And so Eater delivers it’s normal pattern
Tomorrow looks awesome with a beaut of a North Wester blowing in so lets make to Chappies lads
Saturday looks to do the traditional Easter rain – amazing how accurate that is
virtually every Easter I can remember is wet and windy…
and so the bunny will get soaked along with the Two Oceans runners,
and then Sunday continues with a smattering of water before
we get to a sunny but cold South Easter Monday.
Just what the doctor ordered!
See you out there if you have not yet escaped the big smoke.
And so Eater delivers it’s normal pattern
For those who keep up with the Blog you will notice the
blog categories to the top left hand side….
with two build blogs on the go there.
Each is an individual blog and if Damian will just get us pics of his build,
we could have three build blogs on the go….
What it does mean is that the Black Eagle PSS Festival is very much on the approach
and if you have the time we would be very happy indeed to have you on the slope with us.
In essence and foremost is that this is a PSS FESTIVAL,
and I use the word FESTIVAL in caps because that is the main drive of the event.
Get together and fly PSS planes. Period….and do that over two days with
foamie, correx, glass – you name it- PSS scale aircraft
and we have an event full of fun, laughter and friendship with like minded individuals.
If however you have the need for a competitive side the rules for the
three differing competitive classes are posted above here under
the Black Eagle PSS Festival button.
If the weather plays along this could deliver the best year so far
in terms of scratch build beauties in all three classes just waiting to be maidened on the day!
Man, it’s going to be fun. Talking of which, here’s some of last years fun.
With the change in weather in place we once again
we had a delightful North Wester push through on Saturday
and a wonderful afternoons sloping took place up at Chapman’s Peak.
At one stage the cool lift just hit perfection and hinted at the winter
days that will be spent at this awesome site.
A good few lads headed up and between Brendan and the Vector 111
Christo and the Aldij, Rob and Andrew and their collection, Mally and myself with the Impalas
and his Aldij, and Schalk with the warbirds, we had a blast.
The Aldij was coming through something terrible
and just lit up the sky with some serious high speed passes,
from heights we call “Guatemala” because Mally can fly so
bleeding high he could be half way there!
But Sunday was even more of a treat with one of the best Kommetjie days for a very long time.
Cool South Westers caressed the slope and with white horses charging across the sea,
the lift was dynamic and smooth, although landing proved to be a
real challenge as nothing on earth was going to slow down those gliders on that day.
They simply refused to be halted and a few landings were somewhat quicker
than one would have liked, but even a burn to the bottom of the slope
did nary a thing to halt the energy these babies were carrying.
And then enter “Osama”, an 11 year old peach skinned lad, accompanied by Dad Niel,
who had gleaned the name “Osama” the previous day at Chappies, when somewhat
heated adult discussions over SAMAA and there role in slope soaring,
had this tiny voice enquire who the hell this “osama” person was
that we were talking about…
Once the fits of laughter had subsided, the name had stuck!
This being their first real ady on the slope we all spent a wee bit of time
setting up their newly aquired BEE wing and it was time for Osama’s first lesson.
Now I have had the honour of assisting a few people to learn to slope soar
and thinking that this would take some time I got ready for a good long session.
Not to be it appears. Starting with this tiny individual standing in front of me
between my arms, we went from hands on hand on sticks…
to hands on elbows with gentle taps for directional changes…
to hands off, your on your own mate…
all in less than a mind boggling 45 minutes!
Now you can say what you want, but the PlayStation Generation are just simply unbelievable!
Remembering how many times I had to walk, stumble and bumble
my way around the sky in my own 3 week learning process,
it was just simply brilliant to see the new generation pick up a transmitter,
sans any knowledge and cane the sky into submission in the flash of an eye.
So here’s the question….
How do we ensure these new generation kids become
part of the future and take those skills to the next level,
stay within the hobby and become truly great at it?
That’s the real challenge.
Slangkop, for those of not Afrikaans extraction or understanding, literally translated means Snake Head.
