NOTES FROM QUIXADA
Our long-time friend and Cross Country Contributing Editor James “Kiwi” Johnston has just left Quixada, Brazil, reporting on Ozone Team Pilot’s Nick Greece and Josh Cohn hunt for a Declared-Goal record on their new Ozone Zeno’s. Permanently affected by both the beauty of the Brazilian desert and the hospitality of its inhabitants, “Kiwi” offers us a quick taste of record-hunting season at the world’s most famous cross-country site.
“November is record-breaking month in the State of Ceara, Brazil, and so I jumped at the opportunity to tag along to Quixada for 10 days with two former U.S. National Champions, Josh Cohn and Nick Greece to join the small contingent of world-class XC pilots who were gathering there in hope of flights over 400km.
True to form, the 1st and the 3rd of November had produced exceptional conditions, with the Brazilian pilot Leandro Pauda setting a new site record of 483 km on an Enzo 2, and Jose Rebelo, part of a trio of talented Portuguese pilots who took full advantage of the conditions, logging a flight of 471 km on his Enzo 2.
But while the legendary Enzo 2 still holds the records at Quixada, the glider of choice appeared to be the new Ozone Zeno, which was by far the most prolific glider on launch, many pilots apparently enticed by the idea of Enzo type performance with the M6’s ease to fly; Austria’s Alexander Robé broke the Austrian record with a flights of 457 km and 445km on his Zeno during this period.
Somewhat unfortunately for myself and the small US contingent, we arrived onsite on the 5th of November for 4 days of waning conditions, followed by 4 days of intense wind gusting up to 50 km/h on launch! While ultimately unsuccessful in their attempt to set a Declared-Goal record on their Ozone Zeno’s during this period, Nick Greece showed his versatility as a pilot and experience in vast and intimidating cross-country landscapes in the USA with a flight of 388km on his first flight on his Ozone Zeno on his first flight at Quixada, while Jose Rebelo (PT) put up the only +400 km fight of the day at 406 km on his Enzo 2; three days later (November 8th) the Swiss pilot Kevin Phillips flew his Zeno 387 km.
Conditions then deteriorated then significantly, but the two US pilots, who were using this trip as training for the 2017 spring in Texas, continued to press on, opening the window each day in winds gusting up to 50kmh. Their persistence finally rewarded Nick Greece again on the third-to-last day of our trip, when he became the first American to record a 400 km flight outside-of-the-USA with a flight of 420km on the Zeno in difficult conditions, a mere 30 km short of the Declared-Goal of the town of Amarante. Josh Cohn, who led out each day, and whose vast experience in competition flying perhaps worked slightly against him in the shifting-Brazilian conditions, recorded his best personal flight of 360km the following day on his Zeno, flying much of the day with the freshly arrived English/Colombian pilot Juan Sebastian Ospina who flew 328 km (another personal best) on his Zeno on another slow-day conditions-wise.
Our group left after 10 days with one flight over 400 km and numerous personal bests, feeling as if we had not experienced Quixada at anything close to its full potential. The mind boggles at what could be accomplished on a good day, and I certainly hope to come back here again, since along with being the correspondent for this trip, I picked up the bonus of a New Zealand Open record – 319 km – on my beloved Ozone LM6 on November 7th. However I cant even claim 3-line bragging rights – the Swiss based US pilot Chris Banford, posted a flight of 370 km’s on his Ozone M6, the next day on November 8th”
Thanks Kiwi for the report and congrats guys from all the team at OZONE!