Sunday, December 11, 2011

Monday, December 5, 2011

A Fun Day of Flying at Cayucos 12_4_11

Had another fun day on the hill. Conditions looked just barely soarable, but I still got in 90 minutes or so before taking it to the beach.

Here's a short video of my flight - all alone but having fun!


Monday, November 21, 2011

Back in the saddle / Video

I've been sitting out the debates regarding comp classes and the latest crop of EN-D wings that are in the pipeline for release next season. I'm keeping up with the discussions that have been rampant on the web lately and I'm happy to be a spectator to it all.  I'm going to sit back and see how the dust settles.  In the meanwhile, I'm doing some fun flying at my local sites.  Cayucos and MDO have been producing spectacular days and a nice day at Cuesta finally developed this week.  I stayed local because I wasn't really prepared for an XC and retrieve, but it was a fun day on the hill.

Here's a short video of my day - It's HD, so it may take a bit to load.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Elemental Freedom

Here is a brief video that I found recently.

Elemental Freedom from Terry Stubbs Jnr on Vimeo.
"Paragliding will never lose its soul or spirit. The contentment it instils in the heard is too profound."
Pilots - Terry Stubbs Jnr & Zebur Mercan
Location - Bishops Hill, Scotland
Camera - Lumix G10 lens 14-42mm lens

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Is there life after X-Alps?

I've been worthless for the last few days, due to my addiction to the X-Alps - and I wasn't alone.  The most active thread on the Paragliding Forum was the X-Alps thread, with many posters supplying play-by-play and local weather info.  XC Mag seemed to take point in getting information to the masses.  The XC Mag  videos and interviews gave us access to the athletes in their glory and pain.

It was, up to now, the best use of technology and imagery; allowing this amazing race to be viewed by thousands.   Chrigel Maurer absolutely dominated the field.  Even after taking a 24 hour penalty he was almost 48 hours ahead of 2nd place (and only other competitor to make it to the raft) Romanian, Toma Coconea.  The last hour race between Coconea and 3rd place Austrian Paul Guschlbauer was riveting, as Toma went into ultramarathon mode and literally ran the last 80km. while Guschlbauer flew most of the distance.  The tortoise won this race though, as Guschlbauer was left 9 km short of goal when the 48 hours expired.  American Honza Rejmanek was able to take 10th spot in the last 5 minutes.  Big respect for all the athletes for their commitment in the last year of training, and their fortitude in attacking the 864km. course from Salzburg to Monaco.

The 2011 Red Bull X-Alps video looks like it will be amazing.   I've already ordered a copy and the early teasers indicate that the production values will be fantastic this year.  They used helicopters and personal HD cameras to provide POV of the athletes, their helpers, and inflight views of the spectacular scenery.

I would appreciate it if you ordered it by clicking through to the XC  Shop by clicking one of the ads at the bottom of this site, or THIS LINK so I get credit for the sale.  

Fly Safe -

Monday, July 25, 2011

Spectator Sports

This week has been very rich in stimulus for those of us relegated to spectator status.  Watching the XAlps pilot/athletes endure extreme hardship in the form of extreme cold, high altitude trekking, and flying in extreme conditions, while we sit comfortably at home, is both exciting and a bit frustrating.   Meanwhile. the PWC has started in Turkey and the first leg of the U.S. Nationals in Utah started Sunday.

The sheer domination by Chrigel Maurer in the XAlps has been amazing to watch.  Even with a 24 hour "time-out" penalty, on day 6, for a minor airspace infringement he is crushing the field.   It looks likely that he will land on the raft in Monaco on Tuesday and that Toma Coconea may be the only other competitor to make it to Monaco before the 48 hour clock expires.   Here is a 2 minute recap of the last 10 days -
XAlps Days 1-10 from Tim O'Neill on Vimeo
 Check out the finish via Live Tracking at

Meanwhile the US Nats are being held in Utah.  Day 1 had the pilots flying a 121K task to goal with 16 pilots in goal.  Nick Greece won the day by over 8 minutes.  Results are at  Day 2 was not tasked due to inclement weather.

