Riders of the Storm - Hermanus Slope Event 2012
Friday morning, clear as whistle, 11 work weary folk headed out to the N1 stop for coffee
and a chat. From then on it was pedal to the metal to Hermanus and the ever awaiting breakfast hosted by Loius at Cocos. Somewhat a break from tradition but good none the
less seeing the ever generous large man picked up the tab for all the Tossers
and Slope rebels combine! 9 thank you Louis! So after a good breakfast meal off to the new chalets we drove, signed in and headed for the slope greeted by lazy Friday , I am not working day, and moderate conditions… it was not long before we took on the flight line with the
industrious PE Slope Rebels for a day of immaculate slope soaring on the
Mecca of all slopes. Gentle southerlies caressed the slope all day bounding between
the sublime and the not so great now moments
Hour after hour was spent burning up the batteries and in the end all and sundry
retired to Rossies for a well earned glass of wine or three..
As predicted the storm did in fact slam through in the early hours of Saturday,
probably with more vengeance than most would have suspected, and peppered
Hermanus with no less than 80km’s of wind and rain.
According to TOSS that means let’s go!
So off to Die Kelders we went, hunting In the footsteps of the indigenous
Strand loopers who had preceded us by a couple of millennia and headed above the
caves for a replay of 3 years ago, as we stood with sand in our eyes, teeth and ears,
and did our best to defeat mother natures fury with plastic and fibre tape. And boy
what a session we had, between the stupid and the insane, the wind and the rain,
we did our best to do what slopers do, love mother nature in all her giuses.
And TOSS ruled, with all the guys present showing what it truly takes to be a sloper.
Jeff, Steve, Christo, Bill, Gus, Schalk, Dave, Tim, Malcolm,Theunis, Kevin and Alan
as far as I can remember were all present and handled the vagaries
of wind in the teeth with excellent aplomb.
Then back to Hermanus we moved and up to the hill to be greeted by what can
only be called the strongest wind I have ever had the pleasure and pain to endure.
With a wind range between 75 and 90 km’s an hour this was going to be hectic,
bumpy and a hell of a challenge. With the bit firmly between the teeth Steve
and myself decided to set the big birds free.
First out was the small but weighty F8F Bearcat that just tore up the sky doing
things we have never seen it do before and then making a perfect landing while
Steve braced against the elements like the Eiffel tower at 45 degrees.
This we followed with the Super Constellation that managed to escape
a sketchy take off and bounded around the sky like there was no tomorrow,
before doing a bit of reverse parking and a safe landing. What amused us
most the the pelting we took at the hands of a hail storm that insisted on
being delivered to the slope in a very lateral way, making sure that we stayed dry
behind the car, but should we stick our heads out the appropriate exfoliation
occurred to whatever part of the anatomy was ventured into the lateral cyclone,
as Christo so aptly displayed when attempting to retrieve a screwdriver from his car
amidst the hail hath no fury part of the event.
Later this was followed by Hans and the Rot, a somewhat heavy speed machine and
then finally the maiden of his Hawker Hunter which was fast and flew beautifully.
and so a tired and exhilarated bunch of slopers returned back to the chalets for an
indoor braai of note and some early snoozing for a few of us.
Sunday dawned with a mild cold breeze passing through and after the traditional
Wimpy breakfast all made ready for the run up to the slope. Due to the SW wind
we ended up on the west side of the slope and as the day grew the conditions
improved with fantastic foamie warbird sessions of nearly impossibly high half pipe routines
and foam combat with at least 20 Bee’s in the air at a time, with 11 belonging to
the intrepid TOSS crew, and that other guy called Louis.
What an insane amount of fun.
And as we then had a session for the glass ships we jumped at the chance to put
Connie out again and had the most wonderful time displaying this scratchbuilt balsa and orocover airliner in stable and smooth conditions before getting a wee bit of a punch in the nose on landing. Somehow Hermanus is evolving again back to being
the scale event it was many years ago as witnessed by the huge volume of scale gliders
of all forms present at the event itself. And so with the prize giving taken care
of a grateful bunch of Tossers headed back to Cape Town with hugely fond
memories of yet another successful and strangely different Hemanus Slope Event
under the belt. For those who had their taste of a first event…. bet you’ll be back next year!
Just a huge thank you to all involved. For the 11 TOSS members who made the trip
and displayed such amazing camaraderie and friendship, to the PE slope Rebels
for being such good friends and the the AFC lads for organising,
changing and managing events as the weather dictated. Well done one and all!
Some of the awesome Friday conditions
Die Kelders in all its glory, first for the drive through the rain
The TOSS bus heading off for breakfast
and our view from the chalets
And the Beautiful Sunday conditions
Thanks To Jakes for the great connie photos
The Prize giving at the end of the day – Thanks to Bruce and all of AFC
for once more putting on a splendid show even if mother nature had other ideas