Day 1

And we’re off!!  We called a very early briefing (9am) because initially it looked like it would be soarable early and we would need to outrun some afternoon storms.  Turns out we probably should have launched around 11am, but it didn’t look overly fantastic at that point so we stalled things until a more normal time.  Unfortunately, that meant waiting out a few small cells that dumped rain on us briefly.  In the end, launch started at 3pm – super late, but that was the best we could hope for under the circumstances….and, it was pretty decent call.  Although the task was small, it was appropriate in the weather we had and about 20 made it to goal in McGin.  More importantly everyone was happy to be up there and actually starting on course to the north.




James Stinnett won the day with Oleg a close second and Pedro in third.  The scores don’t reflect that because Oleg had an instrument problem and hasn’t given his backup yet.  Young Cory Barnwell – multiple-time ladies choice award winner and recent graduate from the sport class – was in goal with the big boys.  Ollie Chitty, our other young gun here for the first time from the UK was also in nice and fast.  All scores are up at


We found a great little pizzaria with craft beers and a huge terrace under a clear warm night sky to top it all off.




Tomorrow we fly from Dunnellon airfield, hopefully north toward the ultimate goal at Lookout Mountain!


We Love Carrots

….more than sticks ;-).  So, a quick update on uploading your tracklog during the Rally.  Of course if you’re a techy and want to email us your track log the moment you land, that’s fantastic, we’ll take it!  It’s pretty simple, but we’ll put up very detailed instructions on how to do it here on the blog soon.

Meanwhile, if you prefer to just let someone else do it for you, hey, that’s what we’re here for and that’s what you’re paying for, so we will gladly do it for you.  Various crew members will be driving along courseline toward the next stop and if we see you beside the road in a nice grassy field, we’ll stop and trade your instrument for a icy beverage and download it on the way to goal….that way, you don’t have to rush to get it to us.  You can pick it up at goal so you can get the batteries recharged for the next day.

If you make goal, just come on over to the scoring table (we’ll have one all ready – hopefully before you even get there) where you can trade your instrument for an ice cold goal bear (or Coke, or water).

Fundraiser Update

Organizer Terry Reynolds has also generously donated one entry fee into the Dinosaur competition.  So, that makes 5 competitions.  If you’re planning on going to any of these competitions make sure and put a bid in – you could save yourself a few bucks and support the national team in the process.

There was a bit of confusion about how the auction works.  Feel free to email me if you have questions, but here is the deal:  We accept “bids” by email (to from now until the end of February.  The minimum bid is $250.  The average cost of an entry into the competitions is about $300, so if your bid is the lowest, you could save $50 and help the boys out in Mexico.  I don’t have many bids yet and your chances are good to win of the entries, so hurry up and send in your bid.  Make sure you specify which competition entry you’re bidding on.  The highest bid for each of the competitions wins one entry into that comp.   If your bid is the winner, you donate your winning bid price to the team via the USHPA website at and The Foundation for Freeflight will match your donation.  So, if your winning bid is $289, the team gets $578 – everyone wins!!

US National Team Fund Raiser

Flytec USA, along with myself, Davis Straub and the folks at Quest Air are looking to raise a bit of money for our US national team headed to the world championships in Valle de Bravo next month. We will be conducting a silent auction for one entry fee into each of the Flytec Race & Rally, Quest Air Open, Big Spring Nationals and Santa Cruz Flats Race competitions.

Registration is open for the Flytec Race & Rally and the Quest Air Open, so if you’re planning on going to either of these comps, or any of the Cat 2 sanctioned US comps this coming season, why not put in a bid and support our US national team. Opening bids for each of the entry fees is $250, so you could potentially save yourself a few bucks….or better yet, thrown in a bit more and help out our team pilots.

Donations for the winning bids will be made through the USHPA at

If you don’t compete or you don’t plan to attend any of these competitions, you can still donate to the team and we’ll put your name into a bonus drawing for a variety of cool schwag from Flytec, Wills Wing and Moyes.  And the real bonus is that the Foundation for Freeflight will match your contribution!  So, if you want to donate $500, the Foundation will match your $500 donation and the team will get $1000!

