Saturday, 19 October 2013

My New Glider!

Well, ever since my first day flying in the Pre-Worlds, Annecy in July I realised that I needed the same glider as everybody else if I didn't want a handicap in competitions. The VR had a noticeably better glide than anything I've flown before and the sink rate is astonishing. My Axxess went up for sale as soon as I returned to the uk, I knew it was going to be a big stretch to get enough money together to buy a VR as they are very popular gliders now. If you want the highest performing hang glider on the market then there is no choice, it has to be a VR. They are currently over £15,000 new and for a second hand one in good condition without repairs you will be lucky to find one for less than £7000. I sold my Axxess to a friend in the Southern Club for £3000, his first flight was in extremely light wind and he had never flown a Rigid before, he launched well and after getting used to the different feeling of the basebar not connected to sidewires, he clawed his way back up level with the ridge and had 30 minutes soaring when not much else would have been able to stay up. He then went down for a perfect bottom landing and had a smile on his face for the rest of the day! The following day he had another flight in thermic conditions and after out climbing everyone else and sitting on top of the stack he landed with another big smile on his face and this video followed...
 So, after selling my glider I was now looking for a VR, I had been lent a Ghostbuster by a friend so I didn't rush into buying the first glider I see. The season is ending now in the UK and I'm aware that I have some time to find the right glider for what I need. I take on a lot of extra work (even missing some flying days which is unheard of!!!) and I now have enough money for some of the lower end gliders on the market, they are closer to £5000 and although will still fly fine, some have very tired sails, others have repairs to the flaps and leading edges. I try not to get distracted with being able to have a VR right now and continue saving for one that will serve me well for years.

During all this time there is one VR in the uk that I do like the look of but it isn't in my price range at the moment and I make it a rule to not borrow money, but I email Steve Elkins at Avian to find out more about the glider. It's great condition, no repairs, and had just had a full Service and Check over at A.I.R in Germany. It sounds great but I still haven't got the money.

After talking to Steve about my future goals, my current flying and some of my minor past achievements he offers to sponsor me and gives me a fantastic deal on the glider. We agree on the terms and I pay the deposit. I officially own a beautiful Atos VR. But even better am now sponsored by the only UK importer of A.I.R.
We have been talking about where to put the logos on the glider so that they will be in good camera shot and also readable from the ground up to a certain height. I'm very excited about the whole thing. Here are some pictures of my glider (being flown by Ollie Chitty).

I hope to get my glider in November and get familiar to the difference in handling and performance ready for the 2014 season.  I want to go to as many competitions as possible next year. Hopefully all the BritishOpenSeries and the Nationals in Laragne but I have also put my name down to be considered for the Worlds in Annecy, it may be that I need another year or two to get some more competition experience before being selected as part of the British Team but at least now I'm all set on the Correct glider for the job.

Thanks to Avian for the opportunity.