During a weather day of the Red Rocks Wide Open this week, a US Nationals and Pre- PWC race to goal competition in southern Utah we held a panel discussion with some of our most veteran competition pilots- Evan Bouchier, Matt Beechinor, Josh Cohn, Bill Belcourt and Reavis Sutphin-Gray. Between the five they have 119 years of xc experience. The opening topic was competition strategy but the talk wandered into all kinds of fascinating areas including strategies for dealing with gust fronts, team flying, planning for going huge and a lot more. It was incredibly interesting seeing the differences in approach and while most of the topics centered on the uniqueness of flying in North America the takeaways would apply to pilots anywhere. The results were gold. We recorded the talk in an open park during a rain storm so it was hardly a good venue for capturing clean audio, but stick with it- there’s a ton of valuable information here!
TranscriptSpeaker 1 (0s): Hi there everybody. Welcome to another episode of Cloudbase Mayhem. I have just returned from the red Rocks wide open and amazing event. Super fun. The weather threw us some pretty serious curve balls with the hurricane, which was kind of unheard of off the coast of Southern California. So we had some down days and one of the days we put together a panel, an open panel for everybody to just come and learn and soak up the knowledge. We had five panelists and I added it up between the five of them.
There was 119 years of experience. So it was kind of stated as a, as a panel on competition flying and tactics and strategy, which we got into a lot of, but they also talked about gust fronts and what to do and, and those kind of situations. And, and it went all over the place. This was in an open park, it was outdoors. And so the sound is tricky at times, of course, cuz there was cars driving by and it was raining, but miles is done as usual magic and you can definitely hear the panelists really well cuz I had all kinds of microphones on them, but it's a little hard sometimes to hear the questions, but the answers make it pretty obvious what people were asking.
So on the panel where as was Evan Bouchier who's was actually the least experienced at 14 years, although he is got a ton of experience, he chases it really hard and he's done incredibly well lately on the world cup scene, couple, top five finishes, including fifth and Macedonian third and China. This last year, he'll be in the super final here in a couple months down in Mexico, Matt Beachner, who's my neighbor. And you've seen a lot in the book and a mentor to me for ages and ages.
He's been flying almost 30 years, bill Belcourt 33 years, Josh Cohn, 33 years. And my ex supporter and weather guru rev Reavis Gray, who has been flying for 15 years and hosted the most magical party I've ever seen in my life. The last night of this thing. So if any of you are listening to this and want to come over to a us comp and not only get some really good flying, but get to see that magic. Wow. What a special party. So here you go.
Amazing stuff. Tons of great knowledge and insights from some of our most veteran pilots in the sport enjoy.
Speaker 2 (2m 39s): Okay. So just so you all know it does get worse than this at the woke up in 2012 in sun valley, we had some pretty cool tasks and then we had a seven day open distance competition after that and we didn't fly one day. It was too windy and, but it was all kind of salvaged by. I was kind of a newbie back then and it was all salvaged by these guys, bill and farmer and Nick and Russ Oden.
Some of you seen the video that Russ did on two liners, but they all dedicated their time each day to giving these amazing talks. And you read the book, this isn't what it said, but it was really kind some of the inspiration behind what turned into the Cloudbase Mayhem was, you know, I had read every book that I gotten from farmer cuz he has 'em all and I read every magazine and, and then suddenly these guys would talk for an hour and just all this stuff I've never heard about.
So that's kind of what this is, is just to let you all ask these guys. I just added it up between our five panelists. We have 119 years of experience and, and bill wasn't even in the winner there, bill and Josh are both 33 and the weak point was Evan at 14. So we got, we got a lot of hours here and a lot of comps under all these guys belts.
And so I'll fire off the first question and then you guys can just let have it. Evan you've had a lot of success in the Evan was third in last year's world cup in China. He was fifth in Macedonia, which had really super final level pilots in, it was pretty competitive seven days. And so I wanted just ask you, where did the code kind of crack for you and, and what do you, what do you credit it to what it seems like there's kind of a system and you've, you've put it together and figured it out.
And can everybody here in the back is that, does this work cool?
Speaker 4 (4m 60s): Well, I'd love to say that I cracked the code, but it's, it's always changing and evolving. So I think that'd be too much of a plan to make, but I, I feel like going into China basically was where I had the best Headspace and resulted in my best is all yet. And honestly I think the, probably the key was down, down shifting more than I ever had in my life. Like up until then all the world cups that I've been in.
I was always full throttle, always trying to attack, always trying to like, like leave whatever group I was in and catch another group and just always full throttle. And that was the first time I learned to just downshift and find the appropriate gear. And as a result of that, instead of like, I was finding this situation over and over again where I'd be in 80th place in a world cup with a, with a group of 20 pilots and I'd try to burn away from them only to like not realizing that I was surrounded by amazing pilots and I'd go and get stuck somewhere and all eight, all of them would fly over my head and then I'd fall back a group and then I'd try to burn away from them and they'd all fly over my head cause I was stuck somewhere and I fell back another group.
So really realizing like that the appropriate gear isn't like full throttle all the time. It's like each scenario requires a different gear and some often that's downshifting and like, You know, being more aware of the situation and staying in a downshifted gear for a while until there's actually an opportunity where, where going full throttle makes sense and you can do something with it. And then using that to your advantage. I think that's really been the key break for me.
I, I used to in races, my pulley beast lock pulley over pulley all the time. Now I'm really finding I'm pulley over pulley, like 10, 15% of the time. It's like picking when to do it is way more important than how hard you're doing it. You know?
Speaker 3 (7m 4s): So
Speaker 4 (7m 6s): I'd say it's really been down downshifting and searching for the appropriate year for the situation and more awareness kind of tied into that.
Speaker 3 (7m 14s): Thanks by away. That
Speaker 4 (7m 22s): Was easy. Just peek in. Thanks. That means you all let's
Speaker 3 (7m 28s): Let's elaborate on that a little bit. Like
Speaker 4 (7m 30s): What is it that helps you
Speaker 3 (7m 31s): Understand what
Speaker 4 (7m 32s): Year you
Speaker 3 (7m 33s): Should be in an interview?
Speaker 4 (7m 37s): I mean, some of it's like just the fear fundamentals, like McCreedy or whatever, if it's a boom and day, then, then you're hammering a lot harder. If there's big cloud in front of you, you're riding a lot harder. If there's someone marking a climb, then you're attacking. If there's more uncertainty in the situation, then, then recognizing that and downshifting a little bit. If you're with a group of really good pilots, like recognizing that you're with a group of really good pilots and not trying to pull away from them, but instead like match their gear.
I found China was the first time where I really locked into that experience of like being in a lead group and everyone being in an uncertain situation and everyone just downshifted and fanned out and no one was like trying to dive and run away from the group. Everyone was just faning out and working as a group and, and not lining up behind each other, staying wide and, and then using that to like to move, pull the whole group forward. So, and I mean, and then also knowing where you are in the course line and, and, and being honest with yourself around what you're trying to accomplish on a given day, like a lot of times in world cups, I'm, I'm aiming for like top 15 or top 20 on a given day.
And so I'm trying to make moves that are optimized around that. And so, you know, like, so if that, that often means like staying shifted down and, and being more patient and then attacking only kind of right at the very end,
Speaker 6 (9m 15s): I think the gears are a really good analogy. And I would say that it's more than first through fifth with the gears. It also includes park and reverse first it's hard. So hard park park and reverse are super hard, but sometimes a course shades out or something happens with the weather on course line. And if you keep going on course line, you're gonna just go land. So sometimes you gotta put it in park and wait for things to pop in front of you again. And the most painful one is throwing it in reverse and going backwards on the course line to go completely around an area.
And those days are huge separators and what can really make the difference between winning a contest and, and, and doing mediocre, you know, cuz those days when just a few people filter into goal, because you were smart enough to kind of stay in the game and find your way around a situation or can be really critical.
Speaker 5 (10m 11s): Absolutely.
Speaker 4 (10m 13s): And it, it like reverse or a 90 to the side to can make a big difference. Cuz climbing speed is how you win races. And if there's a big climb over there and you hang it right and, and slow down, it's basically park to go find a climb. Then all of a sudden you're moving as fast as you possibly can or even like flying backwards, flying the kilometer backwards. So big climb is incredibly painful, but climate speed is everything.
Speaker 5 (10m 38s): How much are you guys trying for? Is that
Speaker 4 (10m 46s): Josh?
Speaker 6 (10m 50s): I think it's, well, it depends on like some pumps have it worth twice as much as others. So I guess you should probably pay a little bit more attention good in those, but for the most part it's nice to have so to sit sort of thing. No, I mean, I think it's, it's, it's nice to not like always be hanging back and, and also just, I guess to be aware that sometimes when there might be two different, two different routes to take, and if you have to divert early on for one route, that's gonna lose your leading points.
Cause you're not making progress toward goal originally, which is sort of on the leading formula, what it
Speaker 4 (11m 42s): It's optimized along
Speaker 6 (11m 44s): Line. Yeah.
Speaker 4 (11m 46s): What are the key indicators for when you leave the final?
Speaker 6 (11m 59s): I mean, depends how much headwind or sync or whatever you expect on on a day, like a few days ago when I was expecting sort of a crosswind I guess. And I think I waited until like six, seven to one, if there's a tailwind and it seems lift then, you know, with 12 one or something, it's really hard for you guys. Oh, sorry. Yeah. I, I was saying just depends on what you expect in terms of headwind, tailwind, lift or sink.
And so like the, the task we had a few days ago, I think I waited until like a six to one because I was expecting some cross headwind and yeah. Ended up coming over 2000 over but not.
Speaker 4 (12m 50s): Yeah. And I left at, I think I started at an eight to one. It had gone to a five and a half to one and I almost didn't make it because it was just a really bad Glock. So you try to be conservative cuz you really wanna make it, but you don't know what you don't know as far as how good the Glad's gonna be along the way. So give yourself some margin. So you have a high percentage chance of making it and be willing to sacrifice a few spots if you really wanna make sure you get there every time coming up, short socks
Speaker 6 (13m 35s): On, on some of the instruments you can put in a safety, safety altitude. So it'll give you the calculation basically to whatever that height is above goal, which I find kind of helpful because you know, a hundred meters or whatever can easily, easily lose that much with some unlucky sink or whatever. But you do have more information about what lies ahead than your instrument does. So it's always good to factor that in as well. And you can be less conservative if you expect climbs in front, you can go thinking I probably can make this, but if it's not working out, I can slow down or stop and climb.
If you think you're not gonna be able to climb, you'd better have, have it in the bag,
Speaker 7 (14m 18s): All things being equal. Do you guys have distinct sort of strategies or mindsets at different of the races? Always just the situation
Speaker 6 (14m 34s): Advice with waiting for the start to up until, I dunno, 10, 15 minutes before the start or so just, just chill and like go find your owns and, and relax. And then for that last little bit, you have to kind of fight for position. And then, you know, at some point when it, when it comes time, you think you can gone glide, then you've gotta be, be really, you know, ready for that, that moment. And in between it's a little more lowkey,
Speaker 7 (15m 6s): I guess. I specifically, what about the sort of, you know, that 10 minutes before start up until sort the first climb after the first fly that seems like that's where the field really gets differentiated. Like a lot happens and sort sensor.
Speaker 6 (15m 22s): It doesn't yeah, it doesn't always help to be in the, in the lead. Right, right after the start. Yeah. With them not leading them is a good position to be in the start. It seems like at least with the group, I mean you see a lot of separation right. Outta the gates first couple of times, first couple of glides. Cuz if you're not with them, if you're a thousand feet below 'em yeah. People are gonna leave you in a hurry. So getting into a really good position in the start and then trying to hang with that group and I would say, be a part of, and be useful to that group.
As you're moving through the course, you can stay with them, but they can get you pretty quick. If, if you don't get a good start,
Speaker 4 (16m 10s): Usually just trying to relax that part of the race. Like it's so intense being in the gaggle, like right before the start for that first few minutes of decompression, I'm just breathing and trying to like focus and like you're always trying to be on top and in front or close to the front, but start opens and you've got what you've got. And so then you're just trying to like open your eyes and see, you know, if you're ahead and out front, then you've got a distinct advantage. But if you're behind, there's always an advantage too.
Cause you've got a lot more information to work. Let's say I'm always just trying to relax, open my eyes, see what the situation is and what I have to work with.
Speaker 7 (16m 50s): You guys have a strategy to keep track of people behind you when you are in front so that they don't, they catch a climb. If you miss it's one spot.
Speaker 4 (16m 59s): I look over my shoulder a ton if I'm ever in the front or I'm always looking over my shoulder, just cause hate to glide away from something good that's happening behind you. But some point you kind and there's nothing, you can do something behind
Speaker 5 (17m 14s): It. You and with that.
Speaker 6 (17m 33s): Yeah. Be a goldfish. Yeah. I mean, if you're sitting there dwelling on a mistake that you just made during a flight, you're not doing yourself any favors. Yeah. And I really feel like you gotta just fly in the moment and forget whatever small state mistake just happened. If you need to yell your helmet for a minute. Yeah. Yell on your helmet for a minute, but that's all it should last and then move on and take the opportunities in front of you. Otherwise you're just gonna keep blowing your day. Yeah. That's how I feel about it. And also sometimes you just have to believe that it's possible to come back from, I setback that cuz it is.
Yeah. Cause you often can. Yeah.
Speaker 4 (18m 11s): Or even use it to your advantage
Speaker 6 (18m 13s): If
Speaker 4 (18m 13s): You're high and there's more information available in front of, so
Speaker 6 (18m 17s): Oftentimes the lead group, at least at this level of contest, I would say this is less true as you work into the really high level of contest. But the lead group isn't necessarily flying at full speed all the time throughout the whole course line, since they're, you know, proving what the course line is, they're not hammering as hard and there's opportunity for the chase group to catch them as a result. Pick, find that to be true. A lot of times where it's more like three quarter, half far, sometimes when that lead group.
So, and sometimes even at high level comps, the lead group will be hammering and then get stuck. Cause they didn't read the course line appropriately. And
Speaker 7 (19m 8s): Here's you guys' musings on sort of the differences in how you approach race flying versus XC. And then at what point those two skill either deviate or do they deviate?
Speaker 6 (19m 23s): I mean, I, I found, I had to really switch my mindset when I was trying to do long XCS in Brazil, that I was just racing too much and racing into the, so it seemed like I finally just had the, to just try to stay in all day's mindset for cross country.
Speaker 4 (19m 52s): Just go really deep and then try the rest of the day, not the land. Cause that's how it feels. So you're, you know, when you're flying the long XC, it's, it's a long day, you know, it's gonna be eight plus hours. You know, you go through a lot of ups and downs throughout the day. It's like, I dunno some kind of long distance run without the work, But there's moments.
You feel like you're in a really good position and then there's moments you feel like, you know, you're, you're not, and you're trying to fly the optimized line of the sky, which is gonna take you a lot of places in the terrain that maybe you wouldn't, you wouldn't wanna go cuz there isn't a lot of roads, but still, if you wanna maximize the day, you gotta fly sky. So, so I'm, and I'm on speed pretty much all the time, but hardly ever full speed unless I'm trying to escape a cloud or something because you, you still, you're going down wind lots of times unless you're flying the triangle and then maybe it's a little different and so you don't need to be hammering it.
And you know, that getting low is not efficient in terms of making, you know, making caves. And so you try not to get low, but you also try not to waste a bunch of time and broken lifts screwing around because you're afraid you're gonna get low. So you do your best, but inevitably a couple times a day, you're gonna get low and then hopefully you're low in a good spot, you know, and that is a good spot to climb out.
And then usually it works out, but being low isn't fast. And so you do your best to fly the, you know, the middle to the top of the sky and, and that opposed to racing, you just don't have anybody with you on those cross countries. And so there's a limited amount of information that you have, which is, you know, the bad part, but there's also no one going you to go faster, which is the good part.
And that's the problem with racing is there's always someone around ahead of you or there's always a group higher or there's always, you know, somebody going faster. And then, you know, if you get into racing, everybody around you without being strategic about it, you know, you just, you end up low or end up on the dirt where you wouldn't have normally done that if it was a cross country flight, because if you compared it to, you know, if you run any kind of road races, it's like, you know how fast you can be for like a half marathon or whatnot.
But when you're in the start group, you find yourself, you know, at a heart rate, way higher than you would've normally been optimized for a race of that distance. Just because, you know, it's a group of people, there's some people going faster, you know, there's some adrenaline, you feel like you can go faster and then you come out hot for the first, you know, five miles. And then maybe for the last third of the race you fade, cause you just came out too fast.
And so the same, you know, you get the same tendencies when you're racing. Paragliders is you just start racing instead of flying your own flight and cross country, you're flying your own flight. So, so you, you know, you have to sort of manage your mindset, which is easier said than done. And, and to switch gears from flying cross country to racing, you know, can't be done just like that.
But at the same time, the reason you do comps is to fly faster and more efficient, which makes you a better cross country pilot. And so cross training between cross country and racing is a good way to, to sort of realize your potential as a pilot. And so, you know, even though I fly more cross country, this, these days than race, I still like to go to a couple of races just to try to remind myself how to be faster because I know I can use that in cross country flying.
Speaker 6 (25m 1s): And, and maybe on the other side of that coin, if someone only does competitions and they're only flying with groups, they might not know what to do if they find themselves out on their own during a task. And just to add to something you said about getting low in a good spot, find it, find it's really helpful. If you have a choice, if you're getting low and you have a choice of different places to, to try to get up, if you can find a decent trigger, that's right near a nice landing zone, then you can just work it and work it and not worry about the landing part.
And yeah, that often having that bit of less stress often makes it work a lot better. That's
Speaker 5 (25m 41s): Can any of you guys talk about, I know that all of you have done some nice cross country plug 30, the fly them, and I haven't done a ton of that and difficult really lining up and sticking with your guys. Are you waiting for them not to spreading out groups? Yeah, well like, you know, groups like small groups, you know, but just, just different than Gray.
Speaker 6 (26m 15s): I would say that the top priority is making it a top priority. If you, if you don't have set the intention and talk about the fact that's what you want to do, it's not gonna happen. If you can look at what the Brazilians have done, they've really fine tuned like specific protocols for how, how to determine when to wait for someone and who leaves a climb. But I haven't found any people in the states that wanna do that kind of team flying. But if you talk about it and make a plan, that's the first thing.
And then personally, I would say also live tracking makes it so much easier than it used to be. If you're running cell based live tracking on your phone, or maybe you have instruments that can show you position your buddies when you do get separated. Because especially in places like this, where they're strong climbs and strong sink and minor differences in line can lead to huge separation. Seeing exactly where the person you wanna be flying with is really helps you get back to them and join back up and make the team happen again. So I think communication live tracking and just saying, it's what you want to do.
And finding LifeMinded people who also want to do it is real key there.
Speaker 4 (27m 27s): It's hard to do,
Speaker 5 (27m 29s): Especially
Speaker 4 (27m 29s): For Americans
Speaker 5 (27m 32s): That big what's for United, it's not what's for level's country, country,
Speaker 4 (27m 46s): Team flying or flying
Speaker 6 (27m 49s): Everybody in this crowd is what I would argue because in Europe they have really, really good talent deep in the field. And that makes those top guys have to fight for it that much more. And the more our whole community can come up. The more, the top people that are amongst us will be elevated and will be on a higher level when they go to world competitions. So I'd argue that it's our community. That's
Speaker 5 (28m 22s): What's the, the intention of FL what's it sound like? Cause I said at times like, OK, when we FL we're gonna land together, we just bomb out or both bombing out. What's like
Speaker 4 (28m 34s): The intention. I think, I think Reavis left one piece out and that's you have to sacrifice too. Like you've worked together, you've got cohesion, but you also have to like, go backwards, go down. You've got a sweet move in front of you, but your buddy doesn't have it. You have to just wait. And it sucks when you're doing it, but you, you make that sacrifice. So that two moves later, you're both queuing crossing together and you can cover a lot more area.
Speaker 6 (28m 57s): Yeah. It's really good to keep that in mind when you're, when it feels like you're making a sacrifice because in the end result, if you do fly as a team, it won't be a sacrifice because you'll have the other pilot or pilots there with you finding the climbs more quickly finding the efficient lines to glide more quickly. But it is hard to wrap your head around that at first. Perfect. When you're like, I'm a Cloudbase and you're stuck down there, but it is worth it to wait as long as the person is climbing
Speaker 4 (29m 23s): And to Cedar's point like Americans and kind of, I think we kind of sucked at it more than some other places. Like we're very wild west. There's an ethos here of like, I got something and I don't care what's going on behind me. Like I'm going with everything I've got and we RA we kind of race that way too. We fly across country that way. I think it's born of like the fact that all of you guys, everyone here flies in a site where there's like five other pilots and there's a million miles of open distance. Like the way reason you found your way there in the first place is cuz you're super independent.
And so to then like come and develop cohesion with a group and make sacrifices, you can all work together hard. We're just not wired that way at all. It's like a very different mentality. And it does reflect when we go to competitions and world competitions and we're racing against the French kids who have been training together in a small pack for years, 30 of them. And they just annihilate us and they're like actively working together as a team, they'll make sacrifices as a team, they'll throw a rabbit out like on individual days, their coach will be like you're the rabbit and someone will attack and pull a bunch of people with them.
And the rest of the team will ride that wave things like this. So there's just more built into that mentality. Whereas we're all just so wild west. And it's hard for us to want to like shift gears and like group up of that. It's really hard. And I would also say that the pilots need to be of equal ability on the same gliders, similar gliders and know what team flying is.
And so team flying is not parking yourself behind the guy in front where he can't even see you and then making the guy in front or whoever it is, make all the decisions. And you know, if those decisions work you're in back, you're gonna take advantage of those. If they don't work, you're gonna try something else. And, and so that is one sided. It doesn't work. Or if you're, you know, you're not comfortable on speedball.
And so the rest of the crew is hammering and then you're perpetually behind because you're not pushing as much speed. You know, that gets all, you know, cuz everybody's gonna have to wait for it. You know, if on every glide, when you hit the next climb, you turn around and the person you're supposed to team fly with is a K back. How many times you're gonna do that before? You've decided it doesn't work. And so if you're gonna say team fly, you've gotta, you know, you gotta be an equal contributor on the team for it ultimately to pay off otherwise.
You're, you're just asking people to fly with you, which is not team flying.
Speaker 6 (32m 21s): The one thing I'd say is kind of an exception to that role is if you're planning to fly a triangle and you have maybe a, a couple groups where you have people at one level and people at a slightly lower level are flying slower gliders. It is possible to coordinate flying a big triangle and a smaller triangle where some of the legs are shared. So if you don't have the people who are at exactly your level flying the same kind of glider, but you get weather to fly a triangle, you may still be able to approximate team flying by joining up for the legs.