The PWC in Turkey results can be found at

Meanwhile, I'm going flying.

Fly Safe,

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Viewers Guide to the 2011 Red Bull X-Alps

"It's a funny thing. From the outside the X-Alps looks like a hiking and flying race. When you look closer, you realise that really it's a flying race. And when you look closer still, you realise that really, at the heart of it all, it's a mental game. The very concept of risk for someone who is capable of being a serious contender in the X-Alps is very different from anything any recreational, XC or competition pilot would normally understand from the word. This is only something I learned from competing in the race myself. Maurer, Hofer and Muller had the appropriate mentality before they started the race for the first time, I certainly didn't."
Tom Payne 2009 X-Alps Athlete
click for larger image
The 2011 X-Alps Adventure Race begins at 1PM on July 17th.  This race allows paragliding and hiking along 8 turnpoints between Salzburg, Austria and Monaco.  Total distance is 864 Kilometers but the 30 athletes will cover considerably more than that as they navigate among the peaks and valleys of the Alps.   This is the 5th X-Alps and only two 2011 athletes have competed in all 4 of the preceding races - Andy Frötscher(ITA) and Toma Coconea (ROM)

The 2009 Top Three Athletes were Christian Maurer, Alex Hofer, and Honza Rejmanek from the U.S. Alex Hofer placed 2nd in 2009 and first in 2005 and 2007. Unfortunately he had a crash last month and is out of the race this year. Christian Maurer won the race in his first attempt and has been training hard to defend his title in this year's race. USA's Honza Rejmanek, and his assistant Dave Hanning, will be in their third X-Alps, placing 9th in 2007 and 3rd in 2009. He had extreme food poisoning in 2007 and still persevered to cover a lot of ground as he recovered. In 2009 he had some knee issues that slowed him a bit and required him to descend mountain roads walking backwards.  Honza is one to watch this year.

The rules include some new features.   A new mandatory rest period will be imposed every night between 23:00 and 0400.  This has potential to keep the racers a bit closer together.  Last race there were many short nights as the leaders tried to get away from their closest rivals.

Beginning on July 20th at 0700 hours the last team in the Red Bull X-Alps ranking will be eliminated. Thereafter every 48 hours the last team will be cut from the race unless the Athlete has passed the turning point Mt. Blanc.

This race is an amazing combination of flying skill, physical stamina, and mental toughness.   In addition,  a good assistant and a good strategy is important to success.  

Live Tracking will be available at
Keep an eye on the latest news at 
Keep an eye on things - the race begins July 17th at 10PM PDT.

Tom Payne put this great table of the 2011 Athletes together:

Country Flag Athlete Age Supporter Glider Blog/website 2003 2005 2007 2009

ARG Martin Romero 36 Diego E. Romero MacPara Magus XC

AUS Lloyd Pennicuik 45 Paul Underwood Axis Venus link

17 X
AUT1 Helmut Eichholzer 36 Wolfgang Ehgarter Ozone Delta link
AUT2 Christian Amon 41 Mario Schmaranzer Swing Stratus

AUT3 Mike Küng 42 Thomas Arzberger Paratech P8 Proto

BEL Thomas de Dorlodot 26 Gatien de Dorlodot Gradient Avax XC3 link

X 10
BRA Richard Pethigal 42 tba. Swing Stratus

CAN Max Fanderl 46 Penny Powers tba. link

X 13
CZE Jan Skrabálek 41 Karel Vrbensky tba. link

11 15
ESP Ramón Morillas 44 Juan Morillas Advance Proto link

7 9
FIN Jouni Makkonen 40 Toni Leskelä Gradient Avax XC

FRA1 Vincent Sprüngli 46 Jerome Maupoint Gin Boomerang

FRA2 Philippe Barnier 36 Hervé Garcia Niviuk Icepeak

FRA3 Clément Latour 28 Gil Thomas Skywalk Poison 3

GBR1 Jon Chambers 36 Richard Chambers Ozone M4 link

GBR2 Steve Nash 48 Richard Bungay Nova

GER Michael Gebert 31 Florian Schellheimer Gradient Avax XC3 link
5 X 6
ITA Andy Frötscher 42 Martin Klotz Skywalk Poison 3 link X X 14 12
JPN1 Kaoru Ogisawa 51 Masaru Saso Gin Boomerang

