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Winter 2000/01

Monday 19th February

Report from Colin D: John Alder, Colin Davies and lots of buzzards flew at Winklebury on Monday afternoon. It was quite buoyant with a strong breeze, when it picked up further the paragliders landed but the buzzards did not.
(And them buzzards won't be grounded because of the F&M, either! D)

Saturday 17th February

Report from Craig B: Quite a few people at Monk's again getting some good height gains in the buoyant conditions, but the wind eventually dropped off stopping play!
PS. You did not miss that much Dave!
(Even 1 minute is MUCH, currently! -D)

Friday 16th February

Report from Craig B: We had a cracking afternoon at Monksdown today!
Adam, Mike, Shippo, Ian, Craig, Jeremy all had some good flights in the first of the spring thermals.. Not quite strong enough to tempt you over the back yet, but spring is defiantly here. Only landing when it was nearly dark, and we could not see each other flying towards the setting sun.
(Bastards! And the weekend is looking good - and I'm working! - D)

Monday 29th January

Report from Wayne B: Light (8-12)N. Flyable at Harting. Alas I was all alone & enjoyed the air to myself. Another 3 interesting flights in light winter thermal conditions allowing height gains of 300ft, most of the time was spent looking up at the trees!

Sunday 28th January

Report from Dave B-K: Arrived Monksdown around 10am. Wind slightly off to E to start, but enough for an hours' useful ground handling practice, with no-one else in sight. Then, whilst mooching around with the wings over our heads, it suddenly got up and came straight on the hill. I launched and got height, and Fiona just went vertically up! As if by magic other people start turning up. By the time we landed, after half an hour, the verge was starting to look full. There were 12 in the air at one point, plus a hanglider on the ground (it did get in the air later, though). Quite exciting, as mostly no-one had more than 50ft... busy!
Amongst others there were Gary P on his XXX (didn't want to get the Proton dirty?), Gary M, Brian M, Sean ?, John A, Adrian B, Pete R, Andy D, plus a red ribbon.... and it was really good to see Ron Smith (Avon), not flying, but back to his old self - we hadn't seen him since his accident.
Conditions came and went during the day, no-one got away, though there was the odd thermal coming through. Wind went off to the West later on, which allowed Gary P, Brian and Sean to fly over to Winklebury (with a bit of walking in the middle). Left around 4pm. A good day.

Report from Wayne B: Light(8-12) N.. flyable at Harting (HG) moderate height gains allowed pilots to explore upwind.

Monday 15th January

Report from Wayne B: Fresh ENE....Mercury Flyable for Hang Glider Pilots. Got rough & a little breezy.. a topless pilot flew backwards & perfected a prone landing as others grabbed his wing wires!

Saturday 20th January

Report from Dave B-K: Turned up at Monksdown around lunchtime - nothing doing. Not even enough to ground handle. However, before we left we were lucky enough to witness Richard W throw his sister, who hadn't flown for two years, off for a T2B on his Response. He assured us it was only a 2 without speed bar... (Oh good! As I was moving all my clobber out of my flat in London down to Winchester, my mobile rang with Dave asking if I was out anywhere. Assuming the phone call meant that it probably WAS flyable somewhere, the rest of the day's packing and humping was a long one! D.)

Monday 15th January

Report from Wayne B: Moderate>fresh ENE. flyable at Mercury. Various Sky Surfers members enjoyed the pleasant conditions.

