Monday, 22 February 2016

Photos from the Comp

I'll add more when I can get hold of them. Page is on the left...
Sherry River

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Day 6 - Tapawera

Wind SW 20 knots
There was a rush to get up the hill and an excitement to fly the final day of the Nationals. Looking at RASP it showed that Murchison was not working, maybe due to it being in cloud, and Takaka was decided against as it would be too unstable due to the sea breeze coming in.

Reaching launch on Tapawera  the wind was coming up very strong at times and after memories of yesterday, it was decided to postpone it for an hour. An hour past and the safety committee decided to cancel due to strong winds and to make it a free flying day.

There were no complaints and John Smith was off the hill in smooth lift. All pilots got off the hill and found the air to be buoyant but strong.

A few pilots tried to do the course that was set but no one made it. Most landed in the bomb out keen to get to the prize giving on time.

Again Glenn and Max impressed everyone with a fantastic buffet followed by desert.

Prize giving followed.

Sport Class
1st Shane Morton  2nd Adriel Kind  3rd Aaron Derby

Open Class
1st John Smith  2nd Hagen Bruggeman  3rd Paris Williams

The band started up after the prize giving and everyone partied on into the night.

Glenn and Max had successfully put on a great Nationals comp and have set a high standard for those organising the next one. A lot of South Island pilots have expressed their willingness to get across the Strait and see how the action is in the North Island .

We hope to please them and North Island pilots with Airspace lifted to 9000ft and a good turnout of pilots.

Next year we are looking at holding at the Paeroas and Kaimais. Dates to be decided on.
Mark Alton, Ian Miller, Les Graham and Adriel Kind will be organising the next HG Nationals in 2017

Note. We are also looking at holding a XC Clinic for interested parties before the Nationals.

Friday, 19 February 2016

Task 5 - Tapawera

NW 15 knots +

Task: Take-off to Kohatu Pub then up to WANGAP back to Kohatu pub. Back to Tapawera take off then up the Tadmor Valley to Goal. 48km.

Arriving at take off the wind was light but by the time we rigged and had the briefing it had risen to 13 knots. Pilots filed off the hill into ridge lift and light thermals.

Two pilots took the second start gate and the rest took the third.

After height was gained it was a slow push to wpt 1 getting sporadic lift along the way and a slow push for the last 2km to get to the wpt. Once back on the ridge the downwind run back past take-off was not a problem.

Gaining height above take off and heading on to wpt 2 it was found that a head wind was encountered as you passed the junction of the Tadmor and Motueka valleys. It was surprising not to find convergence here but it seemed that it was on the other side of the valley.

Pilots who made it 5km from wpt 2 found rotor on the windward side of the hill which quickly pushed them to the deck.

John headed back down wind to find lift and gained more height allowing him to push out to 800 meters of wpt 2, which allowed him to win the day.

The wind had picked up after we took off and as the direction was over the far hills we must have encountered the down cycle of wave pushing everyone to the deck. All pilots landed safely and they had a good story to tell.

Thursday, 18 February 2016

CAA Inspections...

Here's Mac McCarthy (CAA Inspector) checking out Rod Stuart's glider in the Forestry camp hall in Tapawera on Wednesday. He wants to learn to fly :^)


This is what it's all for... trophies compliments of Kevin McManus

...and the silver, of course.

Results Update

Day 4 results have been updated (and some changes to earlier days). Totals now show tasks 1 - 4. No flying today...


Still waiting on Day 4 scores...

Wednesday: Weather Light drizzle in the morning becoming heavy rain in the afternoon with strong and gusty winds.

No briefing this morning due to weather conditions, so pilots slept in or headed off to Motueka or Nelson to entertain themselves while rain came down.

The campground at Tapawera had a tree fell down and a few tent pegs were pulled out due to high winds but no reports of the inside of tents getting wet.

Late afternoon everyone meet at the Hidden Sculpture Garden Café for the midweek BBQ which Glenn had organised. And I must say he did a great job for a vegetarian. A large box of steak was consumed along with sausages and some fine vegetarian patties for the many vegetarians at this year’s event. The owners of the Café put together an array of salads that were praised by all. Beer and good conversation flowed on into the night.

There is a chance of getting a fly in on Thursday if the winds are not too high.

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Latest (Weds a wet rest day)

From Rod Stuart via Glenn...

Day 2 and 3 we flew tasks that took us over stunning scenery and climbing in the smoothest thermals you can imagine. I missed turn point 2 one day and flew 26km in the wrong direction with the nationals organiser Glenn. We de-rigged, sat under an old oak tree and declared our flight one of the best we had ever had.