And then the faster gliders are faster. Pilots can just stretch out the point, turn points a little
Speaker 5 (32m 57s): Farther,
Speaker 2 (32m 60s): Keep in mind too that they're gonna have the, the have worked at this for a long time. They've got really strict rules of how it all works and they practiced it a ton when Cody and I were down Texas, there's a, there's a, it's a, it's a, it takes a lot of practice. It's a lot of work. I mean like, like somebody said, it's just having the intentions, not enough. That's just the start. You've gotta have the rules. And you've
Speaker 6 (33m 39s): Not that I'm aware of right now, but you know, if you wanna do well in exon doing it team is a good
Speaker 5 (33m 58s): Utah. Our, these places, we did storm clouds. And I, I determining when I know I about when are factors in like this is getting dangerous, difficult,
Speaker 4 (34m 26s): It's, that's always a tough call because the marginal, the days on the margins can produce really good flights, as long as they don't cross the line and become dangerous, which Off often they don't. Sometimes they, they do. That's why they're on the margins. No one can call it one way or the other. And then, you know, those days tend to have more cloud, but tend to have that cloud be closer to overdevelopment.
And then it's just a matter of scale as to how tall they get and, and how hard they drop and any kind of indications that you can get of that in the course of the day, you know, can determine whether you land or continue. And so, you know, the important thing is, is not to want it so bad that you're unwilling to end the flight until, you know, You're in the GU run and it's happened to me a couple, three times, and it's not pleasant to get caught in the GU run and not recommend it and certainly not worth it.
So, so it's, it's hard to say specifically how you make the call because every day is different, but I would, I'm always looking for dust. And fortunately in the west you can see a long ways. And so if there's big stuff in the distance that is sort of, we would say a bit of a prototype for what might be happening near you.
If that stuff explodes, chances are the stuff near you may explode. And so it might be a good idea to land, but there's been days where I've been, you know, and this, this was maybe a longer time ago than how I look at it now is I was landing prematurely too many times because I thought it was gonna go bad and it just didn't go bad. And so, but eventually I, I feel like I, I got a good feel for it, but everybody nowadays gets, you know, gets good at flying the gliders fast, but to get 10 years of flying experience, it still takes 10 years, but you can learn how to fly the gliders really well in a much shorter time than that.
But the opportunity to fly year after year in experience, you know, all those different conditions and all those seasons and all those places in the world over all of those years, you can't really get that in any compressed manner, even though the weather data is really good. Now, you know, it's joking with all earlier about, you know, back when Josh and I started flying, you could call one 800 w X brief and you could get the wins, you know, and that's all you could get.
You know, there was no internet, you know, there was no cell phones, you know, just getting on the phone and calling for the winds was all the weather information you had other than watching the news, we call you the temperature. And now calculating, I had a little Noah weather radio, you know, you could just play the Noah recording and that was all the information you had. And so it was, it was hard to figure out like what you could do and when you could do it now, you can do it much more easily.
But at the same time, that only gets you so far. Really it's the experience of flying year after year, where, you know, you get a better feel for where the line is between reasonable and unreasonable. But you know, as spinal tap once said, there's a fine line between clever and stupid. And you know, you can't tell yourself that enough,
Speaker 6 (38m 50s): You need to get good at predicting the weather in the next hour or so. And you can sort of check, check how your predictions are doing. Like if you're finding that you're, you know, managing to always land an hour 45 minutes or whatever before D rolls through that's seems like sort of a reasonable margin to me, although people might have different opinions on that. But I think just that, that kind of thought process is helpful. Like making predictions and checking how accurate the predictions are.
Cause that's, what's gonna keep you
Speaker 5 (39m 30s): For nuances. Look at the good days that you had. And I don't I'd imagine that is stored somewhere, but I, that then look back and pull best 50 tracks in T somewhere I at look is, is what the pressure is. This is what that,
Speaker 6 (40m 0s): Yeah, it's hard to Reavis hard to dig historical weather data. There are some services and the national weather service does have archives, but it's, it's in a pretty cryptic format. So it's not easy to access and process. I don't know how many years they have publicly available at this point. The
Speaker 7 (40m 17s): University of Wyoming has soundings available that,
Speaker 5 (40m 36s): But it goes, at least
Speaker 6 (40m 39s): It's, it's easier to do it the day after. Obviously
Speaker 5 (40m 43s): The part just kinda glossed over was like the willingness to before I'm, I'm gonna kill myself, trying,
Speaker 4 (40m 59s): You want jump in on this one, I've flown with you and, and seeing you do some shit, I thought was fucking on the fucking line man, or over the line. And you got away with it. You know, I dunno. I was thinking of one particular flight in the desert a couple years ago. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean, yeah. I can tell that story. It's a good story. I was flying with bill and he got on the radio and said, yeah, I'm seeing dust looks like a gust front.
And I thought maybe it was just some Jeeps kicking up dust down there. I kept going and I got into beautiful two meters to second lift over the book clips. And I was just going up slowly and watching 60 mile an hour winds down there, rip bill was safely on the ground. And I was like, pretty fucking scared. And, but nothing happened. I just like got away with it. He's told the story better before where it was like in apocalypse.
Speaker 5 (42m 4s): It was because this
Speaker 4 (42m 6s): Whole line went, it was spectacular. Yeah. I mean, it was probably like a 25 mile dust trail and it was shooting down past green river, but I was over the book cliff, just going like, beep beep beep beautiful, smooth lift. So if you can get on the right side of the gust front
Speaker 5 (42m 31s): That'll
Speaker 4 (42m 34s): And I flew, I, I flew further than bill that day,
Speaker 5 (42m 39s): The moral of the story,
Speaker 4 (42m 40s): He flew further and he landed in almost no end. And it was just fine. Yeah. Did it occur? It was really dumb. Did
Speaker 5 (42m 48s): It occur to you think that my gosh, those are some really big Jeeps.
Speaker 4 (42m 53s): I mean, I quickly realized it wasn't cheap, but it
Speaker 5 (42m 55s): Was
Speaker 4 (42m 57s): It just too late, but it is the, you know, if you're, you know, if, if you get caught, it's the way to deal with it, you know, because
Speaker 5 (43m 9s): On
Speaker 4 (43m 9s): Ground you have to, you just have to, you just have to stay up until the winds dissipate on the ground because the dust front's only gonna last for so long. If you're trying to get down in the midst of the gust front, that's the most dangerous thing. And so you either land before it, or you ride it out. So, you know, I landed just before it and he wrote it out and bulk had a good result. So two different approaches, but, but I would recommend to you just, you know, land, if you can.
And if you can't ride it out so both can have a good result
Speaker 5 (43m 44s): And, and avoid terrain that would channel the gas run.
Speaker 4 (43m 48s): Yeah. I was over the book clips and I was like, man, if this like somehow starts dropping out, like, or somehow starts coming down on me. I was like thinking maybe I would land on top of the book cliffs and then think about my decision making processes. But I
Speaker 5 (44m 0s): Was like,
Speaker 4 (44m 1s): But I was, I was holding the high train and I was watching the guest front go the other way. And I was like, seemed like it was gonna be okay. But you know, wasn't, it was really scary and not will not do that. Again.
Speaker 5 (44m 12s): Seems like the train was flying in like has a lot to do with, with your margins for pushing it, nothing for your margins, what you can do, if shit does fall out, you get to live like flying the mountain Colorado. You just don't wanna be up there when it's really bad. You would very, very dangerous. Whereas flying class in Oregon might not be as much, but I started two years ago, reeling back the conditions I fly in, that's something that helps me decide like, oh, should I keep going?
Or should I not? I'm trying to do flights that make me feel good. Like even after I land, I think like, man, I didn't just get away with something. But like I, that was, those were good conditions that was appropriate thing to do. And I've definitely done some flights where when that fucking condition stuff's falling out, get away from it afterwards. It's like that doesn't good. Doesn't make feel good outta wouldn't go very well.
Speaker 4 (45m 13s): Yeah. And I would always remember these are extreme sports in nature and you can only predict so much. You're only gonna be able to mitigate so much risk. And if you're, you know, you're trying to sort of realize your own potential or do something that hasn't been done before on marginal days. And you know, you're going to, you're gonna be taking some chances and you know, just know that going in and ask yourself, you know, if you're okay with that.
