ST. PAUL, MINN — For those concerned about the outcome of the 1993 World Meet, the first one ever in the USA… oh, you didn’t know it was in trouble? After Tom Kreyche’s surprising last-minute withdrawal as the meet organizer, this important biannual international event was in jeopardy. (Not exactly a fitting way for America to enter sponsorship of the Mother of all Hang Gliding Meets, eh?) Kreyche wrote that "for health and sanity reasons," he would "permanently retire" from running meets. The meet requires approval of the local organizer (by FAI in Paris), so the late pullout threatened the Owens event. ••• "Mr. Green Team" to the rescue… Jim Zeiset has accepted responsibility for the ’93 Worlds. Within a couple weeks of Kreyche’s stunning announcement, Zeiset had proposed taking over. I’ll leave details to those interested in competition trivia, but it appears TEAM USA will keep the chance to host the meet (possibly removing some of the egg from our collective faces). ••• The 1993 World Meet will start on June 24. Closing ceremonies will be held July 11. If you’d like more information, you can write Zeiset at 13154 County Road 140; Salida CO 81201. Or you can call/fax to 719/539-3900. ••• USHGA’s annual survey report in last month’s HG mag left out some detail in a closely-watched area: market share of glider builders. Not surprising to anyone, Wills continued its solid dominance of the U.S. market. However, they slid a point to 40.9% (from 43.1% in 1991). The small changes in share appear to show that no builder offered a glider that particularly caught the fascination of Yankee pilots (like the TRX did in ’91). • PacAir convincingly held onto second place at 26.9%, up a shade from 25.3% in 1991. They’ve been fairly steady at that percentage since 1989. • UP Int’l slipped only a tenth (10.5% from 10.6%) in spite of their company restructuring discussed here in the 1/93 issue. • Moyes finally took over fourth place; they’ve been close before but some brand always eclipsed them. Now the Down Under company upped their piece of the action almost 25% more than 1991, finishing 1992 with 6.3%. • Seedwings had been rock steady at about 5.5% since the ’80s. However, during 1991, they slipped to only 3.3%, a result of their focus on setting up new European operations, says boss Bob Trampenau. • Delta Wing, now closed for over a year, nonetheless held on tenaciously to sixth place, losing only a couple tenths to finish at 4.9%. Delta Wing sold their line to Air Sports Int’l and it’s possible glider owners listed their brand as Delta Wing (ASI didn’t show up under its own name). • Finally, La Mouette fell by half from their already-low position (to 0.6% from 1.2% in ’91). • Brands listed as "other" had 5.4%, suggesting USHGA needs to specify these brands that collectively tie for 5th place. • Wills Wing, though off slightly (down a minor 6% from their ’91 share), has clearly found a new leadership plateau, solidly over 40%, up from about a third of the market in the late 1980s. ••• The L/D harness, announced last month, is the work of former Fly America aerial voyagers, Cindy Drozda and Ian Huss. They made a plan and chose to assure (1) in-air comfort, (2) easy landing capabilities, (3) storage space for X-C gear, and (4) easy to fold with light weight. Cindy admits, "R&D actually turned out to be much more complicated and difficult that we were expecting." She says they learned a lot while researching how to build what they wanted. After a dozen prototypes, they feel they’re ready to enter production. "I’ve got a lot of respect for the ‘high prices’ of harnesses these days," said Cindy, adding, "They’re a lot of work and the materials are expensive." To help encourage early buyers, L/D is offering $100 in cash for the first photo of their harness on the cover of this rag. ••• The Ian side of the L/D equation is now involved with building platform-type winches. Equipped with auto rewind, the "Mobile Mountain" winches weigh in at 70 pounds. Ian expects to retail them for $2,500. Want more poop on either product line? Write 5000 Butte #183; Boulder CO 80301. Or call 303/440-3579. ••• To close this month, boss Ken Brown expressed his satisfaction with the response to PacAir’s factory-sponsored seminars. They had to add "two additional seminars …to accommodate the overflow," said Brown. Based on a high level of excitement, PacAir will schedule more. Brown added, "This kind of sellout is an indication [of] a real need out in the flying community… for activities that go beyond the standard factory demo days." For more info: 408/482-2299. ••• Whoa, diver fans! We’re outta room again. So, got news or opinions? Send ’em to: 8 Dorset; St. Paul MN 55118. Msg/fax to: 612/450-0930. THANKS!
Published in Hang Gliding Magazine