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Wrap up: 2014 Forbes BIG Spring Floater Comp

Rohan Taylor (Sydney Hang Gliding Club), Eye of the Tiger

by Louise Warren

We had an awesome time at the 2014 Forbes Big Spring competition held over the October labour day long weekend.

The 4 day comp delivered 3 great days of flying. And epic weekend of firsts for so many pilots; first thermals, first XC's, first goals, and a huge first place cash prize!

The Dalby Big air 2014


At this time of year there's no place in Australia i'd rather be racing a hang glider than right here in Dalby!

Manilla, NSW state titles

1a set up n the west launch

Task 1, 2,3,4

1st Place! 2012 Brasilia SuperRace

1: Winning the 2012 Brasilia Hang Gliding SuperRace

The 2012 Brasilia Hang Gliding Comp is now over after seven days of racing!  We all had an amazing time.  65 hang glider pilots from around the world flew all seven days of the comp, with unbelievable conditions, and not one injury.

Winning Brasilia is a huge milestone for me, as it's my favorite comp.  This was my fourth time to this hang gliding comp, but it had been already nine years since my last trip here, which was the 2003 World Champs.

I'm now hopping onto an airplane to head back home to Stanwell Park, Australia.  It's been a flying trip of a lifetime.

Ring of Fire: Brasilia SuperRace Task 4

Altitude 8000ft and gliding into Brasilia

Can you tell what song (Anita Carter< & Jonny Cash<)  I had in my head today?  Not the best one maybe ("I went down, down, down....") but I like the irony of it.  

For many of us, our 137km task went from 1000 ft/min climbs all day, to a screeching halt (almost no lift) at the last turnpoint:

I like Dirt: Brasilia SuperRace Task 3

Flying over Lagoa Formosa

Task 3 (of 7) was a 110km course, zig-zagging up on the plateau back to Brasilia.  Again today, our course took us through and area renowned as The Dust Devil? Factory (English version).  And it was here (again), I had a chance to sample the “local product” and was... quite impressed!

I was actually getting a good dose of dirt in the mouth and eyes, while climbing from 1000ft and higher.  From then, on I couldn’t get the song “I like Dirt”, by the Chilli Peppers, out of my head.  The next two climbs were also gritty.

Runaway Harvesters: Brasilia SuperRace DAY 2

Jonas and I heading to Sobradinho, not far out of Brasilia

Just as the name above implies, we RACED a 118 km task.

And below the dust devils marched along on course stopping for nothing, like a runaway harvesters, tearing up the ground as they plowed along.  There were little dusties, big ones, and then...there was the MotherShip that docked herself between Turnpoints 1 & 2.  Periodically, she became hollow and calm in the middle, as the thin-walled sides rotated the topsoil mechanically.

Brasilia Super Race 2012 Day 1

1) Landing in the Brazilan "White House" Lawn!

Brasilia, Brazil is my favorite place to race hang gliders in the world!

  • Consistent Dry Weather and Winds<
  • Strong Thermals sometimes marked top & bottom (CLOUDS & Dust devils)<
  • Driving out of town in the morning to fly back and land in the center of the a party in the park near our hotel<
  • Brazil...the pilots, people, culture, and fun<

I am very fortunate to be able to return to the Brasilia Super Race, after nine years away, since the World Champs in 2003.

Dalby Day 4 & 5: Racing Kicks In

Adam Stevens back at the Dalby Airstrip

The weather turns it ON for Task 4 and 5 at Dalby.  Most of the hang gliding pilots attending the competition realise we'd better soak up all of these strong-lift days before returning home (NSW, VIC, ACT, SA) where we won't be finding strong conditions like this for months!

Day 2 and 3 of the Dalby Big Air Comp

Flying over Dalby

Task 2 for the Dalby Big Air Comp was 80kms zig-zagging to the west. The mostly cotton farmland below had checkered sunlight, sometimes with large areas of shade that required long slow glides. I saw great pilots working ridiculously hard to make extremely low saves...sometimes getting away (Rohan), and sometimes not hooking in and landing (Jonas).

Top 3 for the day:

  • Lenny Paton<
  • Myself<
  • Conrad Loten<

Task 3 was amazing that we actually got to fly. There were rain patches around the tow-field, but

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