Rob Kells Hang Gliding Competition at the Florida Ridge Air Park

Posted by: Frances

April 26th, 2010 >> Hang Gliding

This last week I had a great opportunity to go to the Rob Kells Hang Gliding Competition at the Florida Ridge Air Park in LaBelle, FL.  You can look at the pictures posted here or check out their blog.  I took three tandem lessons with Steve Larson.  I also got a rare chance to take a tandem flight a mile high up with Jonny Durand.  We were towed up by a Dragonfly (i.e. tug) and dropped off above some huge puffy white clouds.  You could not see land in any direction, it was so gorgeous!  While we were flying above the cloud, we saw our “Glory.”  This is when a rainbow that is in a complete circle has our glider shadow in the center of it.  It was breath taking!  It was so amazing.  We flew about a 30 minute flight and enjoyed the clouds and watching our Glory.  We also worked on S turns and figure 8s.  Jonny Durand is the #1 ranked Hang Glider Pilot in the World.  You can see him fly the Morning Glory in Australia by clicking here.

Jonny Durand and Me


I was also very lucky that Jeff Shapiro asked me if I would like him to take me up on an instructional flight.  He is one of Wills Wings World Team Pilots.  We had a rough launch and landing, but a very informative instructional flight!  I was the most at ease on this flight than any other tandem I have taken.

Jeff Shapiro setting up his Wills Wing T2C Glider (I love this glider)


This entire week was full of learning experiences for me as well as for Matt.  I had a spectacular time and met some really neat people.  I can’t wait to see them all again in the next competition.  Good luck to those in the Flytec Race and Rally!  I am sure wishing I was there.

Overall at the end of the week Matt got 4th place in the Sport Class.  He also beat his personal best glide.  His new best is 31.5 miles!  Go Matt!

Below is a picture of the gliders staging for take-off.


The truck packed with me and 6 others



This entry was posted on Monday, April 26th, 2010 at 22:28 and is filed under Hang Gliding. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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