5 13
JPN2 Masayuki Matsubara 40 Tetsuo Kogai tba.

NED Ferdinand van Schelven 27 Anton Brous tba.

NOR Ivar Sandstå 44 Inge Haustveit Niviuk Peak 2

POL Pavel Faron 37 Piotr Goc Swing Stratus

POR Nuno Virgilio 31 Samuel Lopes Axis Mercury

ROM Toma Coconea 36 Daniel Pisica UP link X X 2 X
RSA Pierre Carter 44 James Braid Gradient XC3

RUS Evgeny Gryaznov 39 tba. tba.

SUI1 Christian Maurer 28 Thomas Theurillat Advance Omega link

SUI2 Alex Hofer 34 Roland Moltinger tba. link
1 1 2
SUI3 Martin Müller 45 Yannick Flugi Gin Boomerang 7 light link

3 X
USA Honza Rejmanek 36 Dave Hanning Axis Mercury link



source: X-Alps website, Wikipedia, own research || Age at Race launch 17th. Jul 2011 || blogs tbc. || X means participated, but injured or disqualified/eliminated

Fly Safe everyone!


Monday, July 11, 2011

Why the 2011 U.S. National Competitions should be Cancelled

The Red Rocks National Paraglider competition is scheduled to begin on July 24th.  This is the first competition in the U.S. since the FAI / CIVL bombshell on Friday outlawed Competition Class paragliders in CAT 1 competitions and went on to, "Strongly recommend that this ban be followed in future Cat 2 events."

I'd like to explain the logic behind my title statement.   I know many won't agree, and I'd like to hear the reasons my logic is flawed.  This may turn into a long post, but it's not a simple issue.

The Problem:
The latest batch of Competition Class paraglider designs have demonstrated unstable/unrecoverable characteristics following a frontal collapse - this is particularly the case when accelerated.  This may be because of the stiffening structure which can lock the cravate, it may be the higher aspect ratios, or it may be the high speeds of the new designs.  It may be a combination thereof.  At this point the problem is undeniable that these wings feel stable and safe but they have negative tendencies after a normally recoverable collapse.  The attitude that "good pilots don't have a problem flying them" just doesn't work anymore - Many very high quality pilots are tossing their reserves and an undeniable number have died while competing on the world stage.

The Solution:
The manufacturers and their design teams have the talent to address the problem, and will do so when regulations are put into place that require healthy characteristics (as is the case with certified Serial Class gliders).  The market needs to require this also - The FAI has now ruled, with the changes to the Sporting Code, in an effort to motivate market and the manufacturers to fix the problem.  By requiring Certified wings in Cat 1 events and recommending them in Cat 2s (which are the qualifiers for Cat 1s) they are essentially leveling the playing field at a "safer" elevation of level.

Whether you agree with the decision or not, depends on your level of denial.  Make a mental journey outside paragliding for a moment and imagine the Red Bull Air Races allowed any type of aircraft design and a newer, faster, design emerged that was faster and more maneuverable - until it went unstable.  15 pilots bought the new design - they had to, to remain competitive.  The first event produced new records for speed and was even more thrilling.  But as the pilots got comfortable and began pushing the aircraft, things started happening and resulted in the loss of two pilots in one event.  Would the organizers and sponsors just shrug it off as, "Well this is extreme flying and these pilots knew what the risks were."  NO  There would be an inquiry and all flying would stop until a solution was formulated.  The loss of money would be many times the losses seen in our little sport.

