Monday, October 17, 2011

Sweet Spot

Yesterday, after the excitement of hearing about Patrick Berod's gale force cross country flight from Makapuu to Coral Kingdom, and after a long day playing with lots of friends in the strong conditions at Kahana, and watching the French team blaze away downrange towards Pounders in the stronger part of the day, I was finally able to take advantage of a late lull to shoot downrange myself, along with Jim, Doug and Berndt.

I had a full bladder and very low expectations after having waited all day for the wind to back off. I was just hoping for a quick flight to a nice beach park where I would be able to avail myself of the facilities. Also I was feeling kind of chicken after fighting the strong wind all day, and I didn't bother to get as high as I might have at Punaluu, only about 2,500 feet, but I took that height and blazed past the next ridge where Jim was working it, because I rarely get much higher at that ridge.

I arrived above Pounders with about 1,500 feet, which definitely seemed like enough to continue past there and go for Hukilau. The tailwind was nice and east, not too strong but really pushing me along on a sweet path. I arrived at Hukilau with 750 feet, and after a quick check of my decidedly low-tech navigation instruments, I made a last minute decision to fly past there, hoping to milk that nice tailwind and skim over the trees at Malaekahana to scrape into the golf course.

Well, you can see from the picture that I made it. Kahuku Golf Course is a spot that I am always hoping will become my favorite landing zone. This was only my second time landing there, and this time I landed at the far end, just because I could. However, I was so focused on maximizing my distance that I forgot to turn back into the wind until I realized I was screaming over the fairway at 35 miles an hour with only 20 feet left before I was going to carve a deep divot. I weight shifted hard, but with no brake because I couldn't afford any diving or sinking, and I barely pulled off a partial turn, not quite into the wind, but crosswind, and I was just able to run it out without doing a face plant.

Whew! What a nice surprise it was to make it this far after waiting so long! I folded up quick and hit the facilities at the main building, where I was happy to find Duck and Jim waiting to retrieve me. Thanks for the ride and for the refreshments, guys! Berndt made it to BYU, Jim landed at Hauula, and Doug landed at Punaluu.

Roll call: the French team (Patrick, Michel, Jean Claude, Jean Marc, Franck, Pierre), me, Jim, Doug, Don, Duck, Rich, Mike the Romanian, Michigan Wayne, Five-0 Mike, Thom, Berndt. We also saw Mad Dog, Scot, Jeff, and June out there.

A fun video that my buddy Mike shot the day before from north launch:


Sharky said...

Oh wow! Didn't realize he caught my bungie! Whooo! Nice video of you doing a proper torpedo too!

I was wondering what you were doing after launching. Very cool!

That camera likes you! :)

Hope to check out the golf course with you one day!

=-) Sharky

Thom said...

Darn I am getting behind on my reads. I got this one Monday night and am saving the next for Tuesday morning.

Hopefully I will get to write something in the next few days.

Congrats on a new personal best.

Alex said...

Actually my personal best is still the shrimp ponds past Kahuku, but the golf course is a very close second! And a much nicer place to land!

Ka'a'awa Larry said...

Kahooks is my dream. If I could land there someday, I would be glad to pack it in and die happy. Welllll...maybe not, but
thanks for the inspiration!