Monday, June 15, 2009

Downrangers and Debutantes

Friday's stellar tradewind conditions continued through the weekend, giving us a dozen downrange tours to Pounders, with many stops high over the back of Punaluu and one side trip to the Koolau summit behind Laie, while back at the bay we saw close to a dozen flights for our newest pilots, many of them first-time Kahana flyers.

At least 25 pilots and friends showed up each day to help us celebrate our perfect summer tradewind conditions. Congratulations to our newest Kahana flyers Larry, Jason, LeeAnn, Matt, Jessica, Nick Jr, Sidehill Thom, and let's even include Sharky in that group. Great job, you guys - keep it up!

Saturday's XC flying included trips to Pounders for Jim and Jeff on the early side, followed later on by Jorge, Mad Dog, Berndt, me and Hillbilly - seven in one day! Tracking a thermal up over the Hauula ridge, Jorge dove back to the deepest section of the ridges behind Laie, but he found some strong venturi effects over the deep canyons back there and decided to head back out to join us at Pounders. Thanks to Joey for the retrieve. (Recognize where you stay, brah!) Back at Kahana, half a dozen pilots were enjoying their first flights at Kahana, while Jared spent the day stretching out his lines with repeated full stalls.

Sunday's XC flying featured more trips to Pounders, this time by a caravan of six pilots all at the same time: Nick, Scrappy, Berndt, Jim, Scot and me. Reminded me of a great video I saw once. Thanks to Sharky for the retrieve. (And thanks for the Torpedoes and killer tako poke!) Back at the bay, many of our newest pilots got back in the air for a second day, and we finished off the day with a birthday BBQ for Thom's daughter Kalei. Happy Birthday!

Three days in a row flying and celebrating at Kahana, three days touring the trade routes at cloudbase, three days dodging the surf and fishing poles in Laie. Almost too much of a good thing. Almost. Maybe if we tack on another one today that'll be too much...might have to try it and see.

I saw some other pilots taking pictures - send me your links or photos so I can include them in this story. Here is Maui Doug's video from Sunday:

Kahana 6-14-09 from MauiDoug on Vimeo.


Thom said...

Good fun on Sunday, Maile & Kalei love having their "Monkey Uncles" around. I am hoping for a high flying summer and look forward to my first XC. We are hoping for more weekend events at Kahana so hopefully the other paraspouses can come out too. Some one said the other day that Paragliding is a 3:1 thing. One hour of flying and then 3 hours of talking about it.

MauiDoug said...

Great write up Alex. Here's a video link to some of the flights on Sunday 6-14-09.

Alex said...

Great footage, Doug! I have embedded it into the story. What a lot of fun launches and landings. Thanks for kindly editing out the part where I dumped my glider in the tree above launch, or any other embarrassing parts you may have left out!