Santa Cruz Good Times

Thursday
Oct 02nd
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

When Slugs Fly

blog slugsfly1

SLUG REPORT > Flight machines fueled solely by human power are hard to come by these days. But last Saturday, Nov. 10, San Francisco’s McCovey Cove welcomed a carefully selected 35 teams that tried their hand at human-powered flight. This year’s event was the 10th anniversary of Red Bull’s Flugtag, which in German, translates to “Flying Day.”

Since 2002, teams have jumped at the opportunity to launch their homemade human-powered flying machines off a 30-foot high flight deck in San Francisco. This year, however, was a noteworthy one for Santa Cruzans because a team of UC Santa Cruz classmates and friends competed. Their team, When Slugs Fly, represented our Surf City and the university by dressing up in banana suits and performing a skit prior to pushing their giant banana craft (with the pilot onboard) into hopeful flight.

“It’s such a challenging and fun concept—creating a theme, building a craft and executing it [skit and all],” says Greg Gerschenson, pilot of the When Slugs Fly team.

Gerschenson says that they first began building their flight craft in early October and that “being together as a team has given us a one-of-a-kind experience that hardly anyone else can say they've had.”

blog slugsfly2So how did the team’s craft handle the 30-foot drop? Not well, reports Gerschenson.

“I believe it went in upside down about 18 feet from the starting point," he says, adding that he then was able, as pilot, to go about 30 feet, “which was a lot more than a majority of the crafts that had wings.”

The team did not place among the winners, although Gerschenson reports that the judges liked the banana craft.

“I believe [our loss] was a result of not having wings at all and being in a huge banana made out of a shopping cart,” he says. “The teams that won deserved it, though—they truly got their wings and were able to glide."

Even though they walked away without a win (or a successful flight), the When Slugs Fly pilot says the team got a lot out of the experience.

"The competition was a lot of fun,” he says. “I think our whole team really appreciated it and we had the most fun we've ever had together. There was a lot of rallying for votes, dressing up in silly costumes and waiting for the jump. To see the response from so many people that were from Santa Cruz or from our school up there was spectacular."

He recommends everyone give the Flugtag a go.

"If you have the chance, do a Red Bull Flugtag," he says. "It is such a crazy experience and, in the end, everyone walked away winners. It’s the memories you get from this event and being able to do something noone else can say they did that makes the event special."

Find info about the competition online at redbullflugtagusa.com.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

On the Waterfront

As the wharf celebrates its centennial, a personal reflection on its essential place in Santa Cruz’s history

 

Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, occurs this year during Libra, the sign of creating right relations with all aspects life and with earth’s kingdoms. We contemplate (the Libra meditation) forgiveness, which means, “to give for another.” Forgiveness is not pardon. It’s a sacrifice (fire in the heart, giving from the heart). Forgiveness is giving up for the good of the other. This is the law of evolution (the path of return).

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of September 26

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Melinda’s

New Capitola bakery takes gluten-free goods to the next level

 

Do you think you are addicted to technology?

Santa Cruz  |  Unemployed

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

Apricot Wine for Dessert

Thomas Kruse Winery, a participant in the new Santa Clara Wine Trail, has been around for a long time—since 1971, to be exact. When our little group arrived to try some wine at the Kruses’ low-key tasting room, Thomas Kruse and his wife Karen were there to greet us. Theirs is a small operation, and they’re proud to offer quality wine at affordable prices. “Because we are small and low-tech, it’s easy to relate to the whole winemaking process,” says Karen—and the Kruses take pride in making wine “just like it has been made for centuries.”