Happy New Year

Instead of the usual nursing my hangover, I got up early on 1/1 and headed down to Little Japan, aka Saichia. Yes, the Japanese are back. Grand Volee, Coo and our old buddy Eiho all have groups here so it’s like Japan down there right now. It is nice when everyone turns the same way in thermals and looks where they are going…
The day started out pretty gloomy with the sock blowing over the back and an overcast sky, but by midday the line of blue reached us and suddenly little cus were popping everywhere.

I had a lot of people to greet, but once that was done I got to launching. Jaco was busy with the other Sarf Afrikan (Fred) so I took off right after Eiho and a couple of his proteges. There were nice climbs just about everywhere, though the north wind was pretty strong. I didn’t have to go the antennas to get my 1200m for the crossing to Koshr. With probably 50 gliders in the air it reminded me of the start gaggle of a comp. At Koshr it was only about as rough as usual, but very tricky down low. Mikilong showed me a good climb on her Oasis and then I started following a couple of Novas toward the bowl of death where I ran into Eiho. Not sure why he was so surprised to see me, but it was nice to fly with him for a while. Though it was pretty trashy and very sinky in the bowl there were some decent leeside thermals from the other side and I managed to make some height there. Eiho led his troops off toward the big temple there but it wasn’t working so well and they were reduced to scratching around looking for enough height to cross. I got into cloud at 1400m and hit the bar for Liukueiwei. This was where the valley wind had gotten to and there was a rotten convergence there so the crossing was as rough as all hell and I dropped to about 800m before reaching the other side. The sink monster had my name on his list, but lucky for me there was another leeside thermal to save me. I got back up while watching Eiho, Mikilong and a third glider hit the deck below me having taken a bold decision to cross low at Tajin.
In front of me toward the house was one of the Novas and a Zoom and those two were just flying straight up the ridge in light lift the whole way, so leaving my lift at 1200m I followed along. I didn’t make another turn until Liukuei peak. Ah Tsai appeared way above us, but he seemed to have pulled the ladder up after him since neither the Zoom nor I could find any more than zeroes to work. With the cloud cover thickening and the sunny patches getting smaller I gave up looking for climbs and went to land with Izawa and Sam.
Third time in Liukuei in as many weeks, and a great start to the new year 🙂
To top it off, my buddy Eiho arrived to retreive me not ten minutes after I’d finished packing. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Tracklog of this flight:.igc format | .kml format

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2 Responses to Happy New Year

  1. jaco says:

    no comment…had a disasterous day. Well done, Les. my stats will follow suit. (is this the right word)

  2. les says:

    Well, your year can only get better then. 😉 I went and plugged all my data into Gus’s spreadsheet. It’s awesome, give it a go.

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