So because there's only so much control you have over what happens out there in these big mountains, with the strong lift on these, you know, pieces of tent fabric in kit string. And so it's amazing what can be done considering what we have to work with. You know, it's just like, alpinism, it's doing the most with the least, but you know, this is aviation instead of climbing and, and be because of what you're able to do with what you have to work with, you know, it makes it that much more special, but at the same time, there's not a lot of margins and there's only so much you could know, certainly across like a hundred mile plus flight, you're gonna experience a lot of different terrain, a lot of different conditions along that course line and you're gonna have to manage it all, but never think that, you know, you're fully in control of all of it because you're not.
And so give yourself, give yourself some margin
Speaker 6 (47m 2s): And, and also try to anticipate, like if you're in a situation where the wind is picking up, you don't wanna wait until it's picked up to where it's gonna be really scary to land. See when anticipated and land before it's actually bad
Speaker 5 (47m 21s): Over time. How your
Speaker 6 (47m 30s): Yes,
Speaker 4 (47m 38s): I wouldn't say it's really changed at all. Other than you have more information to make the decision, you know, if you're gonna fly where you're gonna fly, what you're gonna fly and that's, that's great. I wouldn't say the style of, you know, the style of which I fly has changed the law.
It's just, you have more information in order to make a good choice.
Speaker 5 (48m 15s): Do you buy the same number of good days now this year you did.
Speaker 4 (48m 22s): Yeah. If I'm not working. So you're, you know, usually you're picking, if you got a family and a job, you know, you're trying to use your free time as strategically as you can. So you you're picking the best days, you're you maybe not just going evening flying for fun, just because you have other obligations. And so your big game hunting for lack of a better term or big wave surfing for lack of a better term.
And so you're sort of focused on trying to make sure you can get as many of the good days as you can. You're never gonna get 'em all and then try not to burn your kitchen passes or free time on, on just evening Ridge storm sessions. So, so it's kind of, it's kind of like that.
Speaker 6 (49m 22s): It's easy for him to say he flies about 300 K every time he gets out, you know, bill, bill flies, eight to 10 cross country flights a year and has won the X contest three or four times. So, so
Speaker 4 (49m 36s): I, I often joke good days. Well, yeah, I have this running joke. Whereas if it comes out of the bag, it's going a hundred miles. So, so if anything has changed, it's that. So,
Speaker 6 (49m 52s): And
Speaker 5 (49m 53s): I get that back. Evan earlier talked about downshifts when you got shit, when you, you are trying to get the move, you do move well. I'll fall on bills real quick.
I don't have kind of the
Speaker 4 (50m 27s): Scenario that lets me be is picky. I'll take anything I can get. So I do a lot of evening flying. I'll fly, any opportunity I get, I feel like all of the ad helps me add skills and currency. So that's kind of the setup that I have to work with. Yeah. Yeah. So to your, to your question, I mean, again, it's just going back to fundamentals. Like if there's a, depending on where you are in the course line, there's a big climb in front of you. If you're like, if there's a big climb in front of me, if there's a bird marking it, marking something, there's a cloud, any like really positive indicator is when I'm is when I'm travelling a hundred percent.
And then the more uncertainty there is in the next move that I'm making, the more selective I'll be with essentially is what it's
Speaker 5 (51m 21s): Really hard when actually order. We seems like they have an ability, you get through things that look like they're gonna be very top and guys, if take it through and you don't want pilot, that's hold back and hold back and hold back. You're never gonna keep
Speaker 4 (51m 43s): Off. But yeah, I mean, I, I think like I maybe overemphasize the downshift like you for sure are always pushing as much as you can, but it's not a hundred percent all the time that never works ever. So I think it's, you know, it's just how much uncertainty is there in the next move is really what's causing like a shift, a shift in gears, or, I mean, like as far as racing tactics go, another big part is that of that is like, what are the people immediately around me doing and who are specifically, who are they?
Like if I see Josh making move, Josh makes really high consistency moves. And so even if I don't know exactly what it is that we're racing for, if he's going, I'll probably go full throttle back, but there's other people that'll make a full throttle move that I won't necessarily, I won't necessarily stick to. So I mean, all those are little things that add certainty or uncertainty to what you're doing and cause a throttle get down route. I study who I'm around, for sure. Like here I recognize more and more people.
It's pretty easy when I go to comps where I don't know who I'm flying with, I'll go home at night and I'll look up the top 20 pilots and I'll write down their numbers and I'll do everything that I can to like, remember who people are as quickly as I can throughout the week. Because you know, there's someone that, you know, someone's got a logo on their wing and they've got a bright wing and you think maybe that's who you should be paying attention to, but it's actually this guy over here and they've been winning all week, but you didn't pay attention to who they were and they you're making some sort of a move. And you know, you follow the bright flashy wing and not the, you know, two 17 that should been paying attention to a, I, I study who I'm flying with a lot.
Speaker 6 (53m 28s): I find that very important also. Yeah. Like on the practice day, I'll be walking around on launch, seeing who has new gliders and what harness they're flying, what helmet they're flying, what sleeves they're wearing to try and just as quickly as possible, I learn to identify everybody. And then after flying, walking around and asking like, I didn't see you today. What glad are you flying and memorize as much of that as you possibly can, because if you know who people are and know their decision making style, their level, it really, really helps you make better decisions.
And you can, you can also write it down and put it on a page on your flight out to, to add to the, the downshift in comment. It's, it's useful to try to learn, to recognize when you get in a situation where there's a good chance, no one will make goal. And then you're just XC flying. It doesn't, you know, doesn't happen that often. But, but when it does, it can be a big, big advantage to recognize that before others do.
Speaker 5 (54m 28s): Okay. So once you recognize who you're flying, I'd Reavis. And I said, he said, no, it seems like that's how it worked out. And you do have a really like you Pre show, you guys have a really good ability to like control the, of the stack. So like what kind things are you kind strategy?
What kind of technique are you using to stay on top? When you're find somewhere
Speaker 6 (55m 6s): Fly an extra large it's glider
Speaker 5 (55m 10s): Giant
Speaker 6 (55m 13s): Fly, an extra large glider with some Kiwi ju Kiwi. No, I, I, I feel like I'm climbing way better on that glider than I have on any other, but it also like the, the comp venues where I've had success like that, I feel like play to my strengths in climbing because of the kind of XC flying I do. And it's places where there's a lot of lift, but then there are cores that are significantly better.
And if you can sense where that core is faster than the other people in your gaggle and move to it and make a turn all of a sudden you've, you know, even if you came at the bottom of the stack, now your two ladders higher and you work that core and then you feel, oh, it's shifted over here a little bit. And you go find that. So if you can sniff the strongest cores in the climb faster than the other people around you, that's what helps you out climb them. And then as soon as you're above them, then it's easy. I mean, maybe not, but easier.
Speaker 4 (56m 14s): That was something Donte was really impressing on us a couple years ago was like more seeking. Cause we were like coring up a lot and he was doing, doing these crazy passes and seeking out bigger lift. And we all made it easy. I mean, we all but made it easy cuz we stayed in one spot and if there's someone kind of marking one thing, it makes it easier to safely seek. And then you can return back to like a marked core.
Speaker 6 (56m 40s): So, and so the more conservative the Goggle you are in is the easier it is to out climb them by making those moves and sniffing and finding the better lifts because they're just gonna stay right where they are turning 360 S and if you don't make the right move and you, it's not where you thought it was, you just jump right back in. Haven't really lost anything. But if you're with a really good Goggle, there are gonna track your every move and join you immediately. As soon as you show that strong list,
Speaker 4 (57m 3s): The, the really high level comps, it doesn't feel like anyone's going like this ever. It's like everything everyone's seeking all the time. There's tons of seeking way more seeking than I ever than ever thought.
Speaker 7 (57m 15s): Can you articulate those with fewer hours? What you mean by sniffing? I know what that is. Can you step further into that?
