Moyes Delta Gliders

JH: Describe flying in Czechoslovakia.

TS: The weather in Czechoslovakia is like flying in England - not so good. We don't fly much, usually on week-ends and most pilots can't afford to buy a hang glider so many are home-made.

JH: What made you choose the Australian XS?

TS: I started to fly Moyes gliders three years ago because Bill Moyes made me a good offer - if I took part in the World Championship in Australia he would give me a glider. Since then I've been flying Moyes gliders and am very happy with them.

JH: After your success in Switzerland (2nd in the 1989 World Championship in Fiesch) you must have had a lot of offers from other manufacturers.

TS: The most important thing for me is to fly, not to strike up a better deal with manufacturers. Moyes gliders I think are the best in the world. They have really good performance and that's what is right for me.

JH: Do you make your living out of hang gliding?

TS: Well, I would like to feel independent of hang gliding, to do it just for fun as I have up to now. My living will be earned another way. Three months ago I finished the university where I studied aircraft engineering and now I have to find a job.

JH: This year must have been as exciting as it was difficult in Czechoslovakia.

TS: It really is much more difficult more for the people there because the entire economic situation has changed and the standard of living has gone down. People are having a lot of trouble making money, buying food and paying for their flats. People don't have enough money for sports and having fun.

JH: Are you considered rich in Czechoslovakia?

TS: Our situation is a little different. The only good point in the communist system is that it really destroyed the classes in society. People in Czechoslovakia do not feel part of one or another class. That's a little different from the society in which you live. I don't feel part of a class now. I am living as I like and I am free.

JH: Do you think you will ever leave Czechoslovakia?

TS: Before the political changes in 1989 I had decided to leave because the life there was really bad politically and in every way. Worst of all the people weren't free to travel or to speak up and give opinions. It was a terrible situation but after the political changes occurred I wanted to stay.

JH: How did you feel about your success in Switzerland?

TS: I was very surprised I did so well in Switzerland because I don't like flying in the mountains very much. I prefer the flatlands or small hills. Switzerland was a new kind of flying for me. It was probably good luck.

JH: Is Governador Valadares more suitable for flying?

TS: Yes, I feel much better here as I do in Australia or Czechoslovakia because the flying is safer. In Switzerland the very high mountains with very strong winds and strong waves and turbulence made some of the flights very tough. I wouldn't like to fly in the same conditions again.

JH: Who do you think will win this competition, apart from yourself?

TS: I think John Pendry has the best chance of winning this one, but there are a couple of other guys who also have a good chance. If we have good conditions like we had last year or the year before, then Paulo Coelho is not fast enough to win this competition. If we fly in conditions like we had today rain and weak thermals - then a lot of people have a chance to win.

JH: Do you think Czechoslovakia will ever hold an international competition?

TS: Yes, I think it's possible. We have a couple of good sites there. For example, last year we had a good Czechoslovakian championship with one of the longest tasks being a 130 km triangle. Four or five people made it. Sometimes we do have good conditions there. I've been flying all around the world. Recently I was in Japan and Australia, then I travelled through Europe. I was in Brazil last year and now again. At home we have nothing comparable to these conditions or to those in Australia. There are small hills and usually I can expect short flights, but really I am looking forward to flying my own hills.