Hermanus 2011 and the wind that was
2011 – Virtually a done deal at this stage but still time for
one more event for the slope calendar for the year,
and Hermanus Slope Event 2011 fitted the bill just perfectly.
As always, brilliantly hosted by Atlantic Flying club,
the wind decided to come to the party this year and blessed the crew with
three straight days of slope soaring magic.
As usual the 6:30 am meet up for the TOSS lads at the Engen garage for a stupidly
hot cup of coffee, started the Friday morning off with a bang.
By 8:00 am we were in Hermanus and breakfast at the Wimpy perfectly started
off what promised to be an awesome weekend.
Friday really did deliver the goods with an early Easterly
blowing through, we arrived at the tower to find the Perf boys already on the hill
and after much meet and greet we relocated back to the tower just in time
for the wind switch. Within the hour we were sloping ourselves to a standstill
in lovely conditions and a full day of fly what you have continued till late in the day.
Highlights included an ecstatic Chris Leal just loving being there,
The Perf lads putting the large scale Correx Mig through its paces,
while filming the entire sequence from just about every possible angle
via a bevy of cameras attached to the beast… and
two Impalas doing some pretty low level formation over the fynbos
and through the font of the slope, while the pilots giggled with glee.
To round off the day, a good meal in town, where oddly enough a large portion of the slope
boys all ended up at the same restaurant at the same time, hacking away at pizza’s
and talking kak, just about perfectly rounded off the day….
but a few jack’s and a few rounds of lie dice, did in fact round off the perfect day.
A 5am Saturday morning rouse up saw a charge to the lagoon for some
early morning entertainment where Louis Genade gave a nice little demonstration
of what not to do with a powered EPP glider one inch off the deck,
and Nic maidened a beautiful Spitfire acquired from Hans, that flew like a dream
and Jeff collected matchsticks. Due to the the mouth of the lagoon
being open there was a nice balance of dry sand and water, which new slope convert
Tim used to put his Seawind water plane through it’s paces.
A breakfast later, at you guessed it, the Wimpy, saw us all back up on the hill
in what was proving to be an ever building SE that just gathered pace at an alarming rate.
By lunchtime the wind was in the 60-80km/h range, making standing
on the font of the slope somewhat uncomfortable, it did however present
the opportunity to put the large warbirds through their paces. First up was Mally
and the large 7 Kilo Impala, followed by myself and the 5 Kilo P38Lightning,
which was joined by Damian and the Mustang for some low level fynbos teasing passes.
Finally Christo and the 7 Kilo P40 Warhawk took to the air and so good were the conditions
that all flew like a dream and landing was just a piece of cake as the wind through the landing
area was so strong that nary a stall was possible. Unfortunately your scribe
was suffering from flu the entire week before and so it came back with a vengeance
forcing an early retirement from the event and a Sunday spent in bed,
rather than on the slope, but by all accounts the conditions remained great
and the guys flew the day to a standstill.
All in all, a well organised event, THANKS AFC… blessed by great conditions,
made up of fantastic camaraderie within the slope communities,
that resulted in an event that should never really be missed
by anyone who enjoys the spirit and love of slope soaring.
See you next year guys.