Speaker 6 (57m 24s): It's pretty hard to describe. I think it's something that you, you develop kind of a feel and an intuition for. And it's also something that potentially becomes easier when you're flying higher aspect, higher performance fighters, because they just give you more information about what the air is doing. But yeah, for me, the huge part of it is the, the feel the gliders giving me through the risers and the breaks and the way the tips are moving, but describing how to take that information and know where the actual strong lift is.
I don't think I can put that in words it's, it's opening up when, when we're searching in thermals of what Evan's describing, you're opening up your turn into directions where the lift is just as strong as what you're in or a little bit stronger. So if you're on this, if you're in a climb and your 360 is beeping a little bit hotter on one side of the climb, oftentimes I'm gonna open my turn up and keep pushing into that. And most of the time, nearly always the stronger lift is on the Windward side. If there's a wind, if there's a Windward aspect of it.
And so I'm seeking, I'm trying to seek up wind a little bit more to sniff into that. And oftentimes if you open up your turn and you fly straight, sometimes you discover that there's, you know, you're sitting over there coring hard in a certain area, thinking that you're in the core and you open up and it's just this huge broad area of massive lift. And you can fly straight for ages like seconds and end up in the true core in the area and, and really nail the climb. So it's just sniffing into the stronger bits of the climb and constantly adjusting your circles over that strongest bit.
One tactic that's, that's helpful mainly when you're displaying with one or a few other people is if you you're flying, flying along and both flying into some lift, one person starts turning the right, say you don't necessarily have to start turning to the right with them. You can turn to the left, you do it Cloverleaf and see who gets a better part of it. And then, you know, if they're climbing, if they, if they're hired, then you join their turn.
Speaker 4 (59m 34s): Well even doing that by like by yourself, I, I naturally turn to the right more. So if I'm, if I'm, I think I'm getting into a climb, I'll start left because then later on, it's easier for me to reverse and go the other direction a right. If I'm something there, but switching directions, you're not sure exactly what's going on. Switching directions can be more ground,
Speaker 5 (59m 58s): Especially if you're not drawing bunch of other people and you're not afraid about falling out it and not being able to find it again and flying so long,
Speaker 9 (1h 0m 12s): Like especially on a higher aspect gliders, like if I'm flying and it's pretty strong lip, you know, like three, maybe to five or six for the day and I'm flying into three and I can feel my glider just wanting to still bite. I'll just keep flying into it. Cause it's just getting better and better. And it feels like it's just wanting to hang out in front a little bit. Or if it pulls to one side, I'll usually go into that side a little bit and find the better part of the lift,
Speaker 5 (1h 0m 38s): You know, call that waffly hollow feeling. That's the edge of the thermal. You fall out even sometimes it's test and
Speaker 7 (1h 1m 1s): Choose lines to live better rather than just sort of like pointing at something that looks good and hop the
Speaker 5 (1h 1m 7s): Best
Speaker 6 (1h 1m 12s): Read clouds farmers,
Speaker 4 (1h 1m 14s): A really good blog.
Speaker 5 (1h 1m 15s): Yeah.
Speaker 4 (1h 1m 16s): Yeah. It's farm
Speaker 6 (1h 1m 18s): Question. Yeah. How did this reputation, I would say don't believe the hype. So I would say, or I'm working to figure out where to glide and, and how to get through a big crossing and get there the highest, when I say the, the, the it's really very similar to thermally, which is you're just trying to find the most positive error. And so you're looking for ground based clues.
Any kinda, if you're out in the flatlands or if you're crossing a valley between two ranges, any kind of ripples in the train that you think might act as triggers, they might not produce a thermal, but they might produce better gliding lines for that crossing. So you're kind of looking for like land bridges. So there's ground based clues. You're looking for any indications in the sky, herds bugs or haz domes, little whiskey clouds, any indication of lift to try to, to put yourself on those lines as well.
And I, I think that feel and sensing it is something that you can practice and I've kind of talked about, you know, getting a sense for all over D overground. And at first you're looking at your instrument to kind of see what that number is, but far more important than looking at your instrument, cuz that's just the beginning of the training is keeping your eyes up and putting your eyes on the horizon and feeling it and just like when you're flying without your Vario, the best way to sense whether or not you're in climbing air or not, when there's not a terrain reference around when you're high enough in the sky that there's no terrain reference is to put your eyes clear out on the horizon and, and, and try to get a sense for whether or not you're in positive or negative air.
And so those are a few things, I guess, what do you do if you're in sync? If I, if I'm in really bad sync, I am trying to do something about it. And I would say the, the, again, the bigger the crossing is, the more I'm willing to deviate off my line. You know, 45 off course line is something I'm willing to do to try to get into more positive error. And it's being at these contests are what really helped you see all that?
Cuz oftentimes when you go out on a glide with a big gaggle and everybody spreads out and then there's 10 or 15 people attacking course basically in parallel to one another or perpendicular to the course line together attacking you'll, you know, at the end of those glides, some in that group will end up higher than the others, which always shows you that there's better lines out there to be had. So sniffing those out and trying to find them deviating off course line a little bit. If you're in really bad sync to try to find more positive air and affect the situation.
And I would also say that leaving a climb properly is one of the things that's given me. I feel like a reputation of gliding better, and I'm not gliding better than anybody I'm leaving climbs better. And if there's a cloud street, of course, you're just gonna follow the street and put yourself underneath it. But the more separation there is between big climbs, the more you're gonna want to think about exiting a climb properly.
And by that, I mean thinking about what direction the wind's blowing. So if you're going downwind, like we are on a lot of cross country flights and you're in a nice big climb. If you go directly downwind of that climb on your exit, there is rotor behind that climb. There's sink behind that climb. And if you just exit 45 or sometimes even 90 to course line out the side of that cloud as your first move, before you go on your glide and get back on whatever your course line is, you can put 500 people on 500 feet on people before you even start the glide.
And then by the time people look over, they're like, wow, he's glide really well. Well, I just left the climb better. And so, you know, that, that one's pretty big, I think is leaving climbs better. And you can, once you kind of start working on that and figuring it out, you can, you can really feel how that lift extends sometimes instead of just going over the waterfall, you're kind of riding the lift out the side of the thermal.
Speaker 5 (1h 5m 55s): It's been super helpful from how up harness and doing, like doing the harness with the GLI. Like, what are some of the things that you're thinking about when you're about how you're holding the, what you're doing? All the
Speaker 6 (1h 6m 10s): One thing that comes to mind is that it takes at least several hours to properly set up a harness. So you put in the time, if you want it to work well, and that could be done in your garage. I mean, I would say that you can spend certainly from getting the things set up nicely and getting it comfortable for yourself. You don't need to sacrifice a bunch of flights. You can sit in your new harness in your garage for hours and figure out that's really good.
Yeah. That's experience. I think what people often miss is that all the gear that you put in the back of the harness makes a big difference in the balance point. So if you want to get the angle accurate, you gotta put that stuff back there
Speaker 5 (1h 6m 55s): And
Speaker 6 (1h 6m 57s): Everything. Yeah. Like you're going, flying and get your kid all set up. So
Speaker 4 (1h 7m 4s): Like just some specifics there too, like chasing people like honoring and Baptist, I've picked up like on a big glide. My elbows, I tuck them in as tight behind the rise as I can. I smushed my head back into my bearing so that I, I try to not hear any wind noise against my, against my head, like push on the risers, not Yakin on them because you can pull a lot more riser than you think really easily like that and pulling your toes down.
So you keep yourself at that angle. Like those little bits of flourish, it all, it all, it all adds up and adds like a tiny little point and on a 10 K line that gives you an extra hundred meters on the other end or whatever. And it all adds up speed sleeves, anything that flaps anything that's flapping, you're bleeding, bleeding, efficiency is across. So keeping all your clappers tucked in, tied stretched under a speed sleeve that all adds up.
