Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Big Turnout for Big Bob

That has to have been the biggest and most successful fly-in we’ve ever had. Not to mention the most relaxed: a minimum of organization and infrastructure, and no planned activities. Just an extended weekend of hanging out and flying with tons of our favorite people. We counted over twenty tents and around fifty pilots, including thirteen visitors, plus around forty friends and spouses and kids and dogs. That’s almost a hundred warm bodies! Over forty pilots flew for many hours over each of three breezy and beautiful days, under wings of all sizes, buzzing below launch and skying out over three grand between the clouds, as we celebrated our memory of Bob and our good fortune to live this paragliding life.

This was our sixth year remembering our awesome friend and fellow pilot Bob. The previous five events were pretty great too:

1. Happy Birthday, Bob!
2. Thanks, Bob!
3. Thanks Again, Bob!
4. More Like Bob
5. Celebrating Bob

This time we managed to fly each of three days, despite the unusually strong conditions. Friday was quite sporty and suitable for small wings only. Around eight of us flew our tiniest wings. On Saturday we saw around thirty pilots get airborne in fairly brisk conditions, flying a mix of small wings and full size wings. And on Sunday around thirty of us flew again, this time in only moderately strong conditions and mostly on full size wings.

Thanks to Ray and Ginny for keeping up the tradition and organizing this event. Thanks to Five-0 Mike and Ces for their big tent and their fire pit. Thanks to Ray and family for the other active kitchen tent, and the volleyball and horseshoes. Thanks to Drew for whacking the bushes and trees around the trail. Thanks to Pete for sharing his 15m Zero with me (and with Scrappy and Drew), and to Scrappy for sharing his F-Grav 2. There was a lot of wing swapping going on! Thanks to Garrett for sharing his Djembe and guitar with all of us! Thanks to Ray for the cigar, and to Gaza for whatever that was. Thanks to Miami Eddie for several more racks of thankful beverages! Thanks to Vancouver Island John for Newfoundland’s favorite refreshment! Thanks to Dorothy for the pizza and the leftovers from the ceviche contest!

It was really great to witness a lot of pilot milestones. I flew the 15m Zero for the first time at Kahana and loved it. I mean I really loved it. Drew and Scrappy loved it too but I loved it more. Thom flew his 19m Zero without landing in the water and enjoyed soaring it for the first time. I think Vin soared his 19m Zero for the first time. Justin flew Kahana for the first time, with a little help from a lot of enthusiastic supporters. Students Steve and Marc flew their final P2 sign-off flights. Student Anne got a super long tandem. I’m sure there were many other notable events!

Numerous pilots reported flying with an ‘Iwa, which is how we imagine Bob would visit us to share the air with his friends. When I come back I’m hoping to be a pterodactyl, so watch out. But more likely I’ll just be a landing zone chicken.

Pilot Roll call: Steve, Drew, Thom, Kevin, Vin, me, Ike, Motorhead Paul, Seattle Randy, Maui Igor, Woody, Scrappy, Divot Steve, Stalker, Harvey, Johnimo, Sandy, Dave, Ray, Lima Chris, Kauai Bob, Big Island Frosty, Thailand Phati, Maui Phil, Andrew, Jim, Garrett, Larry, Joey, Justin, Pete, Austria Jacob, Vancouver Island John, Steve Lynch, Marc, Miami Eddie, Podunk Bill, Tommy, J-Hole Flynn, Matt, Gaza, Duck, 5-0 Mike, Ginny, Rich, Doug, Lake, Laurel, and Anne. And probably a few others I forgot.

We were honored to be joined by visiting pilots from three other islands, not to mention Europe and Asia and North America. And that was without even bothering to spread the word. Imagine if we advertised this event!

So far we have pictures from me and from Andrew. If anyone else has pictures or video, please let me know and I’ll link them here. And if anyone has a story or a comment worth sharing, please share it!


Alex said...

Okay so after re-reading the reports of prior years I have to admit that maybe year three was bigger and more successful! Or at least it's a close call. But this year still wins the prize for the most relaxed vibe and for the most visitors!

Thom said...

Thanks for the re-cap.

Bob thanks for the weather even though we are all starting to clip our wings down in size, it was fun.

Friday, flew the zero for truly the first time. Yes, they are alot of fun but taking it out of the bag at Diamond Head without really kiting it first was dumb and wet. Kahana was a much better choice.

Even better after a lesson with Woody to insure proper handling of these little beasts.

Saturday morning, a little foggy from Friday Nite's late turn in, I hiked to launch. I was the first on the hill and flew the Zero in the morning light for 2 hours!!! Each dip and pass of the launch was a new and way too much fun.

Saturday afternoon, Divot jumps on my zero while I chill-axed. Then I got antsy and headed up the hill on the Cayene4. Not as fun as the zero on these breezier days but a flight none the less.

Later it felt lighter so again I hiked up but this time with intent of an XC, so the Delta2 was the wing of choice. Didn't go anywhere but it was still fun. By days end I flew all 3 of my wings.

Sunday seemed like more of the same. Fresher from a good nites sleep, I again did an early flight on the zero. I found these solo early morning flights quite relaxing and having the whole hill to yourself was peaceful.

After the meeting Alex called us up to fly a mission. We tried but the bay cross was out and going North was again futile. Still had fun.

Sunday looking up at the hill was the most gliders I have seen gracing the skies at KNA in a long while.

Thanks to everyone that showed up, I am sure Bob thought it was fun too.

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

DaveZ said...

Year 3 was better - 'cause I got to make it! So wish I could have joined you guys this time, but just couldn't make it happen. See you monkeys in mid June.

ka'a'awa Larry said...

Loved every minute. There's something magic about this particular weekend. Best fights and best friends.

Brazilian Ray said...

My brother Fabio did his magic and gave us this: