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This photo was taken at the American Cup in 1979.
Myself and Larry Croome were flying the only two production topless models ever in existance, with the Canadian Team. Not sure if the photo is me or Larry. The ASG 23 design needed more mods and tests to be competative with the just released and well finished, Comet 1 by UP which was half thw price and flying well. Tom got rid of crossbar drag by eliminating it and UP (Roy Hagard) covered it up to achieve similar results and a lot less cost.
I'm not sure Randy's right about this being an ASG-23. If it was made in 1979, I think it was an ASG-25, since Tom Price had already been hired by Electra Flyer by spring 1978. (That was when I came to work for Electra Flyer, and Tom was already there.) I remember helping Tom make a couple of these sails and fit them to a crossbar-less frame with fiberglass leading edges.
The ASG-23, as I recollect, was a more conventional glider with crossbar, preformed ribs, and fiberglass leading edge tips to tension the trailing edge at the tips, much like the Stratus gliders. (I don't think the crossbar was enclosed.) It went out of production in the winter of 1977-1978, when Tom closed his own sail loft and went to work for Electra Flyer. I remember seeing some stored ASG-23 patterns in the sail loft there, but no sails were made from them.
Randy has the story correct except the year was 1980 I believe. Tom brought the ASG 23 up to Canada with its preliminary build done -it needed some shape refinements as well as new spars. Randy has a quancet shop and most of the financing in the 3 way partnership to develop the worlds most advanced and unbeatable hang gliding machine.
Randy and I set in a concrete floor in his shop in late June thanks to the support of Randies incredible folks (Bless and thanks John & Denise) who were happy to pay for the concrete for their building.
This flying life of Randy's with the grand central of activity was fun and exciting especially for Randy's mom. Cowboy coffee and three meals a day for us -no conditions and don't dare try and pay for it.
Tom arrived several weeks late and about one week before Grouse for which reason we did not have time to be ready for Grouse and best to keep it under wraps until the nationals. The ASG 23 version 1 was small and very efficient at speed. We built a whole new sale for the rocket on the old spars with the dubious extra 1/2" holes in them that Tom assured us were in the nuetral axis. I was lucky enough to fly the new prototype in the 1980 Canadian Nationals Gaspe, Quebec. The wind blew 25 mph + for 8 days and I had a comfortable lead -though not enough to take the last day off. The wind virtually stopped on the last day and it turned into a sink rate contest. I went from 1st to 7th. Oh well, two years in a row may have been too much for my head anyways.
Randy was graciously but openly envious that I flew it for the competition and in hind-site Randy would have been the better pilot for this event and likely would have pulled off a win that year. I was great at pylons and tight closed courses, getting that last pylon with the wing a foot of the ground and bulls eye landings. Randy could core out a thermal in most places better than me and certainly anything cross country and high strategy he was better at. I will say I am pretty sure this is me flying due the arch of the body -that is what I used to do -as if it would make me fly better!
After the nationals we built two new ASG23's with two new sets of spars and nose units starting in the second week of September. Only 4 weeks later we had two new gliders very much redesigned. Tom for design and sailmaking, me for building, sailmaking and flying and Randy for flying and promoting and sales). Would have been a good team if Roy Haggard wasn't so damm smart with his comet.
Tom stayed home in Lumby while Randy and I and a four others piled into my dad's motor home and drove non stop from Lumby to Montreal plus another 5 hours around the north road and down the Gaspe Penninsula. Amazing trip and non of us had been this far east. My dad really enjoyed the pictures -especially the one in the motorhome with the centerfold pinned on the wall. Everyone will have remembered this trip to the land of Micheal Trembley and crew.
Our new ASG's had More span and about the aspect ratio and a better(?) wing tip. While we were at the nationals Tom stayed home and worked on the ASG 23 v2 -some specs based on our feedback from the nationals. The comet appeared at Grouse mountain the same time we were ready to go -so wouldn't you know it, but we thought we could out do it -but were always leary of the sale price difference which proved to be true. It just seemed we could not make enough difference and so it went -though it was a year of working most days and evenings and a lot of learning and traveling -thankyou Tom and Randy and your incredible folks that I know Tom won't forget either.