Saturday, August 15, 2009

Salt Lake City August 15


I'm here for the US PG Nationals (part 2; part 1 was in Dunlap a few months ago) which start tomorrow. I drove down (16 hours, spread out over 2 days) while the rest of the Canucks flew down. Also here are Ryan Letchford, Bernard Winkleman, and Claudio Mota.

When I arrived yesterday the front was just moving through. Huge storm cells in the area and lots of lightening. There were multiple strikes as I drove down from Idaho and many forest fires were started. Looks like BC! But the front moved through this morning, taking the south winds and the thunderstorms with it, and the forecast is for excellent weather for the upcoming week!

Most pilots showed up today and a crew went to Inspo (Inspiration Point, in Provo, just south of Point of the Mountain) to check things out. They apparently had good local flights, landing at the local LZ in time to make it to POTM where the rest of us had been hanging out.

It finally turned north at POTM mid-afternoon (as the sun came out after the morning t-storms) so there were lots of people kiting their gliders, doing short flights, getting their harnesses all set up etc. The north side has changed a lot since I was last here in 2004-05. It's now a full-on flight park, with mowed grass, HG set-up pads complete with tie-downs, benches, interpretative signing for the public, bathroom facilities, webcams, and a windtalker. And of course most of the houses adjacent to the flight park are owned by pilots, so some pilots are able to launch right from their back yard.

HQ for the comp will be at the north side, in the backyard of one of the local pilots. Of course it'll be a party zone every night as beer is not allowed on the public flight park land, but is OK on private property.

Rides up are courtesy of some comfy-looking vans. They are all equipped with Nuvi-GPS's, so when we land (if not at goal) we can just radio or text our GPS co-ordinates to the retrieve drivers, they'll be input to the Nuvi's, and they'll drive right to our location. Things are looking super-organized and the weather is looking to co-operate, so we hope to have an epic comp!

The official website for the comp is here and you'll be able to keep track of the results and other blogs as they happen. Pictures from the comp will be posted here and I'll be adding new ones every couple of days or so.

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