Log

Beach Blast 2010

2010-05-07 A great event but a canceled competition

I was in the next wave to launch for our practice competition run. We had 25 pilots and had to turn away a few.  But alas, it wasn't to be. Complaints had piled up from the day before and now from the chair vendors who had to move their chairs back. The police came by and said we had to be 500 feet high except for takeoff or landing which kiboshed the competition.

You can argue that they don't control the airspace and you'd be right. But if you want to use their beach, you have to follow their rules. It's not the airspace their controlling, it's access to the beach.

This was, needless to say, extremely disappointing to those who were involved, who went to all the effort of setting it up, including John Black, and to a few pilots who came to the event primarily for the competition. We learn, though. The next time we'll make sure that the local authorities are on board with our exact plans.

Event

All the rooms have an ocean view and balcony so you can watch the shenanigans from your room. Not that many of us will be doing so since we'll be out there committing the acts. But it's a fun way to wake up, especially given my propensity for 2am bed-times.

Vendors

There are a lot of vendors here. I'd guess nearly the same number I saw at the Salton Sea. I've tried several wings and motors and will do more today and Saturday. It's so nice to have the whole day.

Flying

It's a gorgeous, warm place to fly with daily onshore winds making launch a "breeze." It's simple scenery since you can essentially only go up and down the beach and have to stay high.

This isn't the place to go tearing it up and especially isn't the place to fly near people. There are too many of us and people have expectations of a peaceful beach experience.

Don't tear it up near launch, either. No large fly-in works for that because of the shear numbers involved. If you want to go tear it up, you can but have to go about 5 miles away to an uncrowded island. Even there be careful. Where beach goers and paramotors mix, things can get ugly in a hurry. And it's an island. So if your gear gives up, you'll need a boat or will need to sweet talk the shuttle into taking your gear.

John Black has done a great job keeping things going and this is a great resource. It's sooooo critical that we respect the rules. I've seen every other beach fly-in cancelled, ultimately due to complaints from the public, and would love to see this succeed as a going concern. If anyone can do it, John can.

 

This 2009 photo by Marty Hathaway captures a big reason why people like to come to these events: camaraderie. It's fun to meet fellow  pilots and see the latest gear.

I've been taking pictures but haven't had them developed yet (i.e. copied to my computer!)


2015 Jeff Goin   Remember: If there's air there, it should be flown in!