Monday, September 21, 2009

I WON the HP Contest!!!! | AZ Flats Day 2

Edit: Results for the day are up here - I matched my best day placement at 8th for the day, and am 10th overall - there's a lot of comp left though...
Okay so this is going to be a long post. A lot has happened today.

I won $40,000 and flew 70 miles to complete the task for today, maybe even finished in the top 10 or 15 for the day.

Here is the video I took at goal today and twittered it:

First I wanted say thank you to everyone who participated in the HP contest (HERE is their official press release). I know a lot of people really helped circulate this video and garner many more votes than I could by myself. This is a really overwhelming experience but wanted everyone to know their efforts are incredibly appreciated!

I hope not to fall prey to the stereotype of lottery winners where they spend all the money and get into debt and wish they had never recieved it. I do plan to donate some of the money to organizations to be determined, but mainly let it help fuel my passion of film and starting my own business. I'm still quite speechless with the whole thing...

Here's an update about today's flying with pictures (click on them for larger versions and captions are beneath).

View Larger Map
Above is my track log. It was a 70 mile task with 3 turnpoints. My track log says I went 142 mi since it counts all the turning in thermals and things - also an average speed of 33 mph and maxed out at 81 mph (on final glide) - also I reached 9,800' ft in altitude today. (The task was mainly downwind - maybe 12-18 mph - with a crosswing leg, the hardest one, in the middle on the route.)

I was one of two people who took the first start clock and then I flew by myself for about 50 miles until Dustin, Zippy, Dereck, Kraig, and some others caught up to me (so now I'm 15 minutes behind the leaders since the two start times were 15 minutes apart and they took the second one after me). Three guys from this lead group that caught me and were just a little below me and driving hard towards goal, but we didn't have it made so I slowed down and found another climb at only about 1,500' off the ground and had been falling fast! I got back up to over 5,000' about 4 or 5 miles from goal and went in! I was maybe 7th or 8th to land (but probably finished well lower than that because of the two different start times).

I took the first start time because I knew I wanted to get on in front and have the fast guys chasing me so I could try and hang with them later in the day, and that's exactly how it worked out.

Some of the highlights from today are climbing at about 1,000 fpm (feet per minute) above a dust devil (pictured below), cruising above the mountians with a peregrine falcon, and flying fast into goal! I really enjoyed the scenery and having a chance to fly by myself for a while.
Click for larger versions!

Dust devil in bottom left corner with white glider next to it

Close up of dust devil and pilot (Charles on Icaro)

Jeff O'Brien in start cirlce

Beautiful scenery! (this is at the end of the crosswind leg at turnpoint 2)

Eric Donaldson landing at goal


Stay tuned for more!


paint2fly said...

You lil' overachiever PUNK. You think you're so cool winning big contests and flying like a rockstar! Well, i guess we all think you are too! We talked your wife into spending some of your winnings, she's gonna throw a big LZ party for us before you get home. We'll drink one for you, or two. Keep it up!!! FLY HIGH, FLY FAR, FLY FAST, STAY SAFE!!! (remember that day i helped supervise the thermal from your palm segment? you don't owe me anything, your friendship is payment enough)

Minya and Eric said...

gratz on the HP

The Laptop Chick said...

Hi Lucas,
I talked to your mom the other day when I heard about this. AWESOME!! Your mom and my mom (Charlotte Garvin)are bff. Anyway, wondering how my company can be in business with Lucas Ridley! Email me at And did I hear you had baby on the way??

-Kathy Seigler

XCmag said...

Congratulations dude!