Although a more plausible translation would be “snake hill” as a koppie in Afrikaans
means small mountain/hill…possibly a fair warning to take into consideration
when collecting a glider down the base of the hill. There be snakes in them woods!
But enough of the linguistic gymnastics crossed with geographical positioning
and more about the fantastic slope sessions over the weekend up at Slangkop.
This Autumn spot is one of those dream spots. With a nice vertical face
it takes very little wind to get up a head of steam and
in general produces the most insanely smooth lift, provided we get
the SW or SSW winds that really focus the lift into the bowl.
You can be standing there baking away in the sun and fell nary a breeze on your face
and yet be flying the smoothest lift possible. Just awesome!
and with Autumn now well and truly on the go, the westerlies are starting to push through
and this slope is starting to become a favorite once again.
Saturday produced 25-30km/h winds and although a bit bumpy to start with there was just lift deluxe
and so Brendan, Marc, Mally Christo, Schalk and myself gathered for a sublime
afternoon’s slope session. Combat, formation Aldij flights with three up at a time
and then more combat whiled the hours away.
Come Sunday and a repeat performance, this time attended by
Damian as well and formation flying in lighter lift with the Impalas took place.
By the end of the weekend a good few tired and yert happy slopers headed home
with a wee bit of a grin on the face. Roll on winter and the Chappies sessions
which look set to kick off this weekend if the early forecasts are anything to go by.
For those that get up somewhat late you may not have
noticed the almost sudden loss of early morning daylight
heralding the approach of winter. As I write there is a
loverly cool North Wester blowing through… should be on the slope really.
After the TOSS Aertobatics event there was a predictable lull in activity
on the slope as the TOSS guys took a bit of a break from all the practicing.
For those of who ventured out we had a somewhat mixed bag.
A Saturday up at Chappies in light north westers, then a Sunday
up a Signal Hill in an ever changing westerly day, which resulted
in one of the longest walks ever for yours truly…
more or less a 5km round trip to fetch the Impala!
Then last weekend we get our arse blown off Red Hill in 60 km/h winds
leaving you feeling somewhat like a dehydrated crinkle cut chip by the end of the day.
But as winter approaches we will still have those lazy Autumn days as
last Sunday proved where nary a leaf russled in the woods.
Still, that is one of the great joys of slope soaring. It all changes…. all the time.
I think I am going to start this somewhat backwards…
with a huge kudos going out to mother nature
for once more making an appearance and this
closely followed by our fantastic sponsors without
whom we would never be able to award our
competitors in such a fantastic manner, and who were this year,
as before, were generous beyond belief.
So here are the guys and dolls that we all within the slope community
should really be supporting in keeping the slope scene very much alive and well!
RC Hobby Shop
Anton Benning (AB Models)
Dave Greer and Fragram
Now back to the action!
Dave Greer and Russell Conradt headed the charge into Cape Town
and had arrived by Wednesday already, to start practicing like the clappers,
and were closely followed by the rest of the Durban crew who we can only
thank immensely for their dedication to slope soaring in committing
their time and resources to making this event successful once again.
And so mother nature delivered them two whole days of
intense and perfect South Easters to allow them come to grips with the
Cape scene once more.
Come the competition morning and the early birds gathered
at Red Hill in the face of 50KM/h South Easters
and the decision was made to move to Smitswinkel Bay
for the day, as it tends to hold the howlers much better.
A brief briefing was held and then the first rounds took place
in near perfect conditions. As the Expert class was up first, the pace
was intense and competition nerves rife, but in all fairness
the level of skills had improved dramatically and the entire class
was far more compressed in terms of scoring than any other previous year.
Next up was the Sportsmans class and enter a dark horse, in the form
of Dave Lentle, previous Durban resident who now calls the
Cape his home, and who had only entered the night before,
but has the decided advantage of flying the real thing for a living.
Along with Marc Beckenstrater, these two really took on battle and led the field
in very good lift conditions. Through the 21 pilots partaking in both classes
the level of skills had improved immensely and the scores were looking close in the top orders of both competitor sets.
