Our Blog is an up to date record of what we have been up to both in the school and out of it. We endeavour to update it as regularly as possible and include a sample the days pictures when available.

You can scroll back through the
Blog and follow various students progress through their training and get a good idea of how the school operates.

You will also find records of our trips abroad which will give you a good idea of what to expect should you wish to come on one with us.

Please visit it on a regular basis and feel free to add comments.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

A bit of history

Testosterone cuts in on the way to the caves

Cave dwellers

The entrance to the BIG cave

Michelle on a rock slide

Indiana Jones studies another dry dam

Ok it was another day not good for flying so we set off to entertain ourselves again. This time we went underground into some ancient caves. The drive to them took us through some great scenery and past an old dam which we put on the list to visit on the way back.

The caves are privately owned and after an interesting session regarding underpayment, suitably sorted by Michelle we were finally allowed in although the Brits were very much the bad boys of the tour group! With only a limited number of paraffin lamps you had watch where you went not helped by a slippery floor. It was a pretty amazing place with stalagmites and tites as well as some strange rock features. The main attraction is some ancient drawings and markings dating back some 25 thousand years.

On emerging safely we headed back towards the old dam where we followed out noses down into a large canyon. At the bottom is the entrance to another cave system this one much larger and open to explore. after a wander into it we came to a halt due to an underground lake but apparently with a bit of kit you can do a 7 hour trip through it. Back up tot he dam, which is dry due to rock faults, the braver went across it to explore whilst the rest headed for the safety of the cars. Reports are that it would be an interesting place to return too ..............

Looking flyable tomorrow.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

A bit of Culture

Culture in Seville
Big cathedrals have BIG doors

That's not something you see every day

Kaz relaxes


The forecast was poor so we made an early decision to can the day have an easy morning then head to Seville for some culture and shopping! What an amazing place it is , after having split into a couple of groups we headed off to explore. Walking through the park we encountered various sites and the girls found the un official loo's !

By sheer chance we met up around mid afternoon outside the massive cathedral and compared notes. The Plaza Espania took the biscuit although several other buildings ran a close second. Meeting back at the cars all spot on time we headed back to Algo vowing to return sometime for a longer visit.

None flying days are always more tiring, hope it's flyable soon ........

Friday, October 29, 2010

Out and Return

A spot of ground handling never goes amiss

A gay german joind in the fun and games

It's over there

Stunning wave sets up over the mountains

Twin peaaks viewed from the path up the mountain

What and Epic day with stonking climbs, amazing views and a 57k out and return completed by all! Well that's kind of the truth apart from the fact that we did it in the cars..........

We were up and off early as the breeze was forecast to increase by early afternoon as the weather front approaches, yes the same one as has crossed England. The team did a great job and we were out of the house by 09.20 ! We headed straight up the mountain and arrived at main launch to find it already breezy and SW, we gave it an hour but things increased so we headed down passing the french on the way up..

Passing the North bottom landing we took the opportunity for a bit of ground handling and flip flop ball before it got even too windy for that. Next we took a site seeing trip via El Bosque for coffee then back over the mountains via Grazalema to Algo. The views were spectacular and the wind funnelling through the pass blew you away. Some stunning wave clouds set up down wind giving the ideal chance to do a brief explanation of how it works.

Kaz and I attempted to summit the north launch by foot but turned back just short as darkness was falling and only just made it back in time. Some ate in some ate out and some got a bit drunk but all were happy. First non flyable day and looks like we may have a couple more before things get good again ..........

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ch ch ch changes

Change over day saw me heading to the airport with Steve, Ray, Bill and Sam who were at the end of their two week trip which was a cracker with it being flyable every day and all of them having made the most of it. We will miss them over the next week for a variety of reasons and thanks to all of them for their help and fun whilst they were here.

Having dropped them off at the airport I had a couple of hours off on the beach waiting for the next batch to arrive. A text from Lisa let me know they had landed and pretty soon Lisa W, Cathy L, Steve D and Michelle K were bundling into the starship for the trip up to Algo. All were pleased to be here and kindly updated me on what is going on in the world.

Meanwhile back in Algo Kaz had been to the supermarket to resupply aided by Barry and the guys and Wanda had a chilled day in town relaxing and drinking beers along with a bit of table tennis. Some gliders flew off the top to do downers but as far as a changeover day went it was a good one to pick as we did not miss any good flying, phew.

