Monday, September 30, 2013

Sunday AFC/NFC Showdown

Sunday is usually a day for staying home and watching football, but not for the true XC junkies. We woke up to rain, and monster clouds were huddling. The chat box was full of doom and gloom. Even Quarterback Prez was ready to fumble, but he did not post his doubts: his was all pillow whining. Dorothy gave him a pep talk, and a re-read of the chalk board revealed possibilities. Game On!!

A month ago, Alex coaxed me into uploading my flights to Leonardo. It's a very good tool for reviewing your XC flights and keeping a log on your wing. It's also an easy way for local clubs to host a friendly online competition for the season, comparing the cumulative total of the highest scoring six flights from each pilot. Alex set up a test league for 2013, and we are thinking of making it official for 2014 if there's enough interest. I am sure Alex is kicking himself now for getting me into this, because I am slowly closing in on his lead in the 2013 test league, even with my late season start. A few more hail marys and the trophy will go to the NFC!

I am calling Alex's Division the AFC: Always Flying Consortium. My division would have to be the NFC: No Freaking Clue.

Sunday filled the bleachers again, with twenty-one pilots braving the elements to be rewarded with some awesome flights. Duck finally was able to push away from his desk to hike with me up to north launch, and with the sensor at 54 degrees … bay crossing madness was the play of the day. At least nine pilots made it over the bay and up on the other side! That could be a record.

Divot Steve got his first trip over there, along with new pilot Steve. Yeah, Reaper, you did miss a few firsts, and they did pony up, but I drank yours. It was the least I could do. I got my first double chronic: a 22 mile double round trip to Kualoa and Punaluu, as first pioneered by Mad Dog last year. Alex got the same flight but must not have thrown to the wide receiver enough. NFC won the day with a score of 53.11 to the AFC's 52.19.

Woody, Maui Doug, Duck, Gaza and Harvey also got the big runs across the bay, with Duck completing a chronic and a half. Not sure if Chandler crossed the bay, but he ended up making a run to Pounders, and Shawn retrieved him. Thanks, Shawn! Wings were getting packed in the dark, and the QLR was quickly emptied. Thanks to Alex, Divot and Scrappy for the celebratory beverages.

Roll Call: Alex, Woody, Steve (that boy needs a nickname and soon), Sebastian, Jonathan, George, Sidehill, Duck, Maui Doug, Scrappy (tandem), Divot, Shawn, Harvey, Gaza, Scotty G, Dr. Swan, AZ Chandler, Solar Jeff and Sean, Kevin, Alaska Jeff.


Thom said...

Thanks for the edits and the addition of the color Alex.

I think this little XC thing might be fun. Although, I am sure I will be dropping in the standings when Mad Dog, Jorge and Fireman start posting. Then there's JK who will be getting a more active. then there's those pesky vising comp pilots that sneak in kill a record and leave.

2nd place for 2013 may be my best finish....but I am not done yet....coming for you Mr. Prez any chance I can get to score a point higher. 91 days left unless Obummer comes.

Alex said...

Thanks for the writeup Thom. It was a special day out there for sure. I know the morning started out a bit iffy, but I felt it was my duty to inject some optimism: "Suck it up you whiners. It's beautiful out here and we are going to cross the bay and other valleys all day, let's do this! Forget the radar, did you see the BLIPMAP? Best I've seen in a long time!"

The BLIPMAP was nice and green, turning aqua through the day, with a sweet northeasterly flow. I raced out there and launched first, blazing across the bay at the first chance, and hoping for company. Cloudbase was not high but it was the best direction for crossing we've had in months. I knew people would be joining me eventually.

As I was benching up above Kaaawa, the clouds started to form well below, with bases around two grand. I reached 3,200 feet there above the cloudscape. What an awesome experience that was. As I said over the radio, all that was missing in that amazing view was another glider!

Maui Doug had left a voice mail earlier saying he was coming out, but I hadn't heard a peep from him after that, so I assumed his plans fell through. But then when I first got over to Kualoa, I heard him on the radio saying he'd just launched, and right after that I heard Frank and 5-0 saying something, so I assumed Doug had gone out to Makapuu instead! But when I came back to Kahana I saw that Doug was really there, flying a wing that was a bit small for the weakening conditions. Later on he landed and switched to the bigger size to join in the bay crossing fun.

Congrats to new pilot Steve on his first bay crossing and first cross country flight, and great job keeping it safe under that low cloudbase. And congrats to the other Steve too! You guys did an awesome job.

Thom and Duck joined me after I flew my first chronic, and I tagged along as they flew one of their own. I crossed a third time because I just couldn't resist, curious to see how low it was working, and after that I finally landed after almost 5 hours in the air. Thom went on to complete another chronic as I ran off to procure refreshments.

When I posted my rosy morning prediction, I never imagined we'd get 21 pilots out there, or that almost half would cross the bay. But like I always say: In the BLIPMAP We Trust.