This Kaimai Speed Task might be a lot of fun

Posted 10 years, 5 months ago by Bill Mace    1 comment

I had been watching the weather for Wednesday for the last 5 days and it looked great for a good ridge task. Even the night before I was hopeful of being able to try for the long awaited 500 ridge task and it looked on. 

However the RASP on the day showed the lower wind starting after noon and the wind north of Te Aroha weakening, the further north you went. Not conducive to 500k flights, however the newly devised Kaimai Speed Challenge begged to be tried. Tim was keen also but he couldn't get out until 2pm. 

I was able to launch well before him and thought that I should be able to complete the course a couple of times. The first, to try the conditions, and the second to improve on that time. 

Heading to the start point I was able to climb at 85 kts. A good time seemed possible.

I headed off with the idea of keeping airspeed over 100kts and basically maintaining height. The cloud base was too low to consider a pass behind Te Aroha so around the face I went. Beyond Te A the lift eased and I sped up to go through the sink, but it kept on all the way to the turn. Heading back I eased up realising that 115kts was going to see me too low on Te A. I actually lost very little on the trip back but now I had time to make up. Oh well this is just the first run so I thought I would only push it moderately. In places it was a little rough and I thought +4 on the G meter occasionally meant I should stay below rough air speed when I anticipated a rough patch. Man those long wings flap.

I finished and thought it was not a bad run.

Back to the golf ball to gain height for the second run. All was good until I was about to round Te A and heard Tim was landing out. Spotted him in the racecourse and wondered how that had happened. I was about to find out. Little lift out to the turn point had me well slowed up. All chance of beating the first time was lost by the time I got back to Te A. Tim’s warning of not getting to low on Te Aroha was heeded and in fact I never got much lift at all until I was back towards the Maori Lady. I finished the course and headed back to retrieve Tim.

It was a very enjoyable afternoon. It was some time since I had flown a serious task and even if it was short it was still interesting on the day. There is enough going on to make it interesting no matter what level your experience. Oh and the speed, 166kph. The NZ record is 172kph. Achievable.


10 years, 5 months ago
Well done...a good omen I hope...

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