Cape Albatros Hang-Glider Club mate Adam and I decided on a whim to head to Porterville on 30 December despite the so-so forecast. He had a brand new Wills Wing T2 to get to know, having done only one flight on it at the training hill. I was keen to try some more XC on my trusty Moyes Sonic. Conditions at Dasklip Pass were good for a launch, with climbs up to about 1500m ASL predicted: not high at all for Porterville in summer. Deciding that any flight is better than no flight we quickly rigged and took off. Adam immediately hooked a good climb and spent most of the flight high above the ridge; I struggled low down and fighting hard for the first 20km before getting a good climb to 1400m. By that stage the topless T2 was well ahead, so I carried on at my own pace and crossed over into the Citrusdal valley at the N7 pass. I had forgotten to take my hydration pack, and the rough thermals and heat low on the ridge made me dehydrate fast. Past Citrusdal town the headache and nausea overtook the fun and I took a long last glide from 1700m ASL to land just short of 50km at Constriction – my new personal best. Adam, in the meantime, was having an awesome flight despite being very new on the glider. He worked hard most of the way to Clanwilliam and then found a sweet spot in the sky, flying from there nearly all the way to Vanrhynsdorp with very little stopping to thermal along the way, for a total distance of 140km. A long retrieve followed, but worth every moment!
A couple of GoPro frame grabs:
Unfortunately, I don’t have a tracklog, as my GPS was stolen the day before and the ThermGeek iPhone app crashed just after takeoff (just the app, not me). However, Adam’s log is here and is far more impressive than mine would have been. Next time 😉
Here are some details regarding this weekend’s WCPGXCL event. This month’s task will be held in Porterville, to coincide with the yearly Gatskop fun competition (which is on the weekend of 19-21 October). Two tasks have been set, to allow for winds that are north or south of west. Looking at the Saturday 14:00 weather forecast, it will probably be the Northbound task this weekend.
Take Off/start: PL1080 – Pampoenfontein (Radius 400m) – 32°55.630’S 19°02.189’E
Click the link above for all the GPS files compatible with any GPS (in the Porterville Turnpoints .zip file) as well as the Google Earth file for both tasks. Please let Eugene Claase know if yo need any help either loading the TP files onto your GPS or programming your device manually. He will be at the Glen Club tomorrow afternoon from 17:30 until 18:30 to help anyone setting up their devices.
A few important notes about this weekend’s flying:
1. Pilots are all meeting at 36 on Main (Coffee shop in Porterville) at 10:00 Saturday morning. There will be time for a quick tea/coffee and to sort out the recovery & site fees for the day. Note: Yearly site subscribers to Pampoenfontein and/or Dasklip do not have to pay any site fees. The Recovery vehicles will leave from 36 on Main taking everyone up the mountain at 10:45.
2. There is a possibility of a lift to Porterville from Cape Town (courtesy of Ant Allen and the Aerial perspective Vito bus) on Saturday morning leaving Cape Town at 08:00, coming back either Saturday afternoon, or Sunday afternoon, depending on everyone that wants join the group. Please call me Eugene and let him know if you would like to take up the offer – cost will depend on numbers.
3. There will be a possible 3 Turkey recoveries, driving back up the mountain during the day. The exact times will be decided on the mountain.
4. There will be a site and flight/task briefing on take off (most probably Pampoenfontein) at 11:30 by local site guru Paul Penning.
There are 8 pilots confirmed for the weekend so far… I’m committed elsewhere but wish them all good luck!