Posted by: cokenias | November 6, 2011

Clean Kill

Mussel Rock, Pacifica, 14-16 mph WNW 50 degrees F

Reverse launch from (northern) Lemmings, wing on the ledge, me partway downhill. I let the wing pull me to the top where I turned, paused, then torpedo launched back down the hill. The wing was very solid and I swung under and into the seat easily. Headed north and climbed steadily to about 800 feet in front of the cliffs. I turned back, still climbing, staying reasonably far in front of the cliff. I was above the lip and worried about potential blowback. There were no incidents, I did not need my speed bar and I was able to penetrate and still crab either direction.

Several times I was overtaken by hang gliders at similar altitudes. None on collision courses, but close enough to get my attention. There were several gliders around, sometimes hard to see at first because of the slim profile and low angle of the sun.

Not enough room to comfortably practice diving turns (can I even call it a spiral?) I played with the speed bar instead. I practiced steering with weight shift and C-riser pulls, quite effective when used together. 50-75% bar and slightly banked turns.

I did do one sharp 360 and eased out of it too early, with me pointing towards terrain. I reapplied inside brake to continue the turn and had to wait for the wing to find the right angle of attack. I turned back in plenty of time, more than plenty, but I was definitely further back than I intended to be. It’s important to commit to those turns and keep the energy up until I’m looking at my exit.

Used asymmetric big ears just north of Tomcat to get down, then S-turns over the Plateau. Some pedestrians with unleashed dogs were near the area I was landing, I focused on the unpopulated parts of the ground and avoided exciting dog or human as I headed toward an in-wind landing in the ice plants. There was a bit of lift and I landed long, almost forced to go back up for a second pass. I touched down on the gravel road at the front of the Plateau’s ridge.

As my feet touched ground I put most of my weight on the C risers and very cleanly dropped the wing behind me. Probably my prettiest windy landing yet.

22 minutes
Mussel Rock (Lemmings), reverse launch.

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