Why the U.S. National Events should be Cancelled
Here's my logic path to the my conclusion.
  1. The FAI has outlawed Competition Class wings in Cat 1 comps
  2. Because Cat 2 comps (like the US Nats) are stages where WPRS and NTSS points are earned in order to qualify for Cat 1 comps, the FAI has "strongly recommended" that all Cat 2s also limit the field to Serial Class wings.
  3. A pilot who qualifies for the World Championship team (Cat 1) using a competition class wing in the US Nats will have to fly a different (Serial Class) wing when competing in the Cat 1 event.  This isn't a good measure of the pilot or his 'system' to compete at the worlds. 
  4. If the U.S. Nats go counter to the recommendations of the FAI, the liability to the US Nats organizers, USHPA, and any Sponsors who can be shown to benefit from the flying of the event is quite high. 
  5. If the organizers decided to make it a "Serial Class Competition" in accordance with the FAI recommendation, many of our top pilots would be competing on unfamiliar wings and/or not competing at all, which would allow points to go to lesser pilots and skew the NTSS for the next worlds in 2013.  
  6. This is a decision that puts the meet's fate between a rock and a hard place.  I've found that, when in this position, the conservative decision is usually the best one.  The negative ramifications of another death or multiple incidents are not good for the sport and could be viewed in hind sight as foolhardy.
  7. Therefore the U.S. Nationals, which are scheduled for July 24th, should be cancelled. 

This is not a good outcome.  Pilots have made plans, bought tickets, and contracts have been signed by the organizers. But it pales in severity and financial consequence to the impact the FAI decision had on the 120 World's Championship competitors, who had traveled from all over the world.  The decision makers need to sit back and consider how hard those decisions were to make - knowing that the world was watching and that there would be a serious backlash of emotions and disagreement.  Yet, it was made for the right reasons.

The XC Open Series has now chosen to comply with the FAI recommendation and is only allowing Serial Class competitors.

Admittedly, there may be some unintended consequences following the FAIs ruling.  But it's a step in the right direction and I, for one, am glad that they stepped-up and made the tough call.   The right thing for the U.S. to do is a "stand-down" for the season and allow the system to reset so that when the team selection is made, 2 years from now, no unfairness can be asserted.

Agree?  Disagree?  I've never been higher than the top-20 in the NTSS and wasn't planning to go to the nat's this month.  And I'm not the smartest guy in the room.  I'm open to other viewpoints and will gladly publish those with merit to this site.


Friday, July 8, 2011

World Championships Cancelled and Comp Gliders Outlawed

In a dispatch from one of the US Team Pilots:

"The FAI, ... has instituted an immediate ban on competition class paragliders in Cat 1 events, and has strongly recommended that this ban be followed in future Cat 2 events.

Due to this FAI rule making, the organizers have ended the competition. The competition is valid under the rules, and prize giving will be tomorrow afternoon."

And here is the official announcement from the Competition Organization:

As a result of the tragic events in the second task of this FAI event, and after due consideration of all the information available, the CIVL Bureau has decided, under its executive powers, and with the full support of the FAI Executive Board, to suspend the certification of Competition Class Paragliders, with immediate effect. As a result, the organisers have decided that it is not possible to continue with further tasks that meet the aims of World and Continental championships, as set out in the FAI Sporting Code. The two tasks flown to date are both valid under the rules and are therefore sufficient to meet the minimum requirements set out in Section 7B. The 12th FAI World Paragliding Championship is therefore considered to have been validated. The closing ceremony and prize-giving will be held tomorrow, Saturday, 8th July at 1pm in the main square. The CIVL President has thanked the safety working group formed by the pilots and team leaders, for all their work on developing ideas to improve safety. He believes there are some very useful ideas there that we hope the relevant CIVL subcommittees will follow up. The Jury President, Vitor Pinto, and other CIVL Officials present have stated that, the organising team has made every effort to comply with the FAI Sporting Code which covers all aspects of competition rules and safety considerations for FAI 1st Category events. These include the new and complex rules introduced this year for Competition Class paragliders. “We greatly appreciate the excellent work of the organisers and we are all deeply disappointed that, through no fault of the organising team, that this competition has resulted in such a sad outcome, ”Mr Pinto commented. Competition Director, Steve Ham, also announced that the organising team is preparing a bid to run the first FAI World Paragliding XC Championship in Serial Class , here in Piedrahita at this time next year, “The CIVL President has told us that he welcomes the proposed bid and that the CIVL Bureau will be favourably disposed towards it,” he said.

