Posted by: cokenias | May 18, 2011

First Launch from Tomcat

Mussel Rock, Pacifica, 11am. NNW @ 12mph

Tide rising. Clear skies with a few cumulous streaming out the Golden Gate. My first launch at Tomcat, the bailouts are fewer and gnarlier, but they exist. I tried kiting from where I set up, but was in wind shadow. This evolved into an assisted launch which took two tries to get the canopy up. Only on instant replay did I hear the good reminder to tug my Ds to help set up a wall. Good launch, made immediate turn right to face wind and follow ridge to Lemmings. Minimal lift. 3 minutes in I am getting low and make a bad decision. I turn back, hoping there’d be lift in the non-lifty area I just flew through. With the NNW wind nearly parallel to the ridgeline, there is NO LIFT on the ridge from tomcat to lemmings. Better plan would have been to zigzag infront of north-facing tomcat launch, get high and speed through the dead zone. Shortly after turning back I run out a downwind landing into the flowers. I think it was then I lost the wiffle on my air speed probe (which was tucked mostly in a pocket).


  • Didn’t move wing to ideal launch position, tried to build wall in wind shadow.
  • Hoped for lift where I knew there wasn’t any.
  • Downwind landing, didn’t properly kill wing.
  • Damaged flight instrument (lost airspeed probe wiffle)

0:03 Mussel Rock (Tomcat), reverse launch.



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