We will take silent bids by email to from today through February 15th. So dig deep and help out the boys heading to the worlds in Mexico.  We have a solid team this time around and high hopes to top their silver medal winning performance at the last worlds in Forbes.

We’re Back for 2015

May 17 – 23, 2015

The Flytec Race & Rally is back!  We will follow the Quest Air Open, starting at Quest and flying (hopefully) north toward some of our favorite airfields in Georgia and South Carolina including Moultrie, Americus and Vidalia.  Late spring in the southeast generally brings southerly winds driving us toward the north and we plan on aggressive tasks between 80-200km each day.  We have arranged to have goal and tow out of dozens of beautiful small airfields as well as a whole fleet of Dragonflies following pilots on course each day and then towing them all up again the following day.  If you missed out on our last Rally in 2012, now’s your chance to come join the traveling flying circus once again.

Registration opens at noon on December 15th



Cris and Davide


Jonny and Andre


Larry and Matt

Flytec Race of Champions Day 2

The Race of Champions format generally comes about over a lunch or dinner conversation between Steve and I and perhaps another pilot or two.  This year’s team idea came from Filippo Oppic who, being an Italian, is very familiar with cycling races.  Unfortunately, Filippo had a crisis at work and had to go home and miss the entire event.  What a disappointment, especially when the Race came off so incredibly well.  Although I heard from a few competitors that the format was quite frustrating, for all of us on the ground, Task 2 was just about as exciting as it gets in our sport.

Going into the second and final day of the Race, the Italian Dream Team (Christian and Davide) were just sixty points or so in front of Felicione Team (Pedro and Tullio) and the Moyes Boys (Jonny and Andre), so it really was still anyone’s race to win.   With a forecast much like the previous day, but with some possibility of cu’s, the task committee decided for something a bit longer and called a 117km triangle.

Although not all of the pilots have trackers, enough did so that we could sit in the air conditioned FBO and at least know where half of the field was.  As it started to look like most guys had rounded the second turnpoint and were headed back, we made our way outside and started scanning the sky to the southeast in search of the first ones.  Excitement built with 15 minutes of searching before we finally spotted the first glider – but much to everyone’s surprise, he was so far up there that we couldn’t even make out who it was – easily 3000 feet high as he crossed the goal line, with not another glider in site.  What was going on??  It only took a split second of wondering why on earth anyone would come in that high before it hit all of us that it didn’t matter.  With this format, a single pilot on his own is pretty much irrelevant.  All that matters is when his teammate arrives or when another team gets there.  Coming in a solid 20 minutes before anyone else was cool, but wasn’t going to win the Race for him.  As he circled and got lower, we could see it was an Icaro glider and knew it was Christian continuing his domination of this entire competition.  We learned by radio that Davide was coming in, but they were discussing whether Cris coming in early and taking a lot of speed points would help or hurt Davide’s score (the only one that matters).  It’s an interesting question and we didn’t know the answer.

A solid 15 minutes later, James Stinnett arrived completely ecstatic about winning the day – not seeing Christian still cruising around at cloudbase over our heads.   Oh well, he was still thrilled to have done so well and coming in second to Christian this week is nearly a day win anyway considering how he has crushed everyone on every task.

But, perhaps the most exciting finish came shortly after James.  The aptly named Young Guns – Mike Bilyk and Florian Gostner arrived incredibly fast and together again, looking like they would take the day win….if only Florian made it across the line.  Mike arrived at a reasonable altitude, but Florian was grazing the treeline 1 kilometer out and we all cringed watching him glider in from soooooo far, low and seriously looking like there was no chance he would make it.  He tucked it into ground effect and floated across the plowed field heading straight toward the fence line of the airport.  We knew there was no way he would get over the 2 meter fence.  But, we quickly started to see that he was angling toward the parking lot – pretty full of cars!!  Like a slalom ski racer, he weaved his way between the cars barely eeking his way across the 400 meter cylinder line, running about 10 meters just to be sure ;-).  I have never seen two pilots so excited about a day win.  Both Mike and Florian are pretty new pilots in general and particularly new to competitions, so pulling off a day win in a field of top pilots is pretty impressive and they’re still young and new enough that they didn’t mind showing their thrill for winning!  What fun for all of us!!


Florian final