your level of pledge seeking.

Have Fun - Enjoy your flights. Keep the fun feeling throughout your flight and enjoy your amigos in the sky!

Send me your numbers by e-mail - E-mail me how many flights and how far was your longest flight each day? Please send them ASAP after each weekend. Remember, you flights won't be scored if you don't post your numbers by the following Friday each week.

Send me photos and short stories if you would like. Please keep the photo file sizes small (250 pixels x 250 pixels). It may take a few days to get everything posted after each weekend's flights. Thanks!

Best of luck everyone!


11/4 - The date and time for the GPS Workshop is this Saturday the 5th. The first brief portion will occur at 8:30 a.m. and the follow up portion will happen at 6 p.m. For those interested come to Bobbie's house at 6 to see your tracklog download. We’ll go over some basics in the morning and finish up in the afternoon. Don’t forget to bring your GPS cable and manual. Bobbie Bratz has graciously offered up her home for us to hold the class and her address is below.

Bobbie Bratz
3044 Marilyn Way
Santa Barbara, CA 93105
(805) 569-0219

See you Saturday
Dean S



11/4 - We are running out of shirts quickly. Here's what remains:
4 small white shirts
3 medium white shirts
8 large white shirts
3 xlarge white shirts
3 xxlarge white shirts
1 medium black shirt

If you have already entered, but haven't received your shirt - I am holding your shirt for you - don't worry (the numbers above do not reflect those shirts being held). If you haven't registered or if you want additional shirts, please order quickly.

Get em while there hot! E-mail me ASAP, thanks!


11/3 - It has been decided that you must e-mail Bo or Dean no later than Friday each week after your weekend flights with your flight reports. Send the number of flights and how far your longest XC was for each day to Bo at and send your GPS tracklog to Dean at If you don't send in your flight report within 5 days you will not be scored for those particular flights.


11/3 - Dean will be holding the GPS class at 8:30 am and 6:00 pm at Bobbie Bratz's house on Saturday. Send Dean an e-mail if you want to attend.


11/3 - Currently there are 48 pilots signed up - sweet! We have 14 major sponsors and 3 minor sponsors to date! Dean and I are very pleased and we are keeping our fingers crossed for breaking the 50 pilots entered barrier!


11/3 - We will be scoring Challenge #1 to the tenth of a mile. Example: 22.3 miles.


11/2 - Ryan Patronyk is one of the owners of the newly opened Cajé serving organic coffee and smoothies in Carpinteria. Ryan is also a local up-and-coming paraglider pilot who recently registered to compete in the SBXC Challenge. Ryan and Cajé have decided to sponsor the event and will be donating 30 free drinks. Check them out at 1007 Casitas Pass in Carpinteria next to Subway in the Shepherds Place Plaza. Thanks Ryan and Cajé for your support and good luck in the SBXC Challenge!


11/2 - The shirts have been printed and they are slammin!!! Some sizes have already sold out. Order now or wish you had! If we need to we can do a re-order to be delivered later, prices may vary on a second order. So please place your order for extra SBXC Challenge t-shirts today! Both black and white extra shirts are $15. You can e-mail your orders.


11/1 - The SCPA has come on board as a sponsor. We are very excited about their participation in this local event to support a local and national cause. Many thanks to Tom Pipkin and the rest of the gang for joining in and supporting the SBXC Challenge!




11/1 - My brother, Cord Criss has come on board as a sponsor. He is an excellent jeweler living in Kansas City where I grew up. Cord will be donating his time, skill and artistry to design and build the winning medallions. I'm very excited to see what he comes up with as he is an excellent artist and craftsman. Hopefully we will get a glimpse at what they will look like over the next month as he hand carves a wax to be cast in bronze. Oh, the lucky winners!


10/28 - Wills Wing has come on board as an event sponsor. When you purchase a hang glider, paraglider, accessory item, or any other product or service from Wills Wing you’re doing business with the most experienced and most professional manufacturer and distributor of foot-launched soaring equipment in the world. We are a company of pilots and aviation enthusiasts, and our goal is to provide you with the highest quality products, services, and technical support available, now and in the future, as we have done for pilots throughout the world since 1973. Thank you Linda and Wills Wing for being an event sponsor!


10/28 - Flytec USA has come on board as an event sponsor. Flytec USA is the exclusive North American distributor of Flytec Instruments and they have been providing the best flying instruments with the best service in the world for over 14 years. Their customer service, technical support, and next say turnaround repair is legendary in sport aviation. Flytec instruments are #1 in the world and #1 in the US, they have been used for more world records than any other instrument, they are the choice all of the current US national champions, many world champions, NASA, aerospace contractors and parachute designers and the Brietling Orbiter III. Thank you Steve and Flytec USA for being an event sponsor!


10/28 - CompeGPS has come on board as an event sponsor. CompeGPS Air has been designed for the free flight and motor flight world. You will be able to plan, preview and revival your flights in 2D and 3D. Full communication between GPS and PC, flight in depth analysis, log book, incredible 3D simulations... click here for more info. Thank you Ivan and CompeGPS!


