Wrap up: 2014 Forbes BIG Spring Floater Comp

1: Brett in his Malibu, behind the Dragonfly.  Photo By B Sangrove
Bll Moyes Paddock full of Floater hang gliders photo by Billo
Dinner for 80 people!  Around the table: Spud, Blaino, Olli, Peter, Molly, and Bill Moyes
Molly and Vicki Moyes
Noel Bear, Spot Landing Champ, with Curt
Andrew "Thief" Luton's happy with the Booze and Cash Prize
Hang Gliders getting ready.  Photo by B Sangrove
Day 3: Hang Gliders ready to race
Molly's cookies at the Forbes Aeroclub
Post flight party at the club house
Sydney pilots in the bush
Steve Docherty's Hang Gliding Trophy
Richard and Hiro after a good day of flying
Bill Moyes' quiver of Dragonfly tow planes.  Photo by Billo
A real Bomb Out field.  Photo by Jacqueline Moccand
Bill Moyes and Bruce Wynn Photo by Fly Moyes
Mick Tomlinson, Canberra Hang Gliding Club pilot.  Photo: Thea
Hang Gliders and the Goat ready to fly.  Photo by Jacqueline Moccand
Trish and Howie Jones Photo by Thea
Bruce Wynn from the Sydney Hang Gliding Club.  Photo by Billo
Vancho, Brad, Hoss, Brett, Rich, Ai, Ole, Jana, and more... Photo by Vicki
Thief getting jiggy during the Spot Landing Comp. Photo: Jacqueline Moccand
The Sydney Hang Gliding Club Team. photo by Jacqueline Moccand
Josh Woods about to sky out in his Moyes Malibu.  Photo by Jacqueline Moccand
Luke Browne and his dad Richard. Photo by Thea
Steve's Green Machine Moyes Malibu and Olli.  Photo by Vicki Moyes
Ingrid and Luke Browne from Sydney.  Photo: Vicki
Hanging: Patrick, Simon, Jacqueline, and Sean, too
Simon "Westy" West, hang gliding Frother!
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 ultimate goal of this comp is about building skills and giving our newer pilots a chance to fly with and learn from the pilots who have years of XC flying experience. It's also a very social comp, the dinners that are made every night (for 80 people!) by Vicki and Molly were incredible. And it's these meals that set the tone for a fun and social atmosphere.

I know I speak for all the pilots when I say that we are eternally grateful to the whole tug team for their efforts, which started long before the comp did. Bill Moyes ran 5 tugs for our field of 48 pilots. With the awesome towing of Bruce Crerar, Billo, Blaino, Brendan Sandgrove, Marco and Peter Holloway, and the expert launch crew; Vicki, Curt, Olli, Thea, Spud, Carl and Susie, all the pilots had safely left the paddock in time for our (late) lunch everyday.

The volunteers are imperative, and whether it was launching or chopping or cooking or washing dishes, there was always helping hands pitching in. A very heartfelt thank you to all who helped out in any way. Thanks to all the pilots who came and competed in the spirit of fun.

Most importantly, the flying all went off without a hitch, I'm very thankful that we all had a safe weekend of flying.

I've been around long enough to know that flying is in the blood (and not entirely in mine!), hang gliding is a lifestyle and a true love. And hang gliding is all made possible by the people who are dedicated to helping others in the sport. Whether it's their job or not, it's a altruistic drive. I'm proud of Curt when I see him in the tow line, how he cares about keeping every pilot safe. In a glance he sees the pilots hanging too low or too high. He sees tow releases that need adjusting, or their arms are too stiff, and I notice how pilots value his knowledge. And the ridiculous pep talk he gives pilots before launch.. "shock the poodle"... well I like to think it reminds them to relax and have fun, right?

In Curt's speech at the presentation he emphasised how lucky we all are to be flying with a group of special people, a group of our friends. Struggling, succeeding and learning together, and doing what
This is really what it's all about, and I'm so glad to have contributed to making this event happen.



