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1st Ground Launching Competition a Success

1st Ground Launching Competition a Success - Click to Enlarge!
1st Ground Launching Competition a Success - Click to Enlarge!
Photos: Mark Farchione

Duane Hall has won the 1st ever ground launching Blade running event at the Ground Launch Center in California. The ground launching competition was the last event of the 2005 U.S. Canopy Piloting Grand Prix. The competition was held over a 4 day period with about 15 pilots making over 35 launches each during their stay at the GLC. Pilots received rides to the top of the 800ft launch site with a 4-wheel drive vehicle provided by the GLC. The competition course was a 2,300ft traversing speed course with pilots receiving two days of practice before the main event.

The competition would start around 8:00am each day in no winds and build up to about 15mph by 12:00pm. The early morning no wind launches were more challenging for competitors and usually required a slightly larger parachute or more technique. As the winds increased some competitors downsized or increased their wing loading for more penetration through the course. Missing the entry gate resulted in a vertical extension, missing any other gate on the course was a 30 second penalty and a blade strike was a 5 second penalty. Many well know pilots placed out of the top positions for missing a turning gate trying to cut it too close.

Competitors also got the opportunity to conduct ground launch big ways and ridge soaring during their stay. The fastest run through the course was 18.57 seconds, the largest formation was a 9 way and the longest soaring flight was just over 2 minutes all from the same 800ft launch site. Jim Slaton also performed a test flight for the crowd on a JVX 83 at a 2.0 wing loading in 15mph winds. This was the highest wing loading and smallest canopy launched at the GLC to date. In the end Duane Hall won the event flying a Daedalus GLX 130 (Ground Launch Extreme). More ground launching competitions are being scheduled for 2005 and beyond.

  • 1st DUANE HALL-Daedalus GLX 130
  • 2nd MICHEAL STEVENS-Xaos 108
  • 3rd TJ LANDGREN-GLX 135
  • 4th DAVE HEBERT-Vengance 120
  • 5th KEVIN LOVE-Stiletto 120
  • 6th MARC DOWNING- Velocity 111
  • 7th JIM SLATON-GLX 130
  • 9th KEITH COLWICK- GLX 135
  • 10th JIM JENNINGS- Jedi 120
  • 11th ANTHONY LEVAY- Hurricane 135
  • 12th CHRIS REYNOLD- Sabre 135
  • 13th DUSTY SMITH- GLX 130
  • 14th IZURU FUJINO- Stiletto 107

> More information about Ground Launching at

By Mark Farchione on 2005-05-17 | Last Modified on 2017-01-12

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