News & ToursSeptember 19, 2009

Flight time on the LPGA

LA JOLLA, Calif. -- "I've got to text my mom and tell her I love her," Angela Stanford said moments before handing her cell phone to a friend, slipping into a harness and running from the edge of a cliff to begin a paraglide experience that eventually ended with a landing on the nude Black's Beach 300 feet below a cliff top here.

Stanford was among a group of LPGA players that upon completion of the third round of the Samsung World Championship chose to experience paragliding at Torrey Pines Gliderport adjacent to the 12th hole of the South Course at Torrey Pines.

"Well it was obviously good to be up with someone who knew what he was doing," Stanford said afterward. "It was really cool how we would lift and then fall really close to the cliff."

She was with a pilot, who recognized that the updraft that has made the area a paragliding and hang-gliding hotspot wasn't strong enough to allow them to land atop the cliff. Instead, they were forced to land on Black's Beach.

"That wasn't a problem," Stanford said, "but when he first said we were going down we were heading toward the bottom of the cliff. I said, 'We're turning first though, right?'"

They did, landing safely on the beach, near the nude sunbathers about which she apparently had not been warned.

"I found out," she said, smiling.

Brittany Lincicome also landed on the beach, requiring a steep uphill climb back to the gliderport. Kristy McPherson, meanwhile, landed atop the cliff.

-- John Strege

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