The Story of the 2014 Forbes Big Spring Floater Comp<


Chapter 1 "The Ghost Town"<

No Dist. Id Radius (m) Open Close Coordinates
1 SS 0,0 km FBSAIR 3000 12:00 20:00 Lat: -33.36033  Lon: 147.93283
2 ES 21,7 km GUNGL 1000 12:00 20:00 Lat: -33.13  Lon: 147.91333


Trent made a strong start to the competition, taking out day 1. But Howard Jones stole the show, with an incredible entrance into the Big Spring comp circuit. Coming second on the first anniversary of earning his hang gliding licence. We were all stoked to see him make goal. Howard was closely followed by Steve Docherty.

T'was after all the pilots had already packed up and headed home from goal, that the 13th pilot made his late landing at goal. Without a driver Conrad was forced to wander into the ghost town, where the streets were lined with abandoned houses, to use the phone of the only two remaining townsfolk. Luckily the tallest and bravest (?) man in the comp, Patrick Trinder went in to retrieve him.


Chapter 2 The Firing Range<


Radius (m)
1 SS
0,0 km
Lat: -33.36033  Lon: 147.93283
2 ES
49,7 km
Lat: -33.77767  Lon: 148.20933


On day 2 we received a visit from a bearded and tattooed man, he hailed from the Shooting Range next door. But unfortunately he didn't come to borrow a cup of sugar. They were, quite understandably, unhappy about the hang glider that almost landed in the range during their target practice. And he wanted to speak with the comp organiser. Gulp! Suddenly I wasn't so chuffed about being in that role! But I guess neither of us were as concerned as the pilot who landed near the range, certainly makes for an exciting approach!

There were only 5 pilots who made it to goal on day 2. Andrew Luton won the day, followed by Alan Bond. Meanwhile Steve Docherty had an exciting start to the task. An early release saw him land almost back in the tow paddock... with just a fence in between. So Carl went on a rescue mission and Steve relaunched to make goal and place 3rd for the day, moving into first place overall. Also in goal was Chris Czajkowski and Chris Rolfe - Awesome work you two.


Chapter 3 The Spot<

Andrew "Thief" Luton started it out with a "hungry" (see photo) attempt at the spot. Conrad was having so much fun swooping around that forgot to look to see where the spot was. There were a couple occasions we thought there was going to be a "flying in formation" spot landing attempt...but pilots quickly organized themselves. -most likely Stanwell Park Club pilots. Simon "Westy" West just about took home the trophy, but Nolan Bear from Victoria was crowned this year's champ. After about 100 spot landings, there were only 2x uprights? claimed. Hmmm, might need to add a cash prize to the trophy/title next year.


Chapter 4 Tortoises and Hares<


Radius (m)
1 SS
0,0 km
Lat: -33.36033  Lon: 147.93283
2 ES
21,7 km
Lat: -33.43642  Lon: 148.4105
3 ES 48,9 km GOOLWG 1000 13:00 20:00 Lat: -33.61959  Lon: 148.4105

Launch opened at 1pm, but the pilots were slow going. Everyone was watching and waiting for first place Steve Docherty (aka The Green Machine) to make his move.
It seems that a late start was the ticket to success at this comp. Steve Docherty and Thief kept bombing out on day three, yet somehow managed to battle it out for 1st and 2nd place overall.
The launch crew couldn't get rid of Thief, he just kept coming back again, and again. At about 3pm he was one of the few lonely pilots still left in the tow line. But finally on his third tow of the day (fifth if you count spot landing tows), Thief finally stuck - And then smoked it into goal to win the day. Conrad was second on day 3, followed by Nils Vesk.


The Final Results<

1st - Andrew Luton
2nd - Steve Docherty
3rd - Trent Brown
4th - Conrad Loten
5th - Alastair Bramwell-Davies
6th - Micheal Tomlinson
7th - Nils Vesk
8th - Howard Jones
9th - Bruce Wynne
10th- Rohan Taylor

Spot Landing Winner- Noel Bear

Sportsman Award - Sean Dunn


What was HOT at the Forbes Big Spring:

Sean Dunn, scoring his first thermal on day 1. Then smashing his BP every day. Sean was stoked to be working his way to double digits in his thermal count.
This is what we love to see, how many pilots can recall each and every thermal they're ever had? Sean's one of the few and he'll do it with a huge smile.

Conrad telling Bruce Crerar form Dalby he gave him the best tow he has ever had.

