News and Updates
11/25 - Well somebody had to fly today. I had my first sailplane flight. I flew with Terry Honikman who I met at the Santa Barbara Experimental Aircraft Association when I gave an "Overview of Paragliding" speech in September - click here to see the slides. Today we flew in his Stemme, which is a motorized sailplane. We took off from the airport on our own power. Once we reached 5,000 feet in about 12 minutes, Terry turned off the motor and retracted the prop. We soared using wave lift. He even handed the controls over to me, so if you saw a glider darting left and right over Skyport, it was my overcontrolling piloting not his. We headed down to White Ledge with a 30-40 knot tailwind reaching ground speeds over 95 mph, climbing in smooth lift - 200-800 up. Heading back we had a 40 knot ground speed bucking a strong wind and we didn't lose much altitude at all. The Stemme has a 55:1 glide ratio. Click here for more pictures. It was an AWESOME experience! I may have to take up sailplaning!
11/24 - Cord e-mailed me with the final wax carving with detail. In the 2nd picture, I've "bronzed" the wax using Photoshop to see what it might look like. My mom will take the wax carving to a caster tomorrow. Can't wait to see the final pieces. Thanks Cord and Mom for all your help! It looks great!
I've updated the flight log page and it looks like Hammer is winning the race course by 1/10 of a mile over John Greynald. Hopefully we get some great weather soon so we can finish the course completely and look at winning times vs. winning distance made good on course! Happy Turkey Day everyone!
11/23 - I stopped by the Chocolate Gallery where I met Tim and Karen. They had the "Gliding to Help" SB News-Press article hanging on the wall with Tony De Groot's Picture. Tim, a devout SBSA member and hang glider pilot gave me a tour, a couple of free samples and a gift certificate for One Pound Assortment of Chocolate to add to the prizes. Tim is also sponsoring Bobbie Bratz to benefit the Red Cross. Thanks Tim and Karen! If you do visit the Chocolate Gallery be careful when you eat the "Blueberry Suprise." Check out the Chocolate Gallery here. They are located at 5705 Calle Real in Goleta and they make excellent holliday treats. I suggest the Texas Crunch in Dark Chocolate!
11/22 - These photos were sent by Jeff Parker - Long time Santa Barbara paraglider pilot, SBXC Challenger, and volunteer for the Red Cross. Jeff has been down south for quite a long time and has been helping the Red Cross meet the challenge. Thanks Jeff for sending us photos of what we are up against. This has been a devastating disaster and it really sheds light on how lucky we all are. Jeff said that he has been serving food to volunteers and the locals, that it looks like a war zone, that houses have completely shifted off their foundations, that boats are 20 miles inland from the ocean and that everyone he tells about the SBXC Challenge is greatful that people care and are sending help.
11/22 - Medallion Update - Cord and I have been working on the medallions and I thought I'd show you where we are in the process.
I put together an original sketch which I showed to Cord.
Cord thought it might be nice to add the Santa Barbara skyline,
Cord has carved a wax. He is hoping to add some more detail, but I think it looks great already. From here Cord will use the "lost wax process" to cast the wax into bronze. I don't know all the details of that, but I can imagine that after the bronze is poured and the wax disappears, there will be some cleanup work on each medallion. Cord mentioned adding a patina to the bronze to cast a slight color into the medallions to highlight the detail.
We will have 10 medallions to give away - so please e-mail me your flights - tell me the date, number of flights, and how far each one was. E-mail tracklogs to Dean and indicate what event you want that tracklog to score. (Dean loves it when you label them correctly.) I unfortunately don't know you flew unless you e-mail me. See you in the sky!
11/22 - Skippy has sent 35 photos and I've uploaded them in the Photo Gallery. Thanks Skippy!
11/22 - I was interviewed on the Paragliding Show with David and Gabriel Jebb about the SBXC Challenge. The Paragliding Show can now be found live on Tuesday mornings here on the web at 10:00am Eastern Standard Time and 7:00am Pacific Time.
"Wouldn't you like to fly?"
Kathleen McKenna of Boston prepares to launch from Flores Flats
11/21 - Bostonian, Kathleen McKenna an SBXC Challenger has made the Santa Barbara News Press local paper. A photo of her first launch at Skyport was published in today's paper.
11/20 - What a weekend! More light conditions, but pilots got out there and got the job done! Our current leaders:
Bob Hurlbett - 3 longest flights in a paraglider: 21.4 miles
Bob Anderson - 3 longest flights in a hang glider: 13.8 miles
Andy Palmer - Most flight so far: 9
Bo Criss - Furthest on the race course - paraglider: start + 2 turnpoints
John Greynald - Furthest on the race course - Unconfirmed at this hour - hang glider: start + 2 turnpoints
? - Tagged the most laps between West Bowl and Thermal Factory
Tony De Groot - Longest Duration - Unconfirmed at this hour: 2:59:18
Bobbie Bratz - Most money raised: $580 earning her a 10% bonus and the respect of all would be pledgers. Great job Bobbie!
Bob Hurlbett - Having the most fun. Party Animal !!! - that's 2 parties hosted by Bob and Sara - THANK YOU!!!!
Skippy or Irene? - Best French Female pilot. (We don't have a category for women yet, but Allison, Bobbie, Sharon, Joyce, Kathleen, Heather, Skippy and Irene are definitely there tearing it up and we're so glad they are!!!)
Another huge thanks goes out to Hammer, Diablo and Sundowner. You've got to be a great pilot to deserve cool handles like these. These guys put on a great cross country clinic at Bob and Sara's house tonight. With projected Google Earth graphics illustrating their record flights, these 3 took us downtown with great stories and insights on going big and enjoying 20+ years of flying each. It was awesome and I feel sorry for those that couldn't make it.
We also celebrated Dean's 28th Birthday with a pizza party and cake. Happy 28 Dean!
I hope everyone is having as much fun as Dean and I. It's really been a great experience and we appreciate your e-mails, efforts, reports on pledges and above all - your participation. Nothing cool happens when you don't show up. So thanks for showing up, gearing up, taking to the skies, taking it to the community for pledges and really being a part of the SBXC Challenge!
I'll have more news, photos, and stories tomorrow. Please e-mail me your flights - where you launched, where you landed, how far you went, how many flights on which days. E-mail your track logs to Dean for categories 3, 4 and 5. Thanks everybody!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!