We download our track logs at Kohatu Cafe each night and the scorers are doing well. John Smith is leading after 3 rounds but all 38 of us feel like winners with the flying we are getting. 4 rounds are needed to make the competition valid.

Tuesday we might sneak in a fly before 3 days of forecast rain. Saturday looks promising as our last day. A Wednesday night BBQ at the hidden sculpture garden cafe promises to be a lively event.

Saturday night is planned as the prize giving.

Kevin is doing a great job as director. He keeps his briefings short and to the point, is an awesome launch master and at the end of each day accounts for every pilot.

Mt Murchison has stolen the show. I have no doubt that this place will become Mecca for hang gliding in the South Island.

Monday, 15 February 2016

Day 3 - Mt Murchison

NW wind 10 knots, Cloud base 7500ft.

Task Mt Murchison to Mataki Corner then on to Ten Mile Creek and then back to Murchison Town 61km

A day with clouds and sun and a lot of enthusiasm after a great day yesterday.

Gliders piled off the hill and found great lift in front of the hill and climbed to cloud base. Good height on take-off and a good glide got a lot of pilots into the next thermal.

Unfortunately thermal strength was not what we left on the hill and we had to work hard to get back up.

Further down the valley a lot of pilots got low and did not manage to scratch back up in the weak thermals leaving pilots scattered along the valley towards WPT 1.

The good pilots managed to work the light lift and get further around towards WPT 2. Some pilots landed on the wrong side of the river and had to enjoy the cool water crossing.

Four pilots make it to goal.

The helpful hint for the day was to make sure that your driver knew not to ride the brakes down the hill (the brake fluid boils and they stop working...). One got a bit of a scare and a little damage to the car.

The results will follow as the scorer is having a few problems

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Day 2 - Mt Murchison

Task: Mt Murchison to Murchison Town, on to Braeburn point to bomb out Mt Murchison;  46km.

No one was keen to take off until a couple of intermediate pilots took off and it was proved that there was light lift out there. 

The top pilots took-off and got into a slow climb getting to over 8000ft and going on glide to wpt 1 while the rest of us stood on the hill.  A few more pilots took off but scratched and it took a while for them to get into a climb. The next pilot could not get off the hill for about 15 minutes due to it being crossed on take-off. A couple of dusties came through and the wind straightened up and he hooked into a straight climb to 8500ft. 

It took the rest of the pilots a while to get off the hill and a few of them moved to the right of take-off to allow for the crossed wind. Unfortunately this was where the dusties were coming from. One came through and trashed a glider.

Everyone else got off with most pilots making it to turn point 1. This included 3 floaters.  Due to the minimal landings past turn point 1 a lot of pilots could not get enough height to leave for wpt 2 and landed and went to the Murch pub. Those who carried on found good but broken lift to wpt 2 and a lot of height was not needed for the glide to goal.

Pilots who got to goal (about 15) found it hard to get down as the valley was very buoyant. 
John Smith was the first in followed by Paris and Hagen.

A few pilots in goal looked up to the peak of Mt Murchison and saw the mother of all dusties over 60 meters in height. Luckily everyone was off the hill and the cars on their way down.

There is talk of going to Mt Murchison tomorrow. Results to follow.

Day 1 Results

Day 1 results are over on the left.

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Omarama Classic Results

Here's a link to the Classic results. Bill Degen 1st overall, 2nd Warren Simonsen.

Day 1 - Sherry River

A great first day at Sherry River with a 38 pilots taking off into a light north easterly.
John Smith led the charge, giving an impressive display of working light lift. The rest of us followed and were surprised with amount of lift around. Most pilots got to around 4200ft above the hill and pushed out to the next ridge in front of take-off to get there next thermal.

The first turn point was Tapawera township and then down to Inwoods and back to Tapawera . 

It was impressive to see gaggles along the line of hills to Tapawera. Gliders littered the roadside to Tapawera and down to Kohatu. Two pilots landed on the northern side of Inwoods in not such a pretty paddock. John Smith landed 4km from goal after getting flushed off the hills to the east of Tapawera.

14 pilots crossed the Strait to compete against the best of the south but at this stage it looks like John Smith won the day (unconfirmed) .

Someone was heard to say it was a 50/50 comp. 50 pilots with an average age of 50!
Carbon and aluminium were sacrificed on the to the thermal gods today.

It looks like we are heading up to Mt Murchison tomorrow for day two.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

NZ Nationals Cup

Mark Alton has had all past winners (up to Smithy last year) engraved on the new Cup. They extend around 1 1/2 sides of the plinth so far. Plenty of room for more...