The Volunteers!
Special mention to Spud, Carl and Susie; can you find better volunteers than these three? Nup! They worked tirelessly on the launch line. Then helped chop, dice and bbq dinner. AND back at the aeroclub, they confounded us with magic tricks! As well as being amazing help, they are amazingly fun people to have around. It was a pleasure meeting them all.
Thanks to everyone who put up their hand to help out with the comp.

Billo towed all day, then parking himself behind the computer to do downloads and scoring. Thanks Thea for your help launching, and downloads too.

The modest and humble Hiro setting a cross country PB. I nearly didn't find out about this achievement, but I loved seeing the smile on Hiro's face when he told me about his 40km+ personal best.

New faces in goal - Chris Rolfe, Gabriel Toniolo, Richard Hughes, Luke Browne all worked their way into their first goals. And Curt says "these weren't giveaway goals. This was an impressive effort."

The Tow Crew were probably the hottest thing out at Forbes. It doesn't get much better than Bill Moyes, a legend. And Marco, Blaino, Brendan, Bruce, Billo and Peter; you're all incredible tug pilots and we're lucky to have you.

Vicki and Molly cheering on the Rabbitohs


It takes a village to make a competition, and we're lucky the Forbes community is very welcoming and supporting of our hang gliding. Here's cheers to some of the community who made the event happen:

The Forbes Aeroclub was, as always, welcoming to having a motley bunch of pilots set up camp and take over the club house for a few days. Thanks particularly to Alan, John, Annie and Veronika.

Shell Petrol at Forbes donated generously to contribute our first place cash prize, thanks Gary.

Janine from the best Cafe in Forbes, the Mezzanine. Thanks also for the great coffee and delicious breakfasts!

Not only did the Moyes Crew run the towing, create the amazing meals, and were really the backbone to the whole event,. Moyes Delta gliders also contributed to the first place prize.

NSW Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association has really been supporting the development of our NSW pilots. Subsidising a portion of all NSW pilots entry fee to give more pilots access to this event, which aims improve skill and experience through practice and collaboration with other pilots.


BIG SPRING Classifieds<

More hang gliding volunteers for target practice.
Submit applications to The Shooting Range next door to Forbes Airport.

For sale
2 uprights, used once for the Big Spring Spot landing contest.
A Luton

Wanted to buy
Any floater, just want to be able to officially enter the comp
A Jones

Big Spring Personals
Looking for a long term partner. Preferably brunette, with a love for the outdoors and sailing. Must be able to stand by my set-up glider on the ground, even when I don't.
B Porter


VHF 126.7 Talkback <

I just wanted to say thanks for a Great few days that i had at Forbes.
I really enjoyed the whole set up and how the comp was run..  I learnt a lot  about thermal flying and how to launch  and land and also how to bomb out  etc..  In theory..  I hope to put it all into practice very soon...
I had a lot of fun chilling out with you all at the launch sight and over a  beer at the club house.  Especially a ride in the Dragon Fly
I look forward to some flying at Bald hill soon
Cheers Curt!
Spud Brennan


Hi Vicki,
I couldn't quite follow that superbowl-like game that you were cheering for on Sunday night. But the kids and I loved those cupcakes you made. But why were they Christmas colours?


Thanks Curt and Lou and Moyes Crew. I had an awesome time and came away feeling encouraged, challenged and lifted high. And both humbled and honoured to be among a generation of pilot family. It is really a flying phenomenon, the tug planes, the beer, the food and the flying stories. So thanks, Brett


Thanks for all the hard work running such an excellent comp, the best and most enjoyable I have ever been to. I can't wait till the next one.


Thanks for the great comp. Without guys, organizers, helpers and the scorer, these events would not happen. The food was amazing.
Thanks again, Rob Larkin and Team

HI Vicki and Curt ,
Just wanted to say a big Thank you for organising such a great event in Forbes last week.
A lot of preparation and work has gone into it form you guys,  and it has been such a good vibe in the air all the time, many others and myself have really enjoyed being able to be part of it. Even my wife Jana enjoyed the challenge of retrieve driver for many pilots during the event so all happy on all fronts. How much better can it get...
The new Malibu is such a breeze and joy to fly , just loving it!!! thanks Vicky!!
Please keep this event up and going its bringing more and more HG pilots back into the sport I am sure.
Best regards and thanks to the Tow team,  Molly and Bill, Louise, and all involved behind the scene...

Regards from Laurieton Beach NSW.  Cheers, Ole Hartmann



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