Linda Salamone's Blog

Monday, February 04, 2013

Forbes Afterthoughts
It’s hard to believe it’s over. We’re driving to Stanwell Park after the awards ceremony- grateful to be out of that crazy heat but sad to be leaving all the same. I’m disappointed with my accumulation of points- I know I have more in me. I’ll get my excuses out of the way : new glider, new site, bigger conditions than I have ever flown in, not much real “team” flying, and way longer tasks and many more flying days than I could imagine. On the advantages list: I had a GREAT place to stay with laundry service, a few late dinners provided by a super sweet and capable hostess, the best driver I have ever had bar NONE, a better glider, equipment support from my housemate Blenky and Kraig and Moyes, instrument and harness support from Mitch, the men’s team’s kindness on all things flying related, oh and did I mention the greatest driver ever in Mike McFaddin?… I could go on…. So, I’m just plain SLOW. I could ballast up and I think controlling the glider with full vg (jeez I am getting the whole VG on finally!!!) would be easier. But I don’t want to fly with ballast- until I see how people glide and leave me in the dirt. Then, I think I’ll try ballast. Back and forth. I very much want to be a better race pilot. I learned more at this comp than any other, got more usable info out of my 6030 than ever, and had so much kindness from the people here, and so little drama… It really was one of the best experiences of my life. I just wish I freakin’ flew better!!! Food is wicked expensive in Oz. I spend $50s like $20s. Beer is exorbitantly priced, wine is so-so. No tax (well it’s built in) and no tipping. Which sucks because service can be lacking and you have no way to send a message in either direction. There are a lot of pretty good food options all over and I never had much trouble eating well and avoiding the stuff I don’t want to be eating. We all sort of over did it in the retrieve car on salt and vinegar chips. But the HEAT. OMG, it was indescribable some days. That practice Sunday I flew just to get into air temperature I could breathe in. Then the night of the opening ceremony had me rolling around in a bed of ice. Late at night! I drank so much water and hardly had to pee. Leaving Forbes yesterday we had more of the same. Full cloud cover and windy, but it was like standing in front of a giant hair dryer set on high. Unreal. Yesterday was the hottest day in Sydney on record. There were 54degC readings further west last week. Hottest ever. And here we suit up for 13,000’ climbs and sit under our gliders with helmets on waiting for our turn to launch. CRAZY!!! Much of what I experienced, I’ll forget until reminded. Exceptions will be: ½ of Team Canada- America’s hat, and having enough coins to buy a pony… maybe. Packing and repacking- tough to do all day unless you start early in the morning- (and we did), 3rd degree sunburns and zinc, dildos and lawn bowling, blown zippers, broken backplates, salt vinegar chips, kickboxing kangaroos, Italian coffee in a land of shitty coffee, Elvises, new friends, old friends, great retrieves, spectacular sunsets…


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