Things are getting busy in Hobbs International Airpark. The Memorial day weekend say a massive influx of hang gliders, Milleniums, sailplanes and more paraglider pilots including Pete Foster, Josh Cohn and Bruce from New Zealand. A crew of hangs from North Carolina also arrived, but Scott Johnson had to leave today, his energy will be missed Because so many people showed up, the laws of voodoo science were fully realized and the conditions decayed into warp-factor winds with very light to non-existent thermals. Although the last few days have generally sucked, there was at least some flying earlier in the week. On Wednesday, Josh, Pete, Scott and Kim and I on our Firebird Monster tandem (we're chasing tandem records this week) managed to do about 25 miles in very light lift with minimal wind. It was good to finally be flying, but to find low wind and very mellow--like 100 up max--conditions here in TX is somewhat unusual. Yesterday Kim and I launched tandem in 15-25 winds, which was exciting but worked out OK despite a prone launch position. We ended up covering five miles in about five minutes before landing in strong winds, which went well. The trick is have both pilots spin quickly while collapsing the wing and running toward it. The Millenium crew isn't doing much better despite flying the raddest looking wings I've seen, and everyone is basically going tonto from the high winds of the last three days. Tiki and Michael have been towing every day, including today when it was blowing 25+ by 11:00 when Michael launched. They are smooth in this wind, very impressive dedication and skill. We admired their perseverance from the ground.
Many pilots departed today out of frustration with the conditions, but perhaps they have made the sacrifice and things will improve. The forecast for tomorrow is for less wind, which would be good as I'm not too willing to launch tandem or solo when it's blowing at Hoolie + levels. Curt, head Voodoo meteorologist at Crossroads, predicts much-improved conditions as soon as we all leave, so everyone who can is calling in with thermal fever and other maladies related to low airtime disease. Brian and Kim relieved the pressure by holding an ice-cream social at their house, which was good fun.. I really can't get over how friendly everyone here in Hobbs is; every time I land a local will stop to talk, offer a lift into town or just check the wings out.
I've used the last few days of wind to update and add a few pages on this site: check out the new Hobbs page (emailto:firstname.lastname@example.org if you want me to add your Hobbs favorite). I hope there's less wind wherever you are, toss a circle for those of us in Hobbs. I've also been out on Curt's Boom Bar hang-gliding simulator, I might actually learn how to hang glide if conditions continue to be less than optimal. We only have three more days here, but I'll come back in July for sure if the next three days are poor. Such a long streak of poor conditions is fairly unusual according to the locals; even Curt is looking worried.
Will and Kim Csizmazia shortly before landing at mile 26 while attempting to set a new world record for the slowest 30 mile flight, which they were unable to achieve despite circling endlessly. Kim needs a new helmet.
Tiki stitched Michael a new "speed top" out of the world's slipperiest material. It looks fast for sure...
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