Just about lunchtime and the wind did one of those nasty little mood swings
and went a tad southerly, just about enough to destroy the lift,
and as much as Marc Wolfe and myself attempted to get
the second round underway, the lift just simply dissipated and turned nasty.
Steve Meusel led a charge back to Red Hill and called it good, although strong.
And kudos to the entire contestant group, judges, officials, one and all,
who willingly packed it all up and made a run for Red Hill.
And yiptidee was it strong!..
but the first round was up and running soonest
and as the afternoon progressed it even ventured to get stronger.
So the rounds went extremely quickly as the gliders were simply pounding
around the sky, screaming like banshies and carrying on much better.
Along with this the level of skills against the blow back really tested
the pilots at levels they had not required at Smitswinkel Bay
in the somewhat tamer conditions. With round two firmly in the bag and the day waning,
it was decided to retire to the ever present Dixie’s and enjoy a cool one or two.
Sunday was almost a replay of the year before with no wind and hot conditions,
so we all waited it out at Kommetjie before retiring to Dixies for the prize giving.
True to form, the scores were really close and in the end Michel Leusch took the
honours ahead of Marc Wolfe and Louis Genade in the expert class
and Dave Lentle took the honors ahead of Marc Beckenstrater in the Sportsmans class.
And with all the prizes handed out we closed off one more fantastic event on the Cape Slope calendar.
4 years in a row, 4 contests run, what a brilliant achievement one and all!
The Judges – Andrew Anderson, Claude Mackrill and Kurt Mackrill
– thank you one and all for your time and energy spent up on the judging line.
Contest Director- the very able Jeff Steffen
and Safety Marshal-Bill Dewey – thanks for a slick and well run event
The catering team headed by Theunis van Niekerk
Thanks for making sure we were all well fed and looked after once more.
Well done everybody involved and well done Two Oceans Slope Soarers for hosting the event.
1. 100.00% Dave Lentle
2. 86.20% Marc Beckenstrater
3. 83.89% Luke Johnson
4. 81.58% Dean Halley
5. 69.54% Anton Benning
6. 54.20% Mark Phillips
7. 52.45% Hans van Kamp
8. 46.78% Schalk Human
9. 45.24% Noel Cochius
10. 32.35% Ryan Matchett
11. 9.80% Rudi Smook
1. 100.00% Michel Leusch
2. 93.40% Marc Wolffe
3. 92.81% Lious Genade
4. 87.27% Kevin Farr
5. 83.82% Christo Le Roux
6. 75.29% Steve Meusel
7. 69.47% Malcolm Riley
8. 64.78% Dave Greer
9. 33.00% Russell Conradt
More pics to follow…
Put on boots and go for a walk… to make some noise
and that’s what 2000 odd souls did yesterday at Chapmans Peak.
Chapman’s Peak drive is threatened once more by changes taking place, that
in reality are not appreciated or supported by those in Hout Bay valley and Noordhoek areas.
The biggest worry I personally had was for the threatened removal
of the day passes for those who wanted to have a picnic
/fly a plane/take a run/ride a bike/make out in a car/ on the Hout Bay side of the pass.
A tradition long held and exercised by plenty of local people, without transversing
the entire length of the mountain. All the picnic spots and particularly where
we fly our gliders are on the Hout Bay side and the removal of the day pass
would cost us R 31-00 per direction just to get up to the flying site
on an average winters day. R62-00 for the round trip!
Daylight robbery me thinks!
And so the 2000 made the walk to protest the new tollgate structure,
the proposed building of the Entileni offices on national park land and the day passes issue.
Thanks to the good few TOSSers who pitched up and made a noise
along with the joggers, hikers, cyclists and anybody who uses that area for recreation.
A good way to spend the day, petitions handed over and so nice to make some
democratic noise about things that require change, rather than sitting back
and taking a beating as per usual at the hands of the powerful.
Godaarn it’s hot.
Last week peaked in the late 30″s virtually the whole week
and out in the winelands we were slapped with 40 odd degree days.
But finally it abated a wee bit on the weekend and
we were able to get some really good time up at Red Hill
practicing for this weekends up and coming TOSS Aerobatics Event 2012.
