Friday, February 20, 2015

Three Wing Circus

Now that was a perfect day at Diamond Head. And of course it was also a complete circus. We can't seem to have a boring or uneventful day out there. Maybe that's why we love it! Conditions were slightly west of straight in, and quite light, good for regular sized wings, for most of the day. I went out super early and waited a few hours, but when Jorge arrived around 11, he declared I had already been missing it! He launched immediately and proved to be right. I followed and so did about fifteen others. At one point we had ten wings in the air at once!

It was great to see Matt dial in a sweet flight on his lunch break. He was watching his kids at recess from above the crater. Not many teachers get to do that. And it was sweet to see Allegra and Vin score awesome first flights out there, after waiting patiently for the right day for many weeks. This was definitely it. It was also the right day for visitor London Harry to score a couple of low flights.

I had fun flying my old tired lavender and tangerine beater for three long flights, pulling off top landings each time, with varying levels of success. Tommy flew his old beater as well, but struggled to make it work in the light flow. Frank didn't bring a big enough wing, so he borrowed Doug's old 26m beater, which showed its age on launch by resisting his first few attempts at inflation. And in the air he found it a bit less than nimble. I think he's just spoiled by smaller freestyle wings!

The tide started out low and crept higher throughout the day. This meant that beach landings got trickier and trickier. Poor Frank got the short end of that stick. As conditions got a bit more westerly near the end of the day, he found himself sinking out past the lighthouse and trying to manhandle the old beater into a tight spot down there. But that old beater resisted his advances, and dropped him unceremoniously into the surf next to the long sloping driveway. By the time we arrived to rescue him he'd already been pulled to shore by a couple of very helpful folks on the beach.

As he were helping him collect his wet load, Scrappy arrived at launch and hucked off in his small acro wing, but he immediately thought better of working his way upwind, so he headed downwind and then turned back to angle in for a quick top landing. Unforunately it was too cross and strong. He sank further, and then turned downwind again to look for any scrap of sand he could find to land on. He didn't have quite enough height to turn back into the wind completely, and ended up banking and skimming onto a wet coral shelf while his wing fell back behind him into the surf. Meanwhile Vin had a good landing on a narrow strip of sand in the strong westerly flow down there, but the airflow pulled a small section of his wing into the water.

Three wet wings might be a record for this circus. And we can't blame the monk seal vortex this time! Unless they were offshore invisibly working their dark magic. But somehow I can't help but think the real culprits of the mysterious vortex of sink have been under our noses all along, hiding in the bushes, moaning incantations, and waving their magic wands. We have yet to find the talisman that will protect us from those nefarious warlock wingmasters. So I guess until we do, the circus will continue! That's why we are always reluctant to fly there with our best wings. As Thom would say: get your beater and join the circus!

It was a blast flying all three rings of the circus with everyone, including Joey, Dave, Doug, Duck, UT Loren, and Gaza. And it was great to see Shawn, Ginny and Sharky. I took over 500 pictures and videos, but managed to narrow it down to twenty. If anyone else got any good ones please share them!


Thom said...

I thought I was past all my splashing and did not use my beater wing but a brand new zero.

For that cocky-ness I paid the price, those wand wheeling bush dwellers sniffed the fresh meat and my small wing inabilities and fragged me.

I am just touched by the rest of you taking the dunk just to make me feel vindicated somewhat that Diamond Head enjoys reeling us in to her wet spot no matter how 'good' we really think we are.

It's Time to Fly, Get Your Wet Suit and Go!!!

Thom said...

PS I did not fly this day, I plunged last week a day after Jeff and MauiDoug.

She's claimed a few this year, some for the 2nd time.

vin said...

considering how close i was to soaking my wing (tenths of an inch, like 5 times in a row!), the couple of square feet that got damp, I am calling that a draw. next time I land and am getting yanked backwards though, I am just going with it to a wider section of beach so I don't have to time the waves so close.