Thursday, November 12, 2009

Round Top Rodeo

The day dawned with a promising "strong SE flow and 60% chance of thunderstorms". Immediately, that sounded like a promising Tantalus day. As Ray and I pulled up to the parking lot, Jorge was already running back to his car, and he yelled "Eet's great mon!" back to us. As soon as we could boot up, we were on launch (AKA LZ) and Jorge was already laid out. HNL was calling 150@11, and as he pulled up he went straight up.

At this point, Ray and I sat down to ponder the situation… Jorge was nuking upwards, his wing was wagging all over the place, and his hands were pumping like GM 350 pistons. We decided to ponder a bit more.

After about 15 minutes, it seemed to be backing off, and Jorge's wing had been mostly stable for a while. I decided it was good to go. There was no wind on launch as I pulled up, dropped down, reset, pulled up, and ran off through my favorite bush. Although there was no wind on launch, as soon as I left the hill, my vario screamed at me.

Nuking upwards was great. Not the rowdiest lift I've been in, but definitely attention getting. So I set off across the valley....

And hit the wall. 760 fpm of wall-o-sink. Newbie though I am, it was really spooky. There were good thermals around, but I kept flying out of them into really nasty sink, big sink, like I was in a B-line sink. It was interesting, but not that much fun.

I later found out that after I launched, Jorge had made some low passes and had screamed at Ray, "It's…to…tal…ly…tu…bu…lar…". Where did Jorge pick up the valley girl slang? After further discussion, we came to realize he was saying, "turbulent".

Jorge and I landed without any major drama and awaited Ray, who at this point had been airborne for 15 minutes. And we waited. And waited some more. This turned into a 15 minute flight with a 50 minute landing pattern! It was super lifty and nuking on launch. After multiple passes, Ray finally landed without incident, and we decided to chillax and wait for reinforcements in the form of Reaper, Blub-blub, and the J-Hole airforce.

And well worth the wait it was. The J-Hole crew showed up, and wowed us with helicos, ass-choppers, huge wingovers, and more low passes than I could count. Some of them through the bushes.

Reaper, however, won the lawnmower award by taking out a full Haole Koa bush on landing. On Blub-blub's XS wing no less.

Anyway. That was today, and we'll have to see what tomorrow brings. Maybe kitesurfing.


Waianae Jim said...

Great story Scot - I think you got a winner with that Blub-Blub name.

Alex said...

Great story, Scot. Is this really your first Wind Lines article?

Sorry I missed this day! Not the flying, but hanging out on the hill and watching the fun. I have been super lucky to avoid the rodeo sinky days at Tantalus, or maybe just super picky. I've flown there on a few days when it was just about too strong to land though, and that's not my favorite either! You guys are tougher than me, so I'm sure you didn't mind it too much. Was it any smoother or lighter for the late session?

If anyone sends in an actual picture we can add it here, but in the meantime I have found a nice rodeo shot.

Nick said...


Nice article, like your writing style. "Chillax" lol.


Gravity said...

It definitely got lighter, that's why the "Fat basterd" had to do a downwinder threw the bushes to make a top landing in Blub Blub's XS wing. Or may arse would've been on the road. Fun Tantalus session.

Alex said...


Alex said...