Jose Luis Diaz Iraeta – Event Director Steve Ham – Competition Director
Wow - Seminal moment indeed.  I hope this disappointing decision (at the moment) has an overall positive effect on our sport.

Congratulations to the US team for representing the US with skill and professionalism.

Fly Safe -

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Shut Up and FLY

Those are words that Xavier used, on occasion. Sometimes he was less polite. But he always had an infectuous smile and a good humor. From the look of the social networking sites and the mainstream PG info outlets, Xavier's loss in Peru has stirred a lot of emotions. I only know him from the Chelan PWC, but I had looked forward to attending another competition that he was running. . . This, unfortunately, will not be possible. Xavier's wing has been spotted at around 4800 meters in the Peruvian Andes and his remains will no doubt be recovered soon.

It's been a sad week for our community. In Spain, the loss of life has resulted in two days of down time and the Competition Organizers are working to modify the tasks to minimize pilot exposure to high risk conditions. They are also considering modifying the emphasis on speed and elapsed time in scoring. The hope is that less pilots will use full speed if elapsed time isn't an important factor in scoring.

My reactions to this is (deep sigh) a bit frustrated. But I imagine it is not as much as the frustration of those who worked hard to make the teams and flew across oceans to compete on the world stage - only to have the rules changed and the advantages of the modern wings neutered by the new format and restrictions.

I'm going flying with the NorCal league this weekend. I'm not going to comment on the current state of open class paragliding any more, for now, because I've already gone on record with my opinions. I just hope my friends at the Worlds come home safe.


2011 FAI PG World Championships - Piedrahita, Spain - No Fly Day

The mood in Piedrahita is a somber one.  At 10AM an open pilot meeting was held with pilots and Team Leaders to discuss their feelings about whether or not this competition should continue after the 2 fatalities and numerous reserve rides yesterday.  Conditions during the second task of the competition have been described as "level 1" (no hazards due to wind or turbulence) - in fact, the organizers, in a follow-up message called them "mild."  They went on to describe the incidents in a bit more detail -
In the first incident, the pilot was flying low along the ridge. The glider was seen to suffer a frontal collapse, horseshoe and fall in a stable parachutal stall. Close to the ground, the wing spun and the pilot impacted the ground. No reserve parachute was deployed.
In the second incident, the pilot was flying towards goal at altitude. The glider was seen to suffer a frontal collapse, immediately followed by a large cravat and high velocity spin. The reserve parachute was not deployed before the pilot impacted the ground.

The consensus expressed by the teams, even the Chilean and Argentine teams, was to continue to fly the comp. The Competition organizers and FAI officials, although refraining from making their decision until later this evening, must be very concerned that any additional events would be very detrimental to the sport and to the sportsmen and women participants. If a day with benign flying conditions can result in more than 6 situations requiring the use of the reserve parachute, how can the organizers contemplate tasking a day with more challenging weather? It's not an easy situation to evaluate due to the emotions of the moment and the liabilities of a less than conservative decision. Final decision should be made by Thursday noon PST.

