Saturday, June 30, 2012

Spanish Armada at Kahana

The skies over Kahana were filled with a record number of gliders made by Spanish wingmaker, Niviuk, on Friday. I arrived to see the newest of their local fleet already high in the sky: Flystrong on his new Artik3. He was flying the new SupAir Delight Pod too, but he looked a little limp in the air. Possibly he needs to make some adjustments or just take a shot of sky-alis.

The King, flying his Peak 2, which will soon be topped by the newest of the Niviuk fleet, was already trekking across the bay. I started hiking and noticed Bonnie's Hook2 colors were flying. No way! I had just passed her at her house, and she could not have got there and hiked past me. Never mind, it was Tall John on his Hook2. More Hooks were spotted, a green one and then a blue one, flown by California visitors Jerry and his son Todd.

Czech winemaker Gradient was represented by Woody on the FreeStyle and Maui Doug with his tandem. We also had CaliRob on his British made Ozone, and one Sol from Brazil, BRay on tandem.

And there was a stranger in the midst of all of this, flying unfamiliar colors. Scott was testing out his new Pure by Austrian wingmaker, AirDesign. Finally, I got airborne to represent the Swiss team on my Advance. Soon after that, two more Niviuks jetted off launch: Bonnie on her Hook2 and Lake zipping around on the Zion.

It felt good to be in the air, and most of us stayed local except for, guess who: Alex. He just had to jaunt down to Haaula to prove his old Peak still had it in her. I am guessing, when the new ship arrives, he will be navigating a private course before year end, to Turtle Bay. We will have to see if he is graced with the same reception there as he gets at Kahuku.

Safe landings were had by all, but the day was not done. Maui Doug ran back up for a solo on his Gradient Aspen3 26m, with wingman Kevin on his German made UP wing. Bonnie hiked back up to try the Zion, while Tall John, on his third trip up, was giving his Ozone FireFly another go. Woody and Lake hiked back up for an instructional tandem on the Gradient. I needed some exercise but went back up with the lighter pack of my Gradient Aspen3. McStalker joined his Austrian wing Black Betty in the bag by starting to ride the cooler, so he was not hiking.

So, while Gradient appeared to win the battle with three wings remaining in the air at the end of the day, the Spanish Armada flying the Niviuk colors won the day with seven in the air.

It's Time to Fly Get Your Gear and Go!!!!

1 comment:

Alex said...

Thanks for the recap, Thom. It was a bit brisk for a downrange mission so I contented myself with a straight Suicide run down the coast. Named after our expatriate pilot who did the same thing one nuking day, before he had much XC experience, landing at PCC without ever making any turns or working any ridges. When it's windy enough you really don't need to work any lift to make it that far, you just need to be really careful (or lucky) with your landing! I could have probably blown that far too on this day but I guess I just wasn't feeling quite that suicidal, or that lucky!