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News and Updates



12/1 - Anne-Odile Thomas "Skippy", was voted into office as the SBSA Club President. Congratulations and great success for the next year!

12/1 - John Kloer, the current leader of Challenge #1 for the Paragliding Division, gave blood today to the Red Cross and has earned himself a 10% bonus. Way to go John!!!! That makes 4 participants who've gone beyond – Doug, Bobbie Bratz, Bob Hulbett and John Kloer. Bobbie earned her additional 10% by gathering more than $500 in pledges. Her current count is $840. Nice work guys!!!

12/1 - Contest winners will be awarded a medallion and one of the prizes listed on the website. The prizes: T-Shirts, Wind-Meters, Jackets, Hats, Chocolate, Printer, Flight suit, Stuff bag, Magazine Subscriptions, Pocket Knife, Speed Sleeves, Speed bars, Stickers, SBXC Sweatshirt, and Goggles will be dispersed completely at the awards ceremony, some to the winners and some to the fellow party goers. If for some reason you can’t be present we will not be able to hold any prizes for you, only the medallion. So if you can’t be present to accept the additional prize, please ask someone you know that will be there to accept it for you, otherwise it will be awarded to someone else.
We will have many additional surprises as well, so please join us for the finale to a fun event.
Dean and I are so greatful that Aaron Luckett has graciously offered up his home to host the party. Please thank him when you get a chance.


11/30 - Aaron Luckett has offered to host the SBXC Challenge Awards Ceremony on December 18th at 5:30. His address is 1010 La Vista Rd, Santa Barbara. Thank you Aaron !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We will get the party going at 5:30 with pizzas. Please bring your own beverage of choice. We will have a slide show presentation with photos. I will be contacting Peter Wright at the Santa Barbara County Red Cross to see if he is available to accept "The Big Check". Please bring your pledges to me and we will talley them up. We will accept pledges up until 10 minutes before the awards ceremony to see who wins Challenge #6 - Raise the most money for the Santa Barbara County Red Cross and Hurricane Katrina Victims.

Dean and I realize that this is a busy weekend for all, but we need time to gather everyones flight information to see who wins and we want to allow time for all the pilots to gather their pledges. We realize that the SBSA party will be held the day before, but we didn't want to wait till after all the hollidays to celebrate the SBXC Challenge, so it's a full weekend of parties! More details to follow.


11/29 - Bob Hurlbett has earned an additional 10% Bonus by giving blood today - Nice work!

11/29 - Dean and I have decided to include a women's division for category 1, both hang gliding and paragliding. With much discussion amongst the SBXC Challenge field, we realized that most competitions have a women's division and we didn't want to miss out on rewarding two more pilots which could be: Allison, Bobbie, Sharon, Joyce, Kathleen, Heather, Skippy and Irene. Now, I'm thinking that Skippy has a pretty good chance (being the only female hang gliding pilot) of taking home 1 of the 12 medallions we will be awarding.

To those looking to receive medallions: my goal is that every pilot brings in $100 in pledges as a minimum. If you are looking to stand in the medallian winners' circle, please consider the higher goal of raising money for the Santa Barbara County Red Cross and Hurricane Victims and have your pledges ready.

11/29 - Ojai John Kloer has just posted the longest flight of the event. John and Tony Deleo flew Chiefs on Sunday and had some nice flights. John ended up landing in Fillmore, 16.4 miles from launch. His combined total distance of his best 3 flights is 23.7 miles - Putting him slightly ahead of Bob Hurlbett at 21.4 miles for Challenge #1. Nice flight John!

Our Current Leaders

Challenge 1 - John Kloer - 23.7 miles (Paragliding). Hammer - 15.1 miles (Hang Gliding). Irene Revenko - 10.3 miles (Paragliding Women's Division). Anne-Odile Thomas "Skippy" - 10.3 miles (Women's Hang Gliding Division)

Challenge 2 - Andy Palmer - 10 flights.

Challenge 3 - Bo Criss - 4.6 miles made good (Paragliding). Hammer - 6 miles made good (Hang Gliding).

Challenge 4 - No posted flights

Challenge 5 - Tony De Groot - 2:58:18

Challenge 6 - Bobbie Bratz - $715

Challenge 7 - Bob Hurlbett - Hosted 2 SBXC Challenge Parties, led Category 1 for 4 weeks, gave blood to the Red Cross.


11/29 - I spoke with Roy Beisswenger on the Ultra Flight Talk Radio Show this morning about the SBXC Challenge. We talked about the 7 ways to win, I asked for Remote Sponsorship and I mentioned a few pilots in the event. You should be able to hear an archive soon here.