Meeting up in Algo the newbies dropped off their kit then it was up to JJ's for beer and food. An early night saw us all tucked up by midnight as we needed an early start in the morning if there is any chance of flying.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Twin Peaks and beyond

Barry gets loaded to go as his ground crew stand by

The action starts at launch as the thermals kick in

Barry and Ray enjoy the view

The View

Phippsy's landing spot just short of Ronda La V

Day 14 the bush diving continues off the SE east launch of Lijar, mostly the French, it tends to be what they do best. First Off was Lancaster Bomber Barry with an excellent forward launch, closely followed by Chris and Kaz. Next up was the Ray the red Devil, who did the light fandango and another excellent launch. Everyone was back on top by two thanks to Bill for as swift pickup (and collecting my radio from the digs).

With a switching wind and a few dust devils it was hard to know what launch to commit to. We opted for the south west, first off was Bill to test conditions which were fickle, next off was Phippsy followed by Sam and Steve. With thermals rolling up the gully in front of launch and a climb out above the hill Graham and I glided out towards twin peaks. Graham had his racing head on and made it past Twin Peaks well on his way to Ronda. I had to settle for a landing in the valley just past El Gastor, but an excellent flight and a big learning curve.

Steve had an excellent flight , with a fantastic low save with his ever reliable thermal over the Ronda Road. Next stop was Ronda ridge. A setting sun, perfect breeze made for classic smooth ridge soaring conditions everyone flew, we packed in the dark. A lovely meal in Algo saw the end to an excellent two weeks thanks to Graham and Kaz.

Blog by Sam

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Better than best

Group 2 photo at Montellano

Seemed like a good idea at the time

Chris demonstrates how to do a forward launch

Lat the games begin as gliders get flying

The evening lift continues as we prepare to leave half the team flying

Well it was for some and it was still a cracker for all, well except for Kaz as she now has the full blown version of Phippsy's lurgy.
We headed to Montellano for a change and also as it was a NE forecast. The wind was very light when we arrived so after doing the obligatory site introductions we settled down for a spot of sunbathing. By late morning things began to move a little so team Cloud 9 made an impressive sight as myself followed by Barry, Steve and Bill mad first class forward launches to test the air. It was starting to work but not quite enough to stay up. Pilots got twitchy as gliders could be seen on Lijar and questions were asked about switching sites.
A few more gliders took off a few stayed up briefly but most went down. The other groups cracked and headed off Lijar, we stayed. No sooner had they left than the wind filled the thermals came and flying began in earnest. It turned into a cracking afternoon and even better evening with the classic Hot Chocolate conditions switching on for the last hour or two. The guys flew their socks off with Mark F taking the endurance record at 4hours 12 minutes and several others around the 3 hour mark.
Chris and Barry upgraded their best ever flights to today's and looked like they had a good time. The "early" landers nipped home in one car leaving those in the air to fly till dusk arriving home well after dark. The house was very quiet by 10.00 !
Could well be back on Lijar tomorrow

Monday, October 25, 2010

Evening Delight

A Rays eye view as he prepares to fire

Gunnery team Sam and Ray let one rip

Practicing squatters rights in Setenil

Things get going at Ronda La V

Lovely evening conditions with only us using them

North winds always spread out the crowdsand so it was today. We headed to Teba for a change of scenery and whilst the guys liked the look of the site it was a tadge on the breezy side. There was a lot of wave in the sky so we amused ourselves with a bit of catapult target practice to see what happened.

Next it off to Setenil for a bit of sightseeing and a coffee to see if things died down. Then it was off to Ronda La V where we expected to meet the crowds. On arrival there were only two hangies as it was still too windy for danglers. But experience has shown us patience is a virtue so we settled down to wait for conditions to improve. Baz arrived with a few pilots and by early evening it became flyable although with a fair amount of east in it.

I tested the air and pretty soon those that wanted to were up and away into what was amazingly pleasant conditions. With smooth lift it was a great time to practice slope landings (sorry Jackie) as well as working off height with tight turns. As the sun set we sneaked into land and packed up as darkness fell. A lovely unexpected flight and in Kaz's words one of the nicest.

