Tuesday, June 01, 2010

First Annual Nat'l HG & PG Day

Saturday, May 29, marked our national association's first observance of a new annual countrywide event: National Hang Gliding and Paragliding Day. We didn't sponsor a formal event or program here on Saturday, probably because we are still recovering from the epic three-day campout flying festival we had two weeks ago. But over twenty pilots and friends just happened to come out to Kahana, and we managed to do some serious flying and celebrating.

Over twenty pilots flew over the course of the day on Saturday. Joey and I both racked up tandem flights in pursuit of our Tandem Instructor ratings. Thanks to LeeAnn and Maui Doug for volunteering as passengers! Thanks to Sharky for being so understanding about how I blew him off to blast downrange after I'd called him to come on out. And thanks for the tako poke!

Seven pilots flew to Pounders - not sure, but that might be some kind of record. Jeff, Jim, Mad Dog and Jason led the charge, along with Joey who was flying tandem with Doug. Joey landed at Hauula Beach Park, while the other four continued to Pounders. Meanwhile Berndt and I ran up the hill to launch and follow the first crew. Aron had been in the air for hours already, and while he didn't have a radio to chat with us, he could see what was going on, and he followed right behind us. Duck and Ginny stayed local this time around. Conditions were brisk for landings downrange, but everyone did a great job. Aron flew his first cross country. Joey flew his first tandem XC flight. Thanks to LeeAnn and Duck for the prompt retrieval. And thanks to JD for all the torpedoes!

I found Thom's camera on mid launch, still working fine after two days up there, and I took it with me to document my flying on this day. I really like this tiny little wide angle wonder. Might have to get me one like that. I need a point and shoot model for the Rat Race.

Later on, Reaper and company showed up, and Rich, Bonnie, Jack, Courtney, and Maui Jim all had great soaring flights. It was Maui Jim's first sustained soaring flight, I think. Maui Doug ran back up for a solo flight. The last flight was Ray getting Bee Man Mark into the air on a tandem for their first successful soaring session.

Afterwards a lot of us headed over to my house to continue the partying with some barbecue action. Thanks to Duck and Ginger for the food and wine, and also to Jim for his wine contribution. We played ping pong (and foot pong and tooth pong). Then things got a little crazy. Somehow we started arm wrestling, which turned into a lesson in how to win at Mercy, and then we proceeded to demonstrate our wrestling prowess (or lack thereof) in my back yard.

Duck pretty much beat everyone every time. He may be light, but he is very strong and fast, and he knows some good wrestling tricks. After a few unsuccessful attempts to get him down, I had the bright idea of just running him backwards to force him down, but all I ended up doing was breaking my toe. Yes, my middle toe is black and blue, and it feels broken, like the last time I broke a toe chasing Logan around the house. I haven't gone to the doctor, but I know they can't do much but tape it up and wait for it to heal anyway.

This is just the most recent in a long line of injuries I've sustained para-partying. I sprained an ankle during a drunken mountain-boarding session at Kahuku Golf Course years ago after we gave up trying to soar there. I sprained a wrist trying to teach myself skateboard tricks in Bob's old shop in Halawa during a club party there. I split my forehead open trying to do a somersault in a hot tub at Paul's house in Oregon. I've never been hurt paragliding, but this drinking thing is pretty dangerous, let me tell you. So now I'll be taking this broken toe off to this year's Rat Race. Hopefully it won't slow me down too badly. I'm hobbling around well enough at this point, so I guess I'll manage okay.

I won't be forgetting this eventful day anytime soon. Two tandem flights, with a toplanding in between, a solo trip to Pounders and an exciting landing in strong wind, lots of partying, some ping pong and wrestling practice, and a busted toe. Now that's some serious celebrating. If anyone else has any pictures or videos from the day, please post a comment with the link and I'll include them.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Was a great day to fly, eat, wrestle, and play toe pong!! The second annual toe pong tournament schedule is filling up fast--Hurry now to enter (BAC of .16 required).
For the record, Jim is UNBEATABLE in arm wrestling. Logan is near unbeatable in MERCY and both Alex and Logan pinned me (prior to the broken toe incident). WATCH OUT FOR LOGAN!! When he HULKS OUT--the game is over, head for the hills! (LOL)

It's all fun and games until someone breaks a toe!

Great Recap Alex!!