Well today started off a little early considering I'm supposed to be on leave and I left the house at 09:00 so that I could open the club up and sort a few little admin points out before Baz and Pete arrived to pick up their kits. One of the admin points was which gliders can I actually issue out? luckily they are all nicely labeled and the broken ones were easy to pick out. I can't help thinking that it's a pitty we don't have a little extra petty cash to get the older wings replaced or at least repaired. Tim's working on that issue with the sale of the clubs 20 or so Hang Gliders. Terrible to think of them going really, but with the military pulling their support for that sport, there is little point keeping them. We have a buyer but again the administration is what's stopping us right now. Tim is away in the UK for a couple more weeks and until he gets back we can do nothing! Come back Tim!
I'd looked at the Met before I left in the morning and was dismayed to find it forecast N to NE erly at 10kph. I lugged the glider into the car anyway just in case!! and I also threw in a yellow firebird which we plan on decorating the clubhouse with.
When I reached Kollossi I'd forgotten about the diversion they've implemented and so I decided to go one junction early and head in the general direction of a large fire I had been watching for the last 15 miles. I could see a Helix flying about with a bladder of water underslung and realised the the Akrotiri peninsular was pretty much on fire in a big way! well needless to say half an hour later I was still trying to find my way over to the fire and getting nowhere! bloody Cypriot diversions! they give you one sign to follow and then at the next junction just don't bother telling you anything! my saviour came in the form of a water park! Fassoula! how I love thee! once I clocked the water park I was home!
In the sandpit the wind was lighter but much the same when it came to the gusts; and so in my head I had already made the decision to can it for the day and just take the hit! as is often the way for me.
we trudged back to the top and could feel that it was maybe just a touch lighter than before but still in my mind too strong. Baz asked if I wouldn't mind helping him set up his speed system, I agreed and pulled out the hanger. It took us about 20 minutes to get it just right, in that time the wind speed had decreased yet further! I stood up and looked at the smoke rising from the fire in the distance, it was going straight up! the funny patterns (that I have not mentioned yet) on the sea had all gone away and the gusts were not really strong at all!
I walked to my car and within the space of me leaving the launch and getting to my car the smoke had started to drift in the opposite direction! I said to Baz, I'm gonna give it a go! if I can't top land don't worry just wait to see if I say it's nice or not and then launch!
We strode to the sandpit as it was still a little strong for a top launch and found the wind to be very much in our favour now! :) I'm feeling the little buzz I get from the sport about now and whipped out my wing! with a little input the wing lifted up in front of me and I got ready to be dragged kicking and screaming into the air. But it didn't happen, the wing just popped up, I turned, and up I went! perfect....ish! The air was lifting nicely and very smoothly and before I knew it I was at 400ft above! a little too high in my book to carry out effective Coaching of a newly qualified CP. Big ears in and float away from the hill a little, it was smooth with the odd thermal kicking off but nothing too strong! As soon as my ears were out I was back at 400ft, so I continued beating back and forth with ears in, then out, then in and finally out again just so I could keep my eye on Baz as he carried out a superb sandpit launch with no sign of being ripped off his feet or getting dragged through the bush, which is the case with so many new CP's myself included!
All in all a great day, only spoiled by the Cypriot Bank holiday meaning Panicos Ice-cream was not there to greet me! and after I'd promised him I'd buy one the next time I was there!
Tight Lines everyone!