Maybe a bit more wind again tomorrow ......

Personal best's

The perfect egg gave a good start to a good day

Chris H looking like he means it as he gets set to on his best flight ever!

The guys cruise the ridge waiting for the next cycle

Bill keeps his nipples covered as Steve gets ready with his nipple clamp

Ready to guide them into the top landing the view is lovely

The skies had cleared and it was back to blue skies again and with light winds forecast we opted to try the main hill before heading off in the afternoon. Up Lijar it was already North and whilst it was a hot one it could not overcome the true wind and pull it up the face. We headed to the NW launch to watch the entertainment and after about an hour it became sensible enough to launch and even better the thermals were starting to work. Steve M and Sam gave it a go both getting off safely although Sam did try to knock out one of the french contingent, should get an award for that!

Steve gave it his best but missed the lift whilst Sam a few minutes later cracked it and was soon well high above the mountain. Whilst one car headed to Ronda La V we waited to see if Sam would travel by air but he dropped out of the climb so we picked him up in the notice board filed before collecting Steve.

At Ronda there were only two other gliders in the air and we wasted no time in joining them. I tested the air and was soon nearly 2000' above launch having a ball. One by one the others came up and as conditions mellowed we got Chris and Barry up there as well. They both had a great time mixing ridge soaring, scratching and thermalling all together in one super flight. I launched to join them and we had a super time out front cruising in thermic lift before heading back to the ridge. As conditions mellowed Ray joined the throng and performed his first toplanding at Ronda making it all look far to easy.

With the sun setting the guys all cam back on top nicely with Mark F setting a record for the group of 2hours 51 minutes whilst Chris and Barry rated as their best flying ever.

Another excellent day, lets hope it keeps going..... may take a road trip tomorrow

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Castles and Cumulus

The table tennis challenge gets ubderway (until they lose the ball)

Bill locks us in the Castle

Prickly Pear

Don't ask, we did and wished we hadn't

Lovely conditions at Ronda La V
Happy pilots at the end of the day

With a cloudy morning forecast we took it easy and headed out around 11.30 for a spot of site seeing in Zahara. Whilst Kaz chilled the rest of us headed up to the castle which got some of us puffing well but the view is always worth it. On the way back down we found a grown ups playground which kept us amused for a while.

By the time we made it back to the cars the sky was clearing and the sun making an appearance. With gliders launching off the west we decided to head to Ronda La V where we arrived to find nil wind. However by the time the wind sock was put up the wind appeared and withing 15 minutes Mark F led the way into the air. It was a cracking afternoon with the usual superb mixture of thermals and ridge lift giving everyone the chance to try both. Bill, Sam, Steve, Kaz and myself all had a ball getting pretty much as high as we wanted and in marks case a bit higher than he wanted! Chris, Barry and Ray had fun on the ridge with the new boys still settling into the very different conditions than those at Perranporth.

By early evening everyone was pretty much flown out so we headed back to base passing several downed pilots on the way. Forecast is looking good for rest of week so should get plenty more flying in ....

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Key master

Bill N heads off from Lijar launch

Weird Wave as a Para approaches the main landing zone

Love Doves

It was the first full day for the newcomers so after a quick check out of the main landing filed we headed up Lijar so they could get an early one in. As it was most decided to take the early slot and soon they guys were launching. With a bit of a breeze some managed a bit of ridge soaring before floating down and with some high cloud around the thermals were lacking.

A swift turn around saw us back at the top just in time for the thermic cycle as the wind moved to the SW launch. Kaz was off first and flew straight into good lift circling up away above launch. Bill and Sam quickly joined her whilst Steve headed off to his favourite spot to "enjoy" a good flight out in the valley. Chris and Barry went for it and both flew into some bouncy lift giving them a full on introduction to Algo'.

As quickly as it switched on it shut down again and whilst those high could stay up the late launchers were on a sleigh ride, that is with the exception of Ray who out flew those around him picking up some gentle lift about 750 below and working it back to take of height before heading off to join the rest.

Wanda and myself got set to pick them up when we found the car keys missing for car number 2, Bill did a fine job of trying to plead innocence but after a frisking he was found guilty having them safely in his pocket, along with various other objects in the bottom landing field. Still with a bit of juggling we got things sorted giving Bill and myself a chilled evening whilst the rest headed back up for an evening flight.

