ST. PAUL, MN — Used to writing “1990” on your checks and letters yet? A new decade begins to unfold… against a backdrop of the most astounding political changes of modern history. The effects of the so-called “democratization” of eastern Europe may have profound influence even on lil’ ol’ hang gliding. USHGA Boss Jerry Bruning sent along a copy of a FAX to Prez Russ Locke. The letter from General Director Kakurin of Interaero requests info on the U.S. competition schedule for 1990. It seems Soviet pilots may plan to attend some contests. Interaero’s duties for the Soviet HG Federation also include the inviting and receiving of foreign teams to its own competitions. Most notably Comrade Kakurin suggests the “Peace Cup” and the USSR Championships. The Peace Cup is in May; the Championships in July. ||| Also in the month of May, Brian Milton (remember him?) will kick off his Superleague. A new attempt at a truly professional hang glider competition circuit, Milton announced he’s targeting a minimum of $40,000 in prize money. Apparently, the Forty Grand will be divvied up over three planned contests for 1990. The first is slated for Wales in May; two more to be announced. Meets #2 and #3 may be on-going contests that havn’t previously had prize bucks. Milton will also entertain other new offers. Knowing how much trouble we Yanks have generating even our U.S. Nationals, I’d expect all these ’90 Superleague events to take place in Europe. Top pilots will be consulted to assure their satisfaction, but Milton will be the principle pivot man, using his years of competition experience (you might recall he founded the British League). Interested? You’re already late… entries closed 2/1/90. Entry fee is set at $650 for all three contests. More info in future “Product Lines.” ||| On contests yet, the ’90 Nationals will be in the ominous-sounding location of Dinosaur Colorado (approximately midway between Denver and Salt Lake City). Organizationally, it appears off to a good start, thanks to Christine Reynolds. Since mentioned in last “PL,” Reynolds has signed up GW Meadows, prior Nats meet director and now shop manager for San Diego’s Hang Gliding Center. The event from July 27 to August 5 has wide community and government support, offers predictably good weather, good launches and landings, and even a Hang Driver contest with an $800 purse (!). For more info: write Reynolds at PO Box 281, Conifer CO 80433. ||| Gosh, more contest poop. While I know it only appeals to perhaps 1% of all Yoo-shga members, contests are one of hang gliding most visible elements. Since I’m interested in seeing our sport grow (at least, and perhaps most, modestly), contest coverage is beneficial. Anyway… Jim (Mr. Green) Zeiset hopes to sponsor his own private team for the Brazilian pre-World Meet contest later this month. He plans to fund the “Brazilian Express” himself, through his business; and to select and coach a non big-name team of relatively inexperienced competition pilots (a kind of “control group,” perhaps?). Currently he’s planning on all UP Axis gliders, CG 1000 harnesses, BRS rocket parachutes, plus other sponsoring vendors. He hasn’t yet identified how he’ll select his flyers. ||| Finally in some product news, parachute prices are soon going to jump. BRS, Wills Wing, and parachute builder Free Flight say the supply of the preferred canopy cloth is increasingly scarce. Wills is forecasting hand deploy price hikes of at least $125. All three businesses predict such increases before summer 1990. Though it may sound like the alleged oil shortage of the ’70s, you might want to consider a new chute sooner than later. ||| Last, old timer Dave Rodriguez and wife Judy have sold their Wasatch Wings hang gliding shop and school. The buyer is Wasatch instructor Gordon Pollock and his wife Anne, effective November 1, 1989. They’ll rename the business Thermal Dynamics and continue the good work Dave and Judy started. Pollock is a 15 year veteran of the sport whose has been Wasatch’s main instructor for the last three years. ||| Hey, outta room again, so… Got news or opinions? Send ’em to: “Product Lines,” 8 Dorset, St. Paul MN 55118, or call (days) 612/457-7491 | FAX: 457-8651. THANKS!
Published in Hang Gliding Magazine