ST. PAUL, MINN — The competition season is upon us once again forming our top story in this edition of "Product Lines." The East Coast Hang Gliding Championships is being sponsored by Henson Gap’s Sequatchie Valley Soaring Supplies, the resident shop. The only significant (remaining) east coast contest has filled the void left by the disappearance of the Grandfather Master’s meet. The ECHGC will be the 3rd contest under this name and the 4th year for a world class meet at the popular Tennessee site. Now, it is the "only sanctioned cash purse meet," says contest director and organizer, Rick Jacob. "We’re expecting a minimum of $1,000 in cash, but more importantly, we’ll have numerous prizes with a cash value exceeding $3,000. It continues to grow from last year, when for example, Jim Zeiset won $250 worth of goods by hitting the spot at the end of one of the X-C tasks," added Jacob. ••• For those seeking competition points, this is the first of a 1991 series of 450-point meets (others include Telluride, the Nats, and one other contest). Jacob will be using a modified version of the Australian Nationals contest format; pilots will fly in two heats. "Thirty four pilots are already entered out of a max’ field of 60, and we have a waiting list if selected top ranked pilots don’t reserve space," reported Cliff Whitney, Jacob’s partner in the SVS shop. ••• Whitney is assembling a program with pilot facts to guide spectators. Many manufacturers have indicated support, with Ball, Pacific Airwave, Enterprise Wings, BRS and others making donations or giving presentations at the meet. Others have expressed interest but are unverified at this writing. Local support is excellent, with many town businesses assisting the organizers. Readers might recall that Dunlap, Tennessee showed its support of our favorite way to fly by declaring itself, "The Hang Gliding Capital of the East!" ••• Time is short. The event is April 13-22, so if you don’t have plans made, you better hurry. Dunlap motels report space is already reserved, but Chattanooga (40 min away) has ample facilities. You can call 615/949-2301 (shop) or 404/416-7171 for further information. ••• While Wills Wing revs up their promo machine on their new paragliders, PacAir has also jumped into the fray. They’ve begun importing Airwave’s Black Magic line of paragliders. Sales manager Kenny Brown went to the Elk Mtn Fly-in up in northern California finding rave reviews for Black Magics. ••• In other PacAir news, their Double Vision tandem glider is in final prototype stage. Says Brown, "The original sail has become 215 square feet and some additions to the hardware include a pre-launch adjustment to ‘dial in’ frame to sail settings for a variety of wing loadings." Sort of a stationary VG system, you could say. Roll reversals are called "very pleasant," and the glider flies well even with only a single pilot aboard. The effort to make a purpose-designed, double surface tandem hang glider seems worthwhile. The company says many customers are waiting impatiently. ••• USHGA offices report good interest in Peter Cheney’s training book introduced last year. Following some initial problems, the books are moving well. If you haven’t seen one, you should take a glance. It’s a beautifully produced effort that really enhances the image of training materials. Cheney will now try to market the book to other english-speaking countries. He is a reporter for the Toronto Star newspaper, perhaps helping to explain the volume’s very professional appearance. The book was published by Lookout Mtn’s Matt Taber; art was created by Cheney and Patrick Corrigan (also with the Star). ••• Two corrections on the aerotowing fatality referenced here in recent months: Tennessee pilot Greg Wonowski informs us that the aircraft was not owned by hang gliding shop and site owner, Bruce Hawk. Also the aircraft was equipped with a parachute, but the pilot was simply too low to use it, reports Greg. The Florida Dragon-Flyers also plan to have parachutes on both machines currently being built. ••• We’re outta room once again. Got news or opinions? Send ’em to: 8 Dorset, St. Paul MN 55118. Call (days) 612/457-7491. Fax to: 612/457-8651. THANKS!
Published in Hang Gliding Magazine