Endless Footdrag 2013

2013-May-25 Britton Shaw's Big Grass Fest

There's big oil, big pharma, big food, and now there's "Big Grass." But thankfully this big grass doesn't mind sharing their incredible resource.

It's really an amazing place. Miles of smooth, mowed lawn. Golf courses have nothing on it. Sleeping on site makes it that much better; gear at the ready, launching at sunrise and marveling at our incredible freedom. It's damn good to be human in the 21st century.

Strange that, as much as I love flying, launching into a mile long foot drag is what I started with. The event is well named.


The competition was extremely well run by Britton Shaw, Dave Fore (who also competed) and a bevy of volunteers.

There was one call where I was docked as missing a stick--I know which one it was because I barely hit it. So it goes. Like I've briefed a dozen times, it's not whether or not you do a thing, it's whether or not the judges see you do it. But I *Soooo* appreciate their willingness to give up precious flying time to let us do our thing. Same for Britton who wore way too many hats and doled out his duties with a welcoming demeanor.

Several years ago I flew a perfect competition at this event and got beat by Ryan Shaw. He was on a fast reflex wing and I was on a standard model with a much lower speed range. That is when I vowed to have the right tools -- I may still lose but it wouldn't be because of equipment.

So here I was with the right tools: Ozone's Viper 18, the fastest wing I've yet flown and a purring Miniplane with just enough oomph to power me on full speedbar and half trim. No excuses. Everything worked flawlessly and I flew two perfect runs, nailing all the spots and not missing any sticks/corners (although the judges counted a miss). But Ryan beat me again, fair and square. He flew really well and deserves his first place. Congrats Ryan!

Here are the final results. Thanks to Glen Boyd for validating them. He did find one mistake but it did not affect the standings:

1 Ryan Shaw 2,471 600
2 Jeff Goin 2,396 582
3 Paul Lundquist 2,225 540
4 Chad Bastian 2,216 538
5 Dave Fore 1,845 448
6 Steven Bailey 1,789 434
7 Mike Bennett 1,410 342


Kudos to Steven Bailey and Mike Bennett who joined the competition circuit for their first time and did quite well. It ran smoothly with not even any damaged equipment. Steve only has around 12 hours of paramotoring but a fair amount of free flight time.

It appears that the new national standings will put Ryan Shaw in 1st place nationally, leave me in 2nd and Paul Lundquist in 3rd. If there are no more competitions then this will be the final score for 2013. There's a possibility that Wings Over Winter in FL will have a competition in November.



1. Paul Lundquist nailing a spot.

2. Paul gained a friend--they're both a bit squirrelly.

3. Ryan Shaw comes in with some bank, levels off and nails the spot.

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