Hot was not the word as the temp peaked at 30 degrees once again
and you could literally feel the heat coming off the deck and through your shoes
With a record entry of field covering both the Expert and Sportsmans class
this looks to be a good old clash of the Titans in both classes, so roll on the weekend
and the weather and lets have some really good fun.
Some of our Sportsmans guys like Marc and Jeff could well give
a few of the Expert class guys a clap if they wanted to!
Thanks to Dave Greer and Russell Conradt for driving the Durban crew to get here,
and we are so happy to host the 7 souls that will make the journey down here.
Awesome guys, just bleeding awesome!
Notably the half pipe has been a hoot to try and figure out.
Nowhere as easy as it looks and requires some serious energy
to get right. Going to be a few falls from grace if one tries to get a little too clever with it.
Basically 3 center moves and 4 turn around moves make up the routine, which when you add in
1/2 Cuban 8’s etc can become somewhat testing to complete and gives the old pip a real test
to link all the relevant moves without tripping up on your own ego…
With just a couple of weeks to go till the TOSS Aero 2012
humping South Eaters should really be the order iof the day. Not so!
Bring on the North Westers for the new year and tweede nuwe jaars days
and lets all haul our kit up to Chapman’s Peak for 2 days of North Wester and
near perfect winter conditions. Rain also fell overnight on both days
so the gardens got a good old watering, but this is hardly the fare
as reserved for the traditional summer South Easter thrashing.
With most of the crew gathered for New Years day we had a good few sessions
and much the same to be said for the 2nd which delivered delicious early morning
and lunchtime sessions, before skewing out mid afternoon and then coming
back to perfection later in the day. Some nice aero practice early in the morning of the 2nd
with good few AFC guys on the slope due to Signal Hill being clouded in
and Chapman’s Peak remaining open for the day.
All kudos to Mally who managed 3 sessions with the newly repaired
and sparkly Aldij and who in total, must have put in 1 and a 1/2 hours of flight
with that particular glider. Some nice foamie warbird formo practice,
BEE combat and general slope fun had by all.
Damain produced the awesome FW 190 just beautifully presented,
and to think this is just a plastic plane. Awesome!
So on we practice, with the hope that eventually we
will get the south Easters as required, or some of the up country lads
are going to be a bit surprised should we end up at Chappies and
not at the traditional Red Hill for the event.
Having just come back from an awesome midday Red Hill session
which eventually went south, but not before a enjoyable 3 hour session,
I am glad to report that the TOSS lads are well and truly practicing for
the TOSS Aerobatics 2012 event in January, which now boasts a record entry
of 25 slopeheads and which whatever way you look at it is just around the corner.
Thanks to a rather large Durban contingent driven to arms by
Dave Greer and Russell Conradt, TOSS is really blessed to be hosting
the premier and only national slope aerobatics contest in the country
….for the 4th year in a row.
Been a bit of an odd summer start though, with a constant
dribble of cold fronts with Westerlies and South Westerlies dominating the scene,
where howling South Eaters should really be pushing through unabated at this stage.
The weekend was a great case for that same proposition.
The public holiday Friday the 16th just stood still and so did the slope boys,
and Saturday followed pretty much suite. Fed up and frustrated looking
at what was supposed to be a light South Westerly on Sunday.
I left the aerobatics plane at home and headed t the slope with
some plastic and little old Chucky for the proposed light conditions.
Meeting Steve, Malcolm, Christo and Lionel at Soetwater it was very quickly clear
that every one of the weather predictions was well and truly out of whack
as a beautiful South Wester pushed through the whole afternoon,
smooth as silk and just awesome flying conditions.
Cursing the age of the internet and immediate and seemingly inaccurate
weather updates we took out the plastic and had the best combat sessions todate,
laughed ourselves silly, flew the built ups for those that actually
bothered to bring them and just generally had an awesome time.
Make mental note! Never leave gliders at home, the Cape is just too
unpredictable to really trust the predictions.
With the holidays well and truly on the go, I just hope we get
more of this to allow for more practice sessions.