Paragliding in BC

Paragliding in BC

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Redemption! Rat Race Day 5

Wow - it was a close one today. It was another good-lookin' day, clouds everywhere & excitement in the air. Everyone was eager to fly & we were all in line ready to go when the launch window opened. I had a great launch & went up right away...for about 15 seconds. Then it was nothing but sink, sink, sink all the way to the landing. Since I wasn't the only one and we still had plenty of time to get back up for a re-launch, I didn't lose it completely. Only a little. But some other good pilots landed with me so we put on brave faces & drove back up.

It had gotten a lot stronger but the mood was a lot more relaxed. No stress about start windows & racing, and we agreed to all help each other. Sure enough...up we all went! I took a thermal up as close to the clouds as I dared, then mashed my speed bar like Jeff taught us at the mentoring session. Funnily enough, today the bumps didn't bother me. I lead out with one other pilot & we easily tagged the first 2 points at Rabies. The rest of the gang came over & we searched around for the next thermal further west, then back to Rabies & past the start to Burnt.

There were still lots of clouds & wispies showing the way and it was definitely rough in spots. Today I really made sure to override my natural impatience and not head out unless there was a climbing glider or growing cloud at the destination. I still left lower than most people, but if I had made it to goal I might have gotten extra points for being the leader, but since I landed sooner it doesn't matter. Guess I still need more patience (sigh).

Good news - I got 4 turnpoints plus the start cylinder across the valley (half the route) and I landed at Longsword! Longsword is a vineyard where the tasting room is outside, spectators applaud when you land & the owners walk out to you in the landing field with a free glass of wine. It's the happiest landing zone on earth! About a dozen of us landed there, and to top off the fun we invented some new yoga positions getting everyone & their gliders in the retrieve van. Needless to say we were all close, personal friends after arriving at headquarters.

Funny how intensely us pilots attach our moods to our recent flying performance. After my first flight today I wanted to hop in the car & drive home. Now, it's 11pm & I'm still bouncing off the walls from excitement.

Hi...My name's Martina and I'm a paraglide-oholic.


Nick said...


I don't know if you remember me, I met you and Derek the last two Rat Races. (Indonesian looking guy from Hawaii...aka the good looking one).

I'm having a great time reading your blog! I couldn't make the race this year due to job issues, but I'm living the race vicariously through you and the other bloggers. If you see a guy running around from Hawaii called "Flash" with a big

The last two times I saw you guys, you seemed cool as a cucumber. I had no idea such mental battles were being waged!

I wish you smooth thermals in the coming days and keep smiling. I really don't know you any other way.

Nick Johnson

P.S. Congrats on the tandem work

Martina said...

Of course I remember you Nick! As soon as I saw Alex I asked him where you were.

Thanks for the kind words - hope you can make it out next year & show me the way to goal.