The faces of each returning hang glider showed joy, excitement, and a sense of accomplishment. They had taken off with the goal of successfully finishing the 95 mile route, each knowing that less than 30% were expected to finish. In a way, that they finished and landed safely was victory enough. Unless they were in the first five, they would worry about their placement later. They knew they did something that only a small number of people in the world could do. The camaraderie was palpable, the hugs and back slaps genuine expressions of congratulation. Later, the story telling would begin, perhaps, with an opener like, “There I was over the Ocala National Forest…” Or, “Did you see the big US Marine Corps helicopter? It was huge!” There would be time for that, but for now they were in the moment enjoying their magnificent accomplishment.
My photos capture a sense of their feelings that I can only describe as an ‘afterglow’. There is a twinkle in their eyes and a confident bounce in their steps. If there was a soundtrack in the background, it would be MC Hammer’s “Can’t touch this,”