Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Super East Sunday

Two teams. Two venues. One day to cover some yards and take home the prize. Chat box commentators pored over the numbers and made early predictions, but on a day like this it just boils down to determination and faith. Coach Reaper was backing the champions of the eastern conference, and they got a head start with QB Motorhead calling the plays. It looked like an easy win was in the works. But in the second half, the champions of the northern conference finally gathered steam to throw three sweet long passes downrange and clinch the title.

The morning started out super east at Kahana: 98 degrees. Some pilots made an early call for Makapuu, where the flow was a lot more northerly, but I was sure Kahana would turn on at some point. Eleven true believers showed up around noon and a brief reading of 73 degrees got them to start hiking. The sensor then veered to 93 degrees, though that didn't keep anyone from launching.

By the time I launched, just after 1:00, the sensor showed the wind had backed to a barely tolerable 81 degrees. The clouds were super high, somewhere between three and four grand. My water damaged vario seemed to be working as I set up to launch, but once I got airborne it was clear that no sounds were coming out of it. That would make things just a bit more challenging!

I joined Gaza and Woody above the rhino horn and charged to the back, climbing to 2,700 feet before heading directly over the back to Punaluu. Gaza took the front route and followed. At Punaluu the flow was coming out of boogaland, super easterly, but nice and light. Man did I wish I had a vario now. I made passes deeper and deeper into boogaland, trying to make sense of the lift without my customary audio feedback, and I slowly climbed to a chilly three grand before heading out to chart a course for the grassy plains of Kahuku. I heard Tim and Scrappy on the radio at Makapuu. Scrappy was saying something about huge rotor balls. Amazing that Makapuu ended up being the venue with rotor balls and not Kahana.

Gaza headed to Hauula for a view of Sacred Falls, but I flew by without stopping. Gaza ended up landing at Pounders, and I enjoyed a long scenic glide to my favorite golf course. Jim followed a bit later with a trip to BYU. It's been a long time since we had cross country conditions this nice. What a great reminder of why we like to do this!

Gaza and Jim got a ride back with a nice guy from BYU. After finding another lucky golf ball, and hitting the beer store in Kahuku, I was lucky to catch a bus right away to follow them. We returned to find people gaggling up for a second shift, as the wind was finally turning more northerly. After the flying many of us retired to my house to celebrate the day's events with a BBQ feast prepared by Dorothy.

I was happy to have a scenic cross country day to test out my new Gopro Hero 3, which replaces the Hero 2 that was ruined in my water landing last month. I am very happy with my initial results. I shot it at 120 fps though I didn't really get any footage I wanted to slow down to quarter speed - next time I need some closeup flybys!

Northern conference team roster: Woody, Gaza, Harvey, Bonnie, Firefly John, McStalker, McJohnson, Big Island Stan, One Eye, me, Maui Rodney, Laurel, Drew, Steve, JD, Duck.

Eastern conference team roster: Motorhead, Sidehill, Fireman Dave, Roland, Scrappy, Tim, Johnimo, Doug, and hopefully a few others. I'm pretty sure you gotta have 11 to make a team.


Thom said...

Johnimo was on a hangie so if we're counting them we had Leo, so only up to a baseball team.

The north stole Gaza and Stan with a prayeer from the QB there stating that it will be good. I wished I had followed them but the sensor was reading 93 at the time.

Well, now I am letting those sensors go beacuse truly 93 is the new 68. Great flights to the North the battle of the bowls is yours for 2013.

The wierd thing was we were having direction shifts in such a manner that the air was lumpy. Still flyable just not smooth.

Motorhead made it to Olomana twice, 2 different flights. Landing in some small yard by Olomana with Leo watching. So only Motorhead racked up any mileage points. The rest of stuck to 3 downs and a punt.

Alex said...

Sounds like Leo scored some yards too! Good for Paul charging out to Olomana twice!

Gravity said...

Damn Super Bowl
I'm following Alex next time.

Waianae Jim said...

Had an ugly twisted riser reverse off launch, but luckily the cycle I picked was strong. Took me a long while to get up at Kahana. I got stuck down at 900 MSL or so for a long while before finally catching a thermal up to soar with Stan M (visiting from Big Island but from Oregon)for a while. After waffling for a while decided to go for a little scenic run. Sure had a fun flight down range to BYU, Alex and Gaza had already touched down at Kahuku Golf Course and Pounder's respectively. A really nice Mormon, Dan, and his family watched me land. Dan and his son Addison were gracious enough to come back in their van to give me and Gaza a ride back to Kahana, Mahalo to them for their generosity.

firedave2 said...

I did tell Motörhead that with an Anthony Green amount of motivation, it would be a great Kahuku Golf Course kind of day. But I was a bit sick and flying the Thriller, so opted to stay local.

Anonymous said...

Alex One of these days the golf club is going to ask for landing fees in lieu of Green Fees!

Bon Bon said...

haha...funny football spin on the story. especially funny since we had to explain football to you while you were . . . a little intoxicated at your house that night. hehe

here are a few pics from my late flight with Laurel and Rodney (however, I don't think Rodney flew by me for a photo - but he was in the air with us):


Thom said...

Awesome vid alex. Go Pro black was a good upgrade for you.

JeffMc said...

Cool video Alex - love the slow-mo!