In what I view as an interim band aid, there are considerations being made to "throttle back" the speed systems of the 2-liners to minimize the potential of collapse while on speed. Since yesterday's events occurred on more than one brand of wing, the problems appear, at first blush, to be systemic to the 2-liner design - A design that feels rock-solid until the wing goes away, but is unstable and unpredictable during attempts to recover to normal flight. It's been my observation that the pilots, with skills and experience on comp ships of the past, have the 'old-school' mindset that collapses can be flown away from, even at mid to low altitude - the way it was on prior wings. The evidence indicates that present-day 2-liner wings necessitate a willingness - a necessity even - to throw the reserve before the ineffective wrestling match.

Mads Sydergaard's comments are heartfelt and his explanation for leaving the comp but still fly the 2-liners shows the raw dichotomy of the situation. Things WILL change after this - it is a seminal moment. Maybe some good will come from this tragedy.

It's been a very sad week for Paragliding as a sport. Xavier Murillo is still missing in Peru and the loss of life in Spain necessitates consideration of the cancelling the World Championships.

I love this sport. It has allowed my eyes to view panoramas and experience joys that no other activity could. But this is a sad time.

Fly Safe,

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

2011 FAI PG World Championships - Task 2

Click for larger graphic

Task Two at the PG World Championships was a 77Km task to Avila.  Conditions were forecast to be a bit lower top-of-lift than yesterday.   This will come as a relief to those pilots who were buoyed over the 10000' ceiling during yesterday's task and received a "0" score for their efforts.

Here are two graphics showing the airspace issues that the task setters and pilots are working around.

The LIVE LEADER BOARD shows the provisional ranking as scoring is tabulated.  Scores for Task 2 will be posted at . . 

At this moment (1400 PDT) the Competition website has been taken down.  A request to the PG Forum was made to lock the world championship thread.  This was done (and has since been relaxed) due to the extremely unfortunate occurrence of two separate accidents (separated by 70K and 2 hours) that resulted in the death of pilots from Argentina and Chile.  In a release put out by the Piedrahita Staff they wrote:  
2011, Piedrahita

It is with great regret that the organisers have to announce that there were
two serious accidents during the competition task today. The first accident
occurred at approximately 14.00. Argentinian pilot, Francisco Vargas
crashed into the hillside a few kilometres from launch. Emergency services
were called to the site, but the pilot died at the scene.

The second accident occurred at approximately 16.00 in the Avila area.
Chilean pilot Eitel von Muhlenbrock lost control of his paraglider and crashed.
Emergency Services arrived swiftly, but the pilot died from his injuries.

Next of kin of both pilots have been informed.

We do not yet know the cause of either of the accidents, but an investigation
to determine the sequence of events is already underway by the event
organisers, together with Safety representatives of the FAI and the local
police. As soon as we have further information, we will issue another

There were three further minor incidents today, involving the deployment of
reserve parachutes. All three pilots landed safely and were uninjured.

The organisers wish to extend their deepest sympathies to the families and
friends of both Francisco Vargas and Eitel von Muhlenbrock.

Jose Luiz – Event Director
Steve Ham – Competition Director

My heart goes out to those who are left behind by these great pilots. Tomorrow will surely be a day of mourning on the hill in Piedrahita.

Rumor has it that there may have been many more than the "three" reserves thrown in what the Piedrahita note called "minor incidents" today. This will undoubtedly rekindle the simmering debate about 2-liner wings that are rock-solid until they stop flying, but become unrecoverable. This necessitates the use of the reserve which is a "last-chance" option. If the rumored number of reserves were actually used during today's task, it would indicate that we had about a 5-7% usage of this last chance option, on this day alone. No details about the accidents/incidents today are available, and it would be irresponsible to speculate on the causes at this time.

Provisional results indicate Josh Cohn was the top US pilot at 13th, and Jack Brown was next at 41st. Brad was 58th. Melanie landed at 34K for 12th in the women's class.

Fly Safe -


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

2011 FAI PG World Championships - Task 1

It sounds like the first task was a doozy - 153Km! The conditions provided for some fast XC with final glides over 110KPH and average speeds over 45 KPH. Airspace bit more than 30 pilots who either clipped some of the airspace protecting arrival and departure paths to airports, or exceeded the 3048M ceiling.

