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2008 US Nationals
Another Sweep for Eagle Paragliding!
Congratulations to Mean Dean Stratton for winning the 2008 US Paragliding Nationals on his UP Edge in The Owens Valley. This makes Dean the back to back winner of the 2007 and 2008 US Paragliding Nationals. Will the big guy pull off the three-peat? Josh Cohn and Pete Schaefer finished second and third making it all Eagle Team Pilots perched on the podium.
Pete Schaefer took home the serial class trophy as well. Nate Scales and AJ Frye finished second and third in the serial class.
Meredyth Malocsay was crowned 2008 US female national Champion. She has been racing well all summer. Melanie Pfister finished second continuing to bring home trophies this Summer at PG events, and Kari Castle got on the podium for third place.
We only had two tasks during a week which was plagued by high winds. Task 1 was a 95 Km task from Flynn’s launch. We headed north to Hammil then made the upwind leg back to the south, and out to the Big Ears turn point. The pilots who stayed high above the White Mountain Range avoided the valley wind and made the Big Ears turn point, then took the downwind glide to goal at Fish. Pilots who couldn't manage to hold the high ground got drilled in the valley winds, and most landed at Flynn's LZ. Eric Reed won the Day on his Niviuk Icepeak XP.
Task 2 was a nice 103 Kilometer task which took us from the start at Gunther north along the White Mountain range past Boundary Peak up to Mina. The start was pretty hectic since there wasn’t lift in the area round launch. Pilots scratched to just hang in there until the start. Some really good pilots bombed out before the start. Once the race started people left the launch area and headed north and found good climbs. There was some good lift along the way and beautiful clouds up on top of the Whites. Pilots took some different lines after boundary through the next pass. The leaders got stuck on the way to goal in the foothills Southwest of Mina, and some of the pilots behind the lead gaggle got a nice climb and enjoyed a 28 Km glide to goal gaining some time on the leaders. It was a beautiful day of racing, and a great finish at goal. Esteban Delgado from Mexico won the Day on his Skywalk poison 2.
This is whats happens when the wind blows and we can't fly. We race horses.