Speaker 6 (1h 8m 5s): Tend to cut off the zippers
Speaker 4 (1h 8m 6s): On the harness. Yeah. There,
Speaker 6 (1h 8m 11s): Energy and Pam, I use Pam, I spray my whole super slick in the air. Yeah. Like
Speaker 5 (1h 8m 20s): Cliche every morning
Speaker 6 (1h 8m 21s): For task. I'd say, let that, I'd say let that glider fly. Yeah. Don't over control it on the bees. You know, you can be on a bunch of bar and if you're pulling just as much bees as you're on bar, cause you're scared of the speed bar. You're not on speed bar. So let that thing fly and react to the things that need to be reacted to don't react to everything. You know? So if you're reacting to every bump in the air with the brakes or the bees, and you're knocking the glider back, you are, you know, kind of degrading the performance of the GLI kind of waffling outta the sky.
Sometimes as you go through some of those bumps that you don't need to react to, that aren't going to cause a collapse and you could just chop through 'em the energy of your glider will, will translate that into a climb a little bit on the other side. And so, you know, react to react more to loss of pressure and less to glider position over your head is what I would say. Be smooth.
Speaker 10 (1h 9m 26s): Does that mean like letting your glider pitch little
Speaker 6 (1h 9m 29s): More? I'm trying to feel pressure through my hands and it's really hard to feel it through your legs, cuz those are big muscles, but you're trying to feel pressure loss as an indicator of that collapse, more than glider position. And if you train on like, corpusing your glider super hard with bar and break movements, you can, you can learn that, you know, your glider stays open in pretty extreme positions.
And so you learn to trust it more when those pitch changes, you know, aren't all that extreme and you can just let that thing fly, which is always gonna be more efficient than overmanaging the glider
Speaker 10 (1h 10m 14s): In my mind. It's like all that movement is not, not efficient, right?
Speaker 6 (1h 10m 21s): This is more true for the, for the higher performance wings, but they will take that movement and translate it into that. You know, a little bit of the climb on their side. So, you know, the, the lower level wings will tend to get beat up more by that turbulence. And the really high performance wings will translate that into little notches of climb up. If you're not over managing it,
Speaker 5 (1h 10m 47s): Can you control the pitch of the, on the speed bar also when it's moving forward and backwards, one's going backwards. Step a little war where it goes forward.
Speaker 6 (1h 10m 59s): That's for me, for me only if I think it's about to have a really big funnel. Yeah. I might come off. Yeah. The bar as well as pull the base that used to be the whole deal back before we were flying two liners with B handles, you know, it was so much of it was in the bar. And so I'd say that it's, it's hard to, to not do that on the bigger movements. It's it's all about coming off when it's gonna go. So grabbing some bees and coming off the bar, the more extreme, the pressure loss or movement to the glider that might indicate a collapse, the more reactive I'm I'm gonna be when it comes to hammering the bees and coming off the bar
Speaker 4 (1h 11m 43s): In general. No, just keep what's
Speaker 5 (1h 11m 51s): The time like he might be flying and you get into the time sink and the moment to deviate or the thought process of there's gonna be a climate. The other side of this,
Speaker 4 (1h 12m 2s): How much Al did you have?
Speaker 5 (1h 12m 4s): How much out
Speaker 4 (1h 12m 4s): Too? Yeah. You got plenty of altitude. You know, it looks like there's gonna be some things like cloud in front of you terrain coming up. You're just like, just plow through it. Yeah. Get, you know, it's like you got, you got altitude to burn, burn it rather than worrying about being on seeing if you could be on a better line.
Speaker 6 (1h 12m 28s): And also what have you experienced so far in the day on Sunday? I felt like after crossing I 70 almost time I hit 3, 3, 3 and a half meters down, I just push more bar and say, here comes the climb. Yeah. That the sink was the indication that there was going to be a climb, not something to usually
Speaker 4 (1h 12m 47s): It can be a really good sign
Speaker 5 (1h 12m 50s): Sometimes. Like if there's like convergence line, you like get into the sink and you're like, oh, there's gonna be a, but then you're like, realize, oh shit, I'm just on the side of the
Speaker 4 (1h 13m 1s): Convergence. It's like realizing,
Speaker 5 (1h 13m 5s): Oh, I actually turn the convergence as opposed. There's
Speaker 4 (1h 13m 12s): Those two kinds of think, seem to have kind a different flavor. I Don exactly how to describe it. But like, there's like a sync that feels like it's drawing into something versus yeah. Like linear sync where
Speaker 5 (1h 13m 28s): You're on the wrong side of, and then 45 movements will help you to
Speaker 6 (1h 13m 35s): There's the, when you're just gliding through really smooth air. And then you get some bumpiness that might not necessarily Bey, but often a good sign unless you're flying rotor or something's a bad
Speaker 5 (1h 13m 53s): Depends. Also if you're going into the wind versus the
Speaker 6 (1h 13m 57s): Wind completely,
Speaker 5 (1h 13m 58s): Really changes. What you're you guys comment on the, on stepping up and glider glasses and I'm most curious personally about just you take on the difference between the modern two liner D category versus the CCC riders and just how that experience is different. How much is the workload different? What you feel you get other,
Speaker 4 (1h 14m 24s): Yeah, I'd say Josh or farmer, they bounce back and more than most. So even Reavis as
Speaker 6 (1h 14m 32s): Well. I have three gliders these days and two of them are two line DS and one's a CCC and they're all great. And I tend to fly the two line DS cross country. One of 'em so I can fly, but because the performance difference is is there, but isn't massive unless you're at full speed, but the workload is a little higher. So I find that if I'm gonna fly an eight hour cross country flight in strong conditions, I'm gonna have more energy and mental bandwidth left, finish that flight on a two line D than I would on an Enzo.
And it also seems like if you do have an event, just the, the chance of being able to recover, it is a lot better on the three than the CC. Yeah. And a pilot will always perform the best on the glider that they're most comfortable on.
Speaker 5 (1h 15m 20s): Yeah. That's why I buy what I
Speaker 6 (1h 15m 22s): Normally always, you can't, you can't buy CrossCountry flights and competition when competition wins by buying a higher performance blogger, you can try though. You can try that. I stalled Denzo it's yeah. You should be on the glider that you are super excited about to go out and throttle it as, as full bar and be happy doing that.
And if you're scared to be on full bar on your glider, then, and you're on a lower level wing, then you need to train more on the bar. And if you're on a, a higher level wing that you've just stepped up to and you're scared of the bar, then you need to, you know, maybe think about going back down to another water because if you can't use its full ability, then what's the point of that performance. And, and there's also a risk to reward sort of calculation relative to the conditions and the site and so on. That's why I'm flying the XO two here.
Whereas I was flying in X one and Shalan like, Shalan, I'm pretty familiar with it's for the most part, not super extreme conditions. And I didn't know the site here and I'd heard it could be kind of big air and could be kind of remote sometimes. And so, so it just felt like the first award was more favorable.
Speaker 7 (1h 16m 56s): Do you guys have any advice for being a better gaggle pilot there's number of variations, common ones are you're with one or two people. There's 10, 20 people below you, a few hundred feet and those guys start going. It's like, alright, I go, those guys wait for everyone else. Or vice versa. You're on the bottom. The whole Armada starts going. And then you're like, do I take another five, six turns and then try to catch up? Or do I take
Speaker 6 (1h 17m 27s): Following from below hardly ever works? We've all tried that a lot. You're like I'm winning.
Speaker 4 (1h 17m 41s): So I would say, you know, take your medicine. That's always the best easier said than done, but that always is the answer. That's gonna have the highest percentage of, of better result because you know, you may get an opportunity later to make up for it. And so be patient. So you're taking your medicine here, but you'll have some gliders in front of you. Maybe you can take a better line based on that information and, and have an opportunity later.