10/28 - Rob Sporrer and Eagle Paragliding has thrown $50 into the pot. Since we know Rob is crazy about mountain launches the SBXC Challenge winner for Challenge #2, (Do the most mountain launches during the 12 days of competition on the honor system. Top landings with relaunches are not allowed) will win an additional $25 cash bonus. The other $25 will be awarded on top of a fabulous prize to the winner of Challenge #3 (Run the race course the fastest - Paraglider and Hang Glider Divisions - each getting $12.50. This is a GPS certified event. Click here for more details.) Thanks Rob and Eagle Paragliding for pitching in.


10/27 - Jerome Daoust has joined our gang. Thanks for participating and sharing your thoughts on paragliding throughout the years on I know Dean and I have a lot of ways to win, but we don't have a category for most beautiful flightsuit. Sorry about that and we'll see what we can do next year. Katia - make sure you make it to next years SBXC Challenge cause Jerome has got it goin on and he needs some competition!




10/27 - Gavin Behr has come on board and is vying for a high placing in category #7 (Have the most fun flying in Santa Barbara and Ojai this fall. GPS certification and Honor System rules apply here as well.) So look out Aaron, you've got some competition. For those of you who haven't sent in your profiles - Please send them in. E-mail me your profile. I will be placing an order for t-shirts very soon and I'd like to know about how many we should be ordering.

From Gavin: The BIG QUESTION IS: What is safer....Playing with FIRE or Playing with RATTLE SNAKES ?????
BOTH have put me in the HOSPITAL TWICE = (4 Times Total)!
Dog Bites ....TWICE in the Hospital ... (6 Times Total) !
Paragliding .... NO trips to the hospital ...
which must mean PARAGLIDING is MUCH SAFER least up until now !!!!


10/20 - The Natural Cafe in Goleta has offered up 2 free entrees as an additional prize to the winner of challenge #5 Stay up in the air for the longest time in a single flight. They know you'll be hungry after that long flight. This is a GPS certified event. Click here for more details. Thanks Natural Cafe!


10/19 - We want to thank Tony Deleo at Realty Executives for his abundant support of the SBXC Challenge. Thanks Tony and good luck with your flights.



10/19 - We want to thank Sam Gaylord of Paraglider Magazine for coming on board as an event sponsor. Thanks Sam and we'll all be looking to take some great photos for submission along with an article about the SBXC Challenge to support the Red Cross and Hurricane Victims for your magazine.



10/19 - Our current leader in category #7 (Have the most fun flying in Santa Barbara and Ojai this fall. GPS certification and Honor System rules apply here as well.) is Aaron LaPlante who has raised the bar on the pilot profiles page. We'll try to figure out how this is GPS certifiable and keep track of your progress. Thanks dude and I'm ready to receive 30 - $1 bills anytime.




10/17 - It's a close battle for category #6 at this time. Joyce Huen and Ben Haug are getting quite a few pledges towards the Red Cross. Joyce even has a remote sponsor. Keep me posted on pledgers and I'll try to continue to update our Pledgers Page.




10/15-16 - Dean Stratton and Bo Criss hammer out a revamped web site that would make our mom's proud. Hopefully all will enjoy the updates and fun we're having with this event. It was nice of the Olson Twins to stop by and say hi and lend their beautiful support.





10/13 - Gail, Mike, Jose and Katia of MPH Sports and Perufly Flightsuits make a very nice donation of a flightsuit to support the cause. Thanks to you guys for your support and the great event that is the Rat Race. We'll all be up next year!



10/13 - Bob Stratton, Dean's dad comes through with a great prize - a color printer. Thanks Bob and Laser Options for supporting the event. Good luck on getting the most mountain flights and winning category #2.




10/6 - The SBSA steps up bigtime and becomes an event sponsor of the SBXC Challenge. Many thanks to the club and to the pilots that will be participating. Hammer was the first hang glider pilot to throw down $30 and register. Bobbie Bratz was the first paraglider pilot to show me the money. Thanks SBSA and everyone!



10/5 - My mom steps up and throws down some serious cash for prizes to be awarded. I've got the coolest mom in paragliding. Carol Criss of CJC Substitute Teaching and Motherly Advice. Don't look at me, my siblings turned out much better. Maybe you've seen my mom at some of the competitions - Telluride, Owens Valley, Golden Colorado, Chelan, Granada Spain. She's been there supporting all the way and helping to run retrieve with my brother Cord as well. Thanks MOM!!!

9/27 - The initial web page design goes up and Chris Santacroce of Super Fly Inc becomes the first event sponsor. Thanks Chris and Jeff of Super Fly and Gin Gliders for stepping up early to support the rough idea. You guys rock!


9/27 - Asylum Research, a designer and manufacturer of Atomic Force Microscopes provides the headquarters of the SBXC Challenge. Web pages and e-mails built, uploaded and sent to deliver the Challenge to your doorsteps. They also are willing to match any contributions the staff is willing to pledge towards Irene's and Bo's flights. Many thanks Asylum Research!


9/26 - Bo builds a logo to represent the competition and talks to Peter Wright, Director of Public Support at the Santa Barbara County Chapter of the Red Cross. Peter welcomes the idea.




9/25 - Dean and Bo come up with the idea of holding a fun competition in Santa Barbara that could help support the Katrina Victims while driving home from the Las Vegas High Rollers Competition.



© Circling Hawk Paragliding • Santa Barbara, California • Bo Criss • 805-403-5848 •


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