Hermanus 2009-more than just a slope event
If you missed it… you missed out! Simple.
Having been to the last 4 Hermanus events, this weekend always rates as one of the
best weekends in the calendar year.Apart from the Two Oceans Slope Soarers Aerobatic Event weekend at the end of January, that is!
All in all the Hermanus event always turns out to be a blast as the dedicated slope community
gets together for a weekend of friendship, sloping and traditionally a huge dose of hilarity thrown in.
This year was no different, although the weather really did desert the crew who awaited
a howling South Easter as required for that slope. Friday produced Easterlies, which in Cape Town
may have been South Easters, but due to the geographical swing of the coastline,
eventually ends up being easterlies. Really not the best wind for that slope, it was still flyable
and for those that went up for the Friday, an entire days sloping was done.
Saturday started out promising, but due to the excessive heat, 28 degrees Celsius,
the slope failed to light up. The day was however was a blast as the light conditions
tested the gathered crew and a good few floaters made for the sky and
the trusty Banana reveled in the conditions, finding favorable hot spots to thermal to heights.
Steve Meusel had created a home brew light glider, pod and boom style, weighing in at under 500grams and that performed just brilliantly
in the light conditions and had a good turn of speed for such a light machine.
It was maidened on Friday and flew a few times that day as well as successive occasions on Saturday.
Well done Steve, one heck of a build on such a short notice. Now can we have a production version
please, cause I want one!
The combat zone as per usual was a blast and there was never a time when the skies above
the plastics zone was empty. It was great to see some old faces there gain,
The Port Elizabeth Radio Flyers ( PERF) crew arrived just in time on Friday to start heaping
a few insults in our direction, which were duly returned with interest,
and well done to all the PERF guys for doing the trip all the way down from PE.
Nice to see you again Shaun!.
Anton Benning was there with a great collection of his new scale Impalas
and a few hand launched gliders that absolutely reveled in the light conditions.
A good few lads even made the trip from as far afield as Gauteng and Durban.
Nice to see you again Dave Greer…
This proved once more the need to have a stable of gliders, each with it’s own ability
to cover the varying conditions each day may deliver. Lets not blame the lack of great conditions,
at the event, or anywhere else…rather create/build/buy something that can fly
each of the diverse conditions that slope soaring presents on any given day…
In the end, one of the best images to stick in my minds eye for the weekend
was of virtually every TOSS member who were staying up at the chalets on the lagoon,
taking an Saturday evening dip in the Hermanus lagoon, heads bobbing in the evening sunlight while
cooling off and discussing the days events. Priceless…
that and a lot of morning Wimpy breakfasts, friendships, discussions,
evening braai’s, lie-dice, and side splitting laughter.
…and finally there is the family side. Many a good women takes the trip to Hermanus in support of her hubby and the hobby.
And this year Altus van Niekerk got his first taste of Hermanus as Dad, Tinus, and mom, Annelise
allowed him to spend the weekend with us. What a blast to have him around the braai in the evening
and I’m sure he thought we were a weird bunch, pulling all those faces and stuff.
But I am sure he will be back next year, just a bit older and a bit wiser.
That’s why the Hermanus Slope Event, is more than just that.
It’s a sum of it’s parts, and they are pretty darn fine parts!