Posted by: quienessupa | August 9, 2011

Zapata World Record Encampment 2011 – Part 1

Snapshot during a fantastic story by Brazilian Pilot Eduardo as he’s about to demonstrate what it’s like to get hand cuffed in the Texan desert when 7 Border Patrol vehicles and 4 Police cars converge on your location!  Really nice guy.

Eduardo Story

Anyway, for our first Zapata breakfast, David McElroy and I sauntered into the best buffet in town.  There’s ‘bout 7 different buckets of eggs to scoop from.  Eggs swimming in brown stuff, eggs floating in fantastic red sauce/sausage, eggs with hash brown/green chili’s, etc., all fantastic.  You slap them in these smoking hot fresh flour tortillas and you’re good for the day.  Beside the rolling egg buckets are old school donuts, freshly made Texas style, big, meaty, and a skosh of crunch on the outside.  So Damn good.


Whatever, my head wasn’t in the game obviously and there was also a poor wind speed forecasted.  But, then we sat down next to the window to a sky rapidly organizing into the above sky-hiway around 8:45 AM.  This is the sky I only knew in folk lore… the once-in-a-lifetime over-running phenomena happening right before my overstuffed face.  My appetite disappeared instantly as I realized that I may have just screwed the pooch by breaking my own rule… “Luck favors the prepared”.

I should be launching RIGHT NOW@#$%^#!

Anyway, I’d been excited to meet up with the Brazilians team and to meet the legend Mike Barber who currently has the longest HG flight in the world at 438 miles.  With barely bridled panic inside me, I screeched the already tired Prius to a halt next to Barber’s car at the airport just in time to see Mike and Pete Lehmann walking their wings out to tow up.


Above: Earlier picture from a different day.

A passing “HI” from them was warming as David Glover confirmed my anxiety by saying: “THIS IS THE BEST MORNING DEVELOPMENT WE’VE SEEN…. EVER”.

My Atos-VR practically set itself up and we were airborne at 10:27am and soaking up what felt like God’s gift to me.  Gary said it best, it was truly a privilege to get to experience this sky.  I was there to give the record a shot, but it seemed less important now.  The gentle cloud suck pulled me along and flying was more simple and beautiful than it’s been for a long time.

SeeYou 6-21-11 245miles

Navigating around the Laredo Airspace was a piece of cake this day and with it loaded into my Flytech 6030 I could tell that I didn’t need to waste any time jumping anymore cloud streets. Below show’s departure and flying over the horizon.


First day:

Airtime:  7 hrs. 37 min

XC Miles:  245

Glider:  Atos VR

Records:  Zip

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