December 14th to January 4th - Southern India ..... by Dave Daniels

Well, judging by what Dave has said below, I'd be better off giving up the day job and staying in England!
I do seem to be weather-jinxed with this flying overseas malarkey!
Having said that - the three weeks in India was totally fantastic! ... but, alas, not because of the flying, with the 6,000ft top-to-bottom on the southern side of the Nilgiri hills blown out most days and the 3,000ft top-to-bottom on the north suffering from an immovable inversion that locked everything in place.
Luckily - that left a lot of time for eating (again!), and I indulged in some of the most fantastic food ever. An Indian restaurant in the UK will never be the same again.
The people were fantastic, and the kids just so happy and smiling despite having absolutely nothing - it was most humbling. Walking from landing to pick-up point with about 30 children tagging along, and each finger and thumb being held by a different happy, smiling, barefooted child - whose place would instantly be taken by another should he momentarily loose his grip - quite incredible.
Oh - flying - ummmm, yes, there was some. Mainly long sleigh-rides in air that was buoyant if not thermic. But I did find a couple of thermals to play with. Flying over the jungle and seeing elephants from the air was different. Discovering one day that a tiger had taken a cow only a short distance from where one had landed the previous day - focused the mmind on subsequent flights. Flying with a severe line tangle into the only field that was large and open enough to take what might result in a rather flare-less landing .... only to discover when one got closer through the sub-inversion murk was a cricket pitch on New Year's day .... that was in use at the time ... gave the locals something to talk about for some time after, I would guess.
Would I go back? To fly - I'm not sure - although if there had been no inversion I could imagine the flying would be quite superb. To see India some more - quite possibly ... I yearn for that food!
OK - so look out Le Grand-Bornand come September! ... the weather jinx is coming to your area!

November 4th to January 7th ..... by Dave Moores

I have just looked at the eye in the sky page, and it looks like no-one has been out to play since November...
Having had a few conversations on the phone this month with various people, I have been assured there is no point in trying to fly during winter, and we should put our kit away 'till spring... 
Not having a office-hours job
(Thanks for rubbing it in! D) I've been able to get a few days in, and I don't think I have been alone either... Who was flying at Bournemouth on New Years Day?
4th November Whitesheet. Flying all day, max. of 1000' ATO and 4.2 kms. 
7th November Monksdown. Superb, smooth hour before sunset. 
8th November Site "X". Bumpy and not great fun... 
13th November Site "X" and Kimmeridge. Weak thermals and 500' at both sites. 
14th November Site "X". Repeat of the 13th. 
20th November through to 2nd December, Flying every day in South Africa with Jon Harrop and Brian Metcalfe. Just too good! 15th December Bell Hill. COLD. Flew all day, on and off. Some good photos. 
23rd December Site "Z". Desperation flying on big unfriendly site. 
27th December Monksdown and Whitesheet NW. Good day out, little out + return. 
28th December Whitesheet. Snow! Spent more time sledging than flying. 
29th December Monksdown. Snow. Scratchy all day then great from 3pm onwards. 
30th December Bell. If you could get there through the snow and ice the flying was ok, if a bit light, all day. 
3rd January Bournemouth. Just an hour before the front came. 
6th January Kimmeridge. Sailplane flight at Wool then nice hour at Kimmeridge, flew to Worth Matravers. 
7th January. Bell, Kimmeridge, site "X". Got it right eventually and had a few good, high hours. 
That's it so far, don't pack that kit away, I've seen most of the club membership out on various days, who has been flying where?
See you all in March, Dave Moores.

Weekend 13th/27th November.

Report from Dave D: Two weeks in the south of France was supposed to be a chance to ramp up the hours and get some of these illusive "k's" in the log book ..... but the weather had other ideas with hours less than 4 and the only "k's" achieved courtesy of wave lift to the gods - and the gods were blowing slightly faster than a Harmony with full speed-bar. J & J were at the same place during the second weeks which was a Bob Drury XC course. The theory was really interesting (as was one evening when he was showing a few of us some of his Himalayan colour slides and reminiscing on his paragliding in that incredible scenery) but the weather never allowed us to discover if we'd learnt a single thing. Bob did indicate that he would be willing to come and do one of his slide-shows for us some time, so I'll be keeping on top of that one.
So - it's Southern India in a couple of weeks - and I'm hoping that provides some better flying.

Weekend 4th/5th November.

Report from Craig B: I know Brian M, Dave M and the usual suspects flew at Whitesheet most of the day & the Sky Surfers had a good day on Butser West Face.

Eye in the Sky - September and October 2000
Eye in the Sky - August 2000
Eye in the Sky - July 2000
Eye in the Sky - June 2000
Eye in the Sky - May 2000