They guys had a fine time off the west launch with some staying up and some floating down but all landing safely in the cafe field. A good first day or the newcomers and a fun one for the two weekers. Weather looks a bit changeable tomorrow so maybe an afternoon flight at Ronda La V after a bit of site seeing.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Day Off

Classic shot out the front of the front of Lijar
The team (Nigel Dave and myself) head towards the landing zone

Dave takes a final climb above the mountain before having to pull out as time ticks by

Nigel explains how he popped his thermal cherry big time

Only Joking although after 7 days on the trot and it being change over day it was Kaz and mine turn to fly. With a land by time set at 14.30 so we could get the guys back to the airport pick up the newcomers and do the shopping it had to be a military operation.

Up Lijar it was noticeably fresher and the inversion weaker so gliders were soon working lift and reverse launches were more common than not.

Dave, Steve and Kaz got off early and found conditions lifty and lively as the pushed out from the ridge.

Jackie got off after a couple of attempts and flew straight into bouncy conditions requiring active flying and avoidance tactics, shouting that is !

Bill and Ray took one car down whilst Sam and Peachy waited till we were all off and also headed down. I manged to get just after Nigel and followed the others up and away. Everyone in the air had a cracking flight with Nigel truly popping his thermal cherry. Dave Nigel and myself all met up for some flying together as the land by time drew near. As luck would have it Dave and myself hit a strong climb over the LZ and worked it up before pulling out to spiral, big ears and in Daves case B line down.. The famous phrase of "the sink is working really well over here" came into use and finally we joined the others in the landing field only a little late.

Back to the digs for a shower and clean up then it was off to Malaga with Peachy, Jackie , Nigel and Dave with a supermarket sweep on the way. Jackie had put away well over 5 hours flying and 12 flights, cracking soaring, top landings and speed bar along the way as well as some super thermalling, oh and stand up landings. Dave racked up well over 10 hours and achieved the status of a Sky God. Nigel got where he wanted, high in a thermal, and found a who;e new world to play with. Peachy despite his dodgey knee on day one stopping his flying never let his disappointment affect the group and was supportive throughout making it a great week and one to remember. Thanks guys and with flying every day what more can you ask for, fingers crossed for the next one.

At arrivals we picked up Mark F, Wanda S, Chris H and Barry H all looking a bit tired after their flights and headed back to Algo for round two, watch this space....

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wing flappers and kidnappers

The team get rigged on Lijar

Sam gets kidnapped by a giant

Team Cloud 9 dominate the skies at Ronda La V

The man from De Monte says yes

Sam lets it all hang out as Rays flies by (captions welcome)

What a cracking day, yet again we headed up to the main launch and with the air feeling fresher we looked forward to a good one. Sure enough as the wind pulled on the vultures appeared and pretty soon we had Jackie off for a flight which was to sort out her speed bar tasks.
She did another fine launch before heading out and doing the business with the bar then heading out to the landing filed. On the way she flew into some nice lift and with a little encouragement started to circle in it and before we knew it she had thermalling sussed! Jackie had a great time playing with the lift all without a vario proving that you can do it by feel. Finally she headed down as her arms were starting to ache to perform a perfect landing, nice one. Bill was off pretty soon and was the first to climb well above the hill and break through the inversion. This encouraged the rest off and pretty soon the sky was filling up with the group some high and some not so high. Dave L and Sam headed to twin peaks but never quite made it although Dave made a brave attempt at flying to Ronda La Veja.
Ray got away and after having an asymmetric on the way out near the gully headed towards the landing field where he promptly hooked a couple of beauties and was soon back above launch having a ball. Steve flew to join him but decided to leave him up there as he needed a pee. By the time I got down the hill to the filed there were some pretty happy faces and exciting stories to be found.
Next we headed to Ronda La V picking up Dave on the way. Conditions were light but no sooner did we arrive and the evening lift kicked in and the gang had some super flying. Everyone got a nice flight in the ridge lift and magic lift seeing some very high out the front. Jackie popped in a couple of top landings to complete some more tasks in her bid for CPC rating.

A very satisfied bunch headed back to Algo under a picturesque sky with the likelihood of yet more flying tomorrow.