Josh Cohn tied for third place (and racked up the highest leading points for the day) while Brad Gunnuscio scored 902 points for 28th place. Jack and Melanie had disappointing flights, landing before goal.

Read the play-by-play at

Scores are at:
Day 1 Task Provisional Results

I'm looking forward to some great flying by the US team - they are in 3rd place.


Xavier Murillo still missing in the Andes

Click on image to go to Donation site.

For those who know Xavier, there is no hesitation to get involved in his SAR effort. His personality and character have an infectious knack of making PWC events more fun than they would otherwise be. His antics at pilot meetings, punctuated with bawdy T-shirts, attract the attention of distracted pilots and there is no doubt who is running the show. A PWC event just isn't the same if Xavier isn't there.

On July 1st he flew at Caraz in Peru and was last seen near cloudbase. No one has heard from him since and aerial searches are ongoing. Cash rules in South America and the French embassy has been forthcoming in the initial efforts, but a fund is now being used to collect monies to apply to Xavier's Search and Rescue costs.

Please consider that it's been 5 days now, with no sign. We need to find Xavier soon. You can contribute on this page:

Best of luck to him.


Monday, July 4, 2011

Practice Day in Piedrahita

Brad Gunniuscio has passed along this bit of video.  You can see the terrain and conditions are looking excellent for the first week of the comp.

Friday, July 1, 2011

2011 FAI PG World Championships - Piedrahita, Spain

 The 12th Paragliding World Championships begin on Tuesday the 5th of July in Piedrahita Spain.  The weather forecasts look good and you can expect some long tasks.  147 pilots from all over the world are registered.  For those who are keeping track, the newest 2-liner offerings will be well represented.  In an obvious display that Ozone is producing the most well rounded competition wing, there are 71 Ozone Mantras (9 R10s and 62 R11s) registered.  In addition there are 24 Gin Boomerang 8s - 10 Niviuk Icepeak 5s - 7 SOL Tracer TR2s -  5 Axis Mercurys - 3 UP Edge XRs and a hand full of Serial Class wings like my Gradient Avax XC3 (3).

The U.S. Worlds Team consists of Team Leaders Jeff Huey and Rob Sporrer

Our Team Pilots are Brad Gunnuscio, Josh Cohn, Jack Brown, and Melanie Pfister

Good luck guys!  Fly hard & fly safe -

The U.S. Team Blog can be viewed at

You can still donate to the team at

You can keep an eye on the proceedings using the links below.  Thanks to Tom Payne for making these links readily available.

Official sites
Home page
Live tracking
Pilot list

in English: Steve Ham (Organisation) : Team Australia : Jack Brown (USA) : Andre Rainsford (RSA) : Mads Syndergaard (DEN) / Bob Drury (XC Mag)  Brett Hazlett (CAN)
in French: Elisa Houdry (FRA) : Charles Cazaux (FRA) : Jean-Marc Caron (FRA)
in German: German Team : Swiss Team
in Spanish: Raul Penso (VEN)

Rat Race Awards

Mike and Gail Haley with Roger Brock
The last Rat Race task was a great day of flying and I think all who flew this week were treated to some great weather and great tasks.
Here are some podium shots, generously passed along to me by Andrew Zoechbauer .

Congratulations to all who hit the podium, especially to Nick Greece who got dunked.

If you haven't donated to the US Paragliding World Team please consider doing so now!  The World Championships begin next week and our team needs your support!  To donate to the US World Team Fund please visit


Jeff Huey- World Team Leader

All Winners

Women's RR Winners

RR Open Class Winners

RR Serial Class Winners

RR Sport Class Winners

Sportsmanship Award to Luke Boscovitch

Sprint Women Winners

Sprint Open Class Winners

Sprint Sport Class Winners