North vs South 2013 - A Cape adventure Story
Failing dismally to find to find a sleep pattern even after counting countless sheep, the alarm rang with alarming insistence at 4 AM on Friday the 27th September rolling the TOSS crew out of their respective beds, into the shower, into the car and off to the airport for North vs South. Steve, Georg, Christo, Tim, Noel, Marcel, Andrew and myself were bleary eyed and carrying large boxes packed with gliders as we booked into the mango flight and fastened our seat belts for the 2 hour northwards flight. With the cold front chasing us we were able to make good time and landed somewhat ahead of schedule and were gleefully met by Russel Conradt, Dave Greer and Reghard Roets. After a wee bit of a meal in the airport, due to the near starving conditions aboard the airliner where one has to change silver coins even the smallest of morsels, we headed to the guest house – our digs for the weekend.
Up on the slope, we found light and variable conditions that improved as the day wore on, but there is something really enchanting about the Valley of a Thousand Hills, that makes you want to slow down and take it all in. We spent the afternoon setting up gliders and flying Bee’s in the light lift and learning the not so easy method of landing that involves running from the back of the slope towards the front, with no lift holding the plane back at all and then hoping like crazy that you can pan it into the deck and come to a sliding stop. Unfortunately this is a bit like landing
on a tarmac and can involve some rattling of the glider resulting in loose tail sections and any loose bolts that may exist. This was to befall two of us on race day and can be a game changer so needs to be addressed in the glider set-up while at home. Home safe, and off to the restaurant bar for a meal with Russ and the lads and off to bed as most of us had just completed a 18 hour day, and for some who never got any sleep whatsoever, a very long day indeed.
Saturday promised so much and delivered so little. The cold front that had rained all day in Cape Town on Friday had made its home on the Durban coast and proceeded to rain out the event. Ice cold as it was, very unusual for Durban, we headed to the Inanda Hill site and started the” it’s going to lift soon” vigil. Notably it did not… and so some reverted to taking the pick ‘n pay plastic bag and strapping that to the TX and flew through the drizzle. A huge thanks to Dave Claxton for coming to the rescue and making a braai on the hill and serving the cold lads with foot long boerewors rolls and water. Man, what a treat. And so back to the guest house, play rounds of pool, find out there are some guys with seriously misspent youths, drink grog and while away the afternoon. Then take a taxi to dinner, eat lots of food, retire back to the guest house, drink more grog, laugh your head off and then retire. Man what a day!
Sunday dawned super sunny, but nice and cool and we were quick to gobble down the breakfast and make a run for the hill. Conditions were perfect and so without much ado the BEE wing class was kicked off while the timing system was resolved for open class. What a load of fun the BEE class was with a 4 man up format
knocking out 2 in each race and then a repo-charge round before the final knockout rounds took place.
When a glider went down the front of this 600 meter behemoth called Inanda with one hell of a of a front side slope,
it pretty much stayed there and by the end of the day there were no less than 4 gliders left on the hill. Ouch!
Luckily TOSS managed to rescue each of their gliders and all returned home.
In the end the Cape guys did fairly well with standard issue Bee wings against some really interesting builds that were variants of the original. The 60 inch class was a bomb of a race with the same format as above
and the built ups were awesome to see three up in a race. Believe me this took some guts to put your 60 inch up against others and do a man on man heat, realising that a midair was well and truly on the cards. Well done to Christo for beefing it out and taking a second place by the hair of his chinny chin chin. And finally to the big dogs in the yard. The open class. Notably here size does count. End of story. Against a virtual plethora of 3 – 4 meter machines, most of our smaller fynbos friendly Cape sized gliders took a beating. In the end the lessons were well learnt and probably real to the reason we went there – to learn. So back to the planning board it will be for next year in an attempt to be competitive against the large crew arriving from the Gauteng area. Kudos must go to young Jason Weber from Gauteng, reigning HLG World Champion who whipped everybody into submission in the open class while doing a master class on how to launch an hand launch glider 60 meters in the 60 inch class. Prodigious talent to say the least.
A final round of thanks must go out. To team TOSS for a great weekend of fun, laughter camaraderie and competition and who traveled like a club of good mates. To the Gauteng crew who we had the pleasure of meeting for the first time. To Russell, Dave, Reghard and the Durban crew who went out of the way to treat us like kings and meet our transport needs. North vs South was a fantastic event, well done to one and all.
North vs South BEE Wing class results
|3||Christo le Roux|
|13||Johan de Lange|
|North vs South 2013 Sixty Inch|
|2||Christo le Roux|
|Open F3F North vs South 2013||R1 sec||R 1|
|Christo le Roux||9||60.90||816.09|
|Johan de Lange||62.83||791.02|
Some of the TOSS crew members in differing thought phases – or maybe not.
Inanda dam South Facing slope on Sunday AM
Getting the gliders together prior to comp
and team shot prior to competition
The different faces of BEE class racing – great fun had by all and Eric above won it
TOSS Rescue party setting out to get Andrews wing
Team Aldij really did not stand a chance against the bigger boys
Gauteng Team the overall winners, Durban second and Wester Cape third
On the flight home and still full of humour
Man what an event – awesome