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The State

When Debbi Renshaw-Armenta began hang gliding 10 years ago, Jeff Scott was a guy she looked up to--in more ways than one. Scott, 6 feet, 7 inches tall, stood out because of his height and because of his stature as a hang glider. He had set a long-distance record, gliding from Palmdale to Santa Monica in 1979, and could fly under the most difficult conditions. “He was the sky god,” said Renshaw-Armenta, 33, of Green Valley Lake. “He would stay up when nobody else could.” Renshaw-Armenta was one of more than 60 hang gliders who paid tribute to Scott on Saturday, the first day of the Jeff Scott Hang Gliding Competition. Scott died last September at the age of 32 after a nine-year battle with cancer. Local hang gliders established the four-day competition, which they hope to repeat annually, to honor the man who inspired so many of them. Wearing T-shirts bearing the slogan, “A Guy You Could Look Up To,” 40 competitors launched off Kagel Mountain, at an elevation of 3,300 feet above sea level, for a race along the ridges of the San Gabriel Mountains. More than a dozen others made a recreational flight along the same course. To spectators at the landing field in Sylmar 2,300 feet below, canvas-wing gliders appeared to be giant paper airplanes in the sky or a flock of fowl.


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