11/27 - An interesting weather day in the mountains. When we arrived at Skyport and the Eliminator, we had very calm conditions with an occasional light breeze from any direction. Ron Faoro was the first to launch and quickly went to 5,000 feet plus without any noticable drift. Bob Hurlbett followed suit. Dean launched next and didn't get the same initial climb and headed to the Thermal Factory. I waited patiently for the next cycle with took a long time to arrive. Once I launched it was a bit spanky and I had some small folds on my Boomerang 3. Tom Hampton launched next and joined Dean and I at the Thermal Factory. Patience paid off as Dean and I climbed to 4,700 feet with a SE trajectory. Once aloft we realized there was a strong north component of 18-20 mph. We decided to head East and each took a vector based on how much we wanted to play with a possible rotor wind. I opted for the line furthest from the mountains, but intersecting with the lowest foothills in hopes of extending my flight distance without additional rotor risk.

I caught up with Ron and Bob and eventually headed out to a familiar landing field called "Shotgun Field". This is not a recommended LZ due to past experiences of other free flight pilots, but was the safest choice considering my altitude and location at the time. I noticed a few corrals with horses and picked a spot to land as far away as possible. I had a nice landing 20 feet from the main road called "East Valley Road" near "Toro Canyon Road." I packed up quickly and continued to watch Ron and Dean's progress. Dean was flying well, continuing to work the leeside lift at Castle Ridge. Ron was really climbing well somewhere West of Romero Canyon. As I watched Dean transition from Castle Ridge to the NE and the next spine, I was wondering if the conditions had changed, because I had been scarred off by strong North flow. As Dean approached the next spine he caught some nasty sinking air and he turned quickly to avoid landing in the vegetation. He was sinking quickly and heading down the spine away from the mountains to the South. Then it looked like he caught some lift, followed by a spin of the glider and he rotated out of site behind the spine he had just avoided.

I put in a call on the radio to Dean immediately asking for his status. He reported within 15 seconds that he had landed hard in the Manzania and seemed to be OK. What a relief! I continued to monitor the situation as Bob Hurlbett arrived by car. Tom and Patricia Hampton showed up with a ride carrying Andy Palmer and Ron Faoro, who had landed at the beach. Tom had made it out to East Beach for the first time - nice flight! Dean was making slow progress gathering his wing from the brush. We checked a map and decided it would be best to try to meet Dean on top of the mountain on the fire road. We saw that we could get within 2 miles of Dean by going back to Skyport launch and continuing up the road and back East to a locked gate. We piled into Andy Palmer's truck when we got back to Parma loaded with flashlights, saws, water, food and jackets in case we needed to help Dean gather his wing.

On the way up to launch we stopped a truck of dirtbikers. We asked them where they were heading and explained the situation. Issac and Danielle responded that they were headed to East Divide and were also EMTs wanting to help. We followed them all the way up to the end of the pavement and handed them a radio and GPS with Dean's coordinates. We were able to reach Dean on the phone and radio and he said he had made great progress, was packed up and had reached the fireroad, about 1-1/2 miles behind a locked gate. Issac and Daniel took off and found Dean quickly. Dean grabbed Danielle's bike and rode with his glider on his back. Danielle jumped on Issac's bike and the 3 came down the mountain. Dean had a big smile and was happy to get in a warm truck with Andy, Ron, Bob and I and head home. Dean had a few small scrapes on his left leg and a bruise on his arm. We were all happy that our good friend was OK and we didn't have to spend the night out.

Thank you Tom, Patricia, Bob, Ron and Andy for helping Dean out of a pickle! And Dean, don't do that again - please!!!

I heard later on that a number of hang glider pilots and paraglider pilots had made East Beach from Skyport and Eliminator, including Jim Maddox, Irene Revenko, Skippy, Rolan Angel, Bob Anderson, John Greynald and Terry Taggart - nice work! Also, John Kloer had taken the day by flying from Chiefs to Fillmore in a paraglider with a 16.4 mile flight. Way to go John!


11/26 - Last Tuesday, I spoke on the Paragliding Show with David and Gabriel Jebb on World Talk Radio. We spoke about the SBXC Challenge and you can check out the archive here. Thanks David and Gabriel for the opportunity to share the event with the world!

11/26 - As with all major competitions, it is important to allow the athletes to rest after many days of fierce competition. It's really a safety issue. We've had 6 days of gruelling competition and Dean and I felt that the field needed a rest. It happened to coincide with white caps, and gusts at Montecito Peak reaching wind speeds of 24 mph from the north. So I think we've called the day at the right time. I hope everyone enjoyed their day. All the best, your SBXC Challenge staff.



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