Long weekend fever
What a great long weekend! Please Sir, can we have some more.
Oooh, look! Easter weekend is just around the corner!
But back to this one past…
Waiting for Lionel Brink to get to Hout Bay from the airport
(after his ride suffered a bird strike on takeoff at JHB airport) to kick off the SAMAA visit to
the slope community weekend, one could plainly see that the wind was just not going to behave
and chances of sloping were faint. Finally Lionel arrived and we set out on an
odyssey of the Cape Peninsula in an attempt to familiarise Lionel with the slopes and the challenges that face the
slope community in relationship to land ownership, Parks Board, registered sites and such.
First off to Signal hill to meet up with AFC chairman Bobby Purnell and have a look
at one of the oldest sites in the Cape area and home slope to AFC club.
After a in depth discussion held on the slope, a smidgen of a breeze blew through from the west and
tempted the three individuals on the hill to launch a few gliders skywards and
a good half hour of fun was had in light thermally conditions.
From there it was off to Chapman’s Peak as the next venue, and followed by the Soetwater site
as the destination at which to burn off some time while gazing out over the big blue yonder.
The lift was light but flight was possible and we had some stick-time with Lionel showing the finer skills
applied to thermal flight, which we seldom use in this neck of the woods.
After a good 3 hours on the slope we headed past the Red Hill site and covered the remaining issues
with relevance to the Navy ownership of the land and the role
TOSS plays in the rehabilitation of the slope area under the permission of the said landowner.
Finally Dixies was reached after the trans Peninsula drive that saw our SAMAA representative
staring out the window at every turn yelling ” I can slope that!”, as slope after slope rolled by
on this mountainous and skinny little piece of land we call home.
and a chance to quench a thirst pursued with some passion.
The TOSS AGM was held promptly, with Jeff Steffen once more placed as the TOSS chairman,
and Theunis van Niekerk as vice chairman, showing the consistency that TOSS utilises
to ensure the clubs future, as well as plans and preparations, find the relevant continuity into the new year.
Following a successful AGM Lionel stepped up and gave a sterling performance
in presenting the SAMAA position and relevance to our sport as the governing association,
the benefits, realities and future of a hobby we are so addicted to.
A frank and open discussion time was held based on the consistent questions
that have been raise over a number of years in relation to slope soaring.
A big thank you to Lionel Brink, the MGA and SAMAA for making this trip a possibility
and for a productive, weekend that will hopefully bring positive results for the slope community at large,
as well as creating a gateway to the association for future communications.
Sunday morning blew in with much more vigor than Saturdays rather sluggish kick-off
and Lionel and myself headed up to Chapman’s Peak for a little early morning slope soaring session.
A beautiful, cool and soft North Wester caressed the slope and all the gliders that could be flown
were duly flung off the slope in the silky smooth lift that varied between light and just beautiful.
By midday most of the TOSS crew had arrived and combat commenced along with a bit of formation flying
and some high speed jolling around the sky.
Roll on winter and those gentle but dense bands of lift that make it such a wonderful time
of the year to be standing on a slope, transmitter in hand and glider in the air.