But yeah, race and Trump below is a low percentage, but
Speaker 6 (1h 18m 20s): Well, and the other scenario you described depends a lot on the conditions. If, if you're still in a good climb, but people below you are leaving because maybe they fell out of the bottom of food lift that you're in. I would be thinking about kind of the angle of control that I have on those batteries. How far can they get away from me before if they reach a climb of this strength, I won't be able to get it on top of it. And so once they start going, I'll probably leave to maintain that and let them find the climb.
But I won't let them get so far away that if they find the next three meter climb, I'm gonna come underneath. When I try and chase
Speaker 7 (1h 18m 56s): That climb, I guess the one I was describing is, you know, you were with a couple of people, well above the rest of the Goggle, those couple people go. So like, do I,
Speaker 6 (1h 19m 5s): Oh, the top people do
Speaker 7 (1h 19m 6s): I go with like the two or three top people? Or do I wait for the
Speaker 6 (1h 19m 9s): Yeah, here? They're yeah. It's also depends if the climb you're in is better than average for the day and better than what you expect to find next. Yeah. I'd say that's a really big one, which is if you're in a boom or climb like a unique climb for the day, I would definitely stick with it and take advantage of that climb. A lot of your speed on course is gained and stronger climbs. You know, you can, it's really hard to catch people by following them.
And it's really only through taking advantage of typically a really, a lot better climb than what other people have found that put you in a position to actually catch people up.
Speaker 4 (1h 19m 52s): I, I have maybe an answer to a slightly different variant of that question, but how to be a better gaggle flyer, like the mentality as far as like flying in a tight group and flying on onli, the mentality I try to have is like, how can I fly in such a way that I pull the whole group forward? And that's not necessarily like, okay, yeah, you go ahead here. If you're all circling and there's a core there I'll attack and take the inside of the core to mark that there's something there and help hopefully draw people into the part of the core.
And then similarly, when you go on a glide, you know, if I'm high, but a little bit behind I'll dump some of my height so that I can be part of that front fan, even though, then I've lost maybe a little bit of kind of this height advantage. Then I'm out there on the front line, I'm helping move the whole group forward. And if I happen to be the one that finds the climb first, suddenly I've got something to work with. Whereas if I'm behind and someone else finds it first off, the best I'm ever gonna do is arrive at the same place as then.
Speaker 5 (1h 20m 49s): So
Speaker 4 (1h 20m 50s): Yeah, let's do, let's do two more questions.
Speaker 5 (1h 20m 52s): Right? Keep going, keep going. Yeah. Can I ask a question? So let's say there is a Goggle in front of you and one behind. So what's your kind process thinking about like, should you just fly by yourself, try to reach up the one or should you wait for the guys behind you and fly this them? You can have more, I dunno, chances to, and like fly faster. Any
Speaker 4 (1h 21m 19s): Comments who's gonna do more for you, you know, and that is like, if it's the league Gago in front of you, it's likely gonna have a better collection of pilots in it that is gonna solve the problems better. And if it's the Gago behind you, they may only just be interested in following you and they don't have any answers for the problems that you might encounter that need to be solved.
So gaggle flying is the company you keep and the better company, the better the result. So I would say you just have to guess who is gonna do more for you, the gaggle in front or the gaggle behind. And if it's a gaggle in front, you just try to catch. And I
Speaker 6 (1h 22m 6s): Think another way of saying that would be, try to stick with the fastest gaggle that you think you can stick with.
Speaker 5 (1h 22m 16s): So specific printers, is it just fly as much?
Speaker 4 (1h 22m 33s): Well, rule number one is try not to get anybody hurt or kill, you know, because you know, like I was saying earlier, you can master flying the glider on quicker than you can master when to fly the, in terms of the day you pick. And so, you know, you're trying to share as much as you can, but you're also trying to make that appropriate for the group that you have.
So you're not encouraging them even accidentally to get in over their head, which doesn't mean that, you know, that they're just gonna get hurt physically. You know, you can get hurt mentally, which can be more, I would more devastating than even being hurt physically resulting in a much longer recovery time. And so, you know, you, you wanna just make sure that the level in which the curve that they're on is appropriate for the individual and that's about the best way I can explain it.
And so, so that the days you're going out are reasonable days. And if they're days on the margins, you know, you make sure you talk about what that means. And you talk about it before you launch, you talk about it in the air and you try to always be available after if someone wants to talk about it further. You know, and I think that's the key with mentorship is be participating with the group regularly.
So everybody sort of knows how people fly, how they, how they process information. Also plenty of time in the vehicle for questions and then be available after. But I would say beyond that, I don't have a specific, you know, I'm not an instructor. I don't have a, I don't have a curriculum that I work with. It just depends on the individual.
Speaker 6 (1h 24m 57s): Someone here read a pretty good article, talking about a progression could worth. I very, very specific.
Speaker 3 (1h 25m 12s): Yeah,
Speaker 7 (1h 25m 13s): Let's do one more. I just have one more question, sorry. It's not quite as profound. That last one, but on like a, on the topic of technique, can you guys talk a little bit about like flat efficient turning, I've heard like two schools of thought on like weight shift break as little as possible to affect the change you want or the turn that you want, or like a little bit of Moha sideway shift, kinda keep flat. Can you talk a little bit about that? Yeah.
Speaker 6 (1h 25m 42s): Bank angle should be determined by what it takes to stay in the best lift. I mean, to me, that's how simple it is. So if it's a, you know, a scrappy little strong bit, and the only way I can get a full 360 in there is to stay in the bladder up on a tip and do a, you know, pretty steep inefficient turn. I'm staying in that lift the, the bigger and broader that lift is the more I'm trying to stay flat and fly efficiently to get the most out of it.
So to me, bank angle is about how can I, how can I position myself to, to maximize me staying in that climb? The really tricky ones are the, the tight light course. Sometimes the only way to work is slowly and really initiations before flying blind that slow,
Speaker 4 (1h 26m 46s): Or I'll, I'll put it a little different. And that is with every turn you're trying to carve the perfect turn in the perfect spot, you know, and that is, as farmer said, the appropriate bank angle for the size of the thermal, and then trying to get the glider in the best part of the thermal for that 360, and you might be climbing for 5,000 feet and it's never over every, you know, you're, it's like mountain biking.
You're trying to get each corner. It's like, oh, I got that one. I didn't quite get that one. And so thermally is the same way. It's like, sometimes I feel like, oh, I got that circle. Perfect. And then, you know, I don't know next circle, not quite right, but all the way up to the top, you're trying to see how many good circles you can get out of the, out of the act of climbing and do it every time you're climbing. You're trying to get that perfect circle on, and that will keep you engaged when you're flying.
And it also
Speaker 6 (1h 27m 54s): That if you're, and you're reacting to everyone around you're and around and baling around, and of course you wanna give people space. But the ideal thing would be to do is totally smooth circle while still avoiding everyone. You know, often that's not so hard to do, but you it's easy to avoid everyone if you're so top of the whole D by hundred, that's what I'm gonna do.
Just be smooth and turn perfect circles. And, but just sort requires a little anticipating where, where everyone's gonna be. Thank you. And on the technique side of it, I would say that on any given day I'll, I'll try a whole variety of techniques. And typically most thermals on a certain day will respond best or the climb best using like one side of those techniques. And that would include inside break outside rear some weight shift inside, possibly weight shift outside, possibly using like a lot of inside break, a little bit of outside break to control the tip.
Sometimes almost just weight shift, sometimes thermal on both rears. And then when they're really strong, cores it up
Speaker 2 (1h 29m 21s): Before we shut this down. Thank you for coming. Thank you to our panel, leave you with this stop. When I called bill today to see if he would do this, he said, we have an obligation to do this. And I've had a lot of people ask this week. How do you find mentors? And how do we get more information? All you gotta do is ask everybody I've ever been involved with sport has never said no, it's, it's an all these guys prove that they're willing to give it to you.
So let's some fun. The rest of the,
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