25 February 2010

Bill Williams with Taube at Gromor

Bandit at 5 o'clock!

I have been sloping at Springfield for over thirty years and have never ever seen the amount of raptor bird life that we are experiencing this Summer. The pic on the left was about 6:00pm last night. If one clicks on it and looks at the about 5 o'clock, the "bird" is actually a Toksix glider flown by Russ. This early cell pic does the experience no justice at all and I did not bother try taking a pic of the "swarm" (not flock) of raptor birds out towards Kensington. Russ was so taken with the occasion, had to remind him to land about 6:35pm ;-)

21 February 2010

Back to the roots of this blog

Blew the V tail off the e2MREv in its first flight thermal at Summerveld on very hot Sunday morning and trashed it good (rats, should have followed Barnsey's bolt on tail good advice) but stayed on to see the maiden of Dennis Bird's new Mouldy and the Nelsons klap the 2M section of the postals. Heading home about 1:30 pm, I decided to have a quick ten minute flight on the DMC macro at Springfield. That turned out a bit longer in the pleasant conditions and then the folk began to creep out the woodwork. First Robbie Pirie [top], here having a burn on the DMC Macro and then, hallelujah, Ziggy and Wendy [second down] with the brand new Kilburton and three other older toys.

Dave Shaller then turned up to maiden his Hooker Phase [third down], along with his youngsters. Flew a treat but then Springfield bit as it only can and he had to walk a long way to retrieve in the searing heat, he was shattered.

Blimey, last time I saw Mike Thomson [fourth down], there was no grey. Mike had the DMC assembled Fuego and had been bullied in to new mode 2 radio - Russ do something about this and convert Mike back on to old school mode 1 fast! Enticed Mike on to the Macro for a short spell for right idea.....

Mike took these last three action shots whilst Wendy amazingly filmed Ziggy flying the whole afternoon!

Once Ziggy tamed the elevator throw induced flutter, he soon had the Kilburton doing knife edge and all manner of gyrations..... The links to Wendy's video of the Kilburtin below:

Having flown myself out, I prattled on endlessly about the magic Toss events, seemingly convincing Wendy who only now has to convince Ziggy to get their butts down there.....! Eventually cruised out after six pm, a dehydration basket case but so worth it to be back with kindred spirits on our namesake slope.....

20 February 2010

Another of the 1001 uses for Witblitz Suppo motors.....

Yours truly was extremely doubtful about the little 1800kv Suppo motor having enough oomph to drive Mark's new foamy jet, constructed off a net plan. Well, it flew a treat and shook me rigid that the little motor provided more than enough grunt. Not sure if Mark will even bother with the ducted fan unit he was going to fit. The instructions suggest 30% flap for landing and backing the throttle off explained why, as it fast ran out of up elevator. Excellent home brew job, Mark!

Successful maiden for the e-2MRE

The Dreamline (aka Nelly and Highlight) flew a treat on its 06h00 maiden this morning. The Dualsky 260 watt 480 outrunner and the 1100 ma 5C Hyperion easily coped with a multitude of 200 metre launches - the zippy performance making the 200 metre cut off in an easy 15 seconds. V tail RE on such a long tail boom takes some getting used to as there is little roll coupled with the rudder yaw, not unlike the bigger Esprit, but will take a bit of getting used to. Will have to use Mark's CAM rather than my Brit unit, which we could not get functioning. Will be a mission to spot land for the postals, it just keeps coming!

18 February 2010

Lunch time waffle - slope sections

Having been quite impressed at the light air performance of Bobby Purnell's Vector with its symmetrical SD8020 section on the second day of Toss 2010, I was pondering the potential of blending the E374 at root and SD8020 at tip on a foam veneer wing (the Chris Foss Phase 5 wing uses a very similar root/tip blend, albeit in ribs). That wing layout maybe with this foam veneer option fitted to a Phase 5 fuse might be a nice future project. Our KZN experience of slope symmetrical sections has been quite iffy to date, so the blend makes a lot of sense here.....

Co-incidentally, we had been looking for suitable 25e size plane to maybe do a bit of novice power aerobatics mid year on a reasonable three cell count. Mark Savage mentioned that he had really enjoyed flying the Eflite Diamante 25 for some aerobatic play, so it was quite a surprise to come across this bit of advert commentary on that plane using, you guessed it, the same SD8020 section - with some explanation as to its sweet nature in light stuff (for a symmetrical section):
"The E-flite® Diamante 25e ARF was designed by champion pilot Peter Goldsmith to provide intermediate to experienced pilots a precision aerobatics platform with excellent stability and benign stall characteristics. At the heart of this design is the SD8020 airfoil that provides excellent tracking and crisp response in any axis. It is also extremely resistant to accelerated stalls so you’ll feel like you’re on rails in any attitude."

16 February 2010

Special thermal postals visit to Karkloof Country Club

[top] Russ congratulates Dennis after giving a neat speech prior to the hand over to Dennis - with special mention of Gill Bird who has had a rough time of it, health wise, of late.

[second down] The red shirted coniving team of Michel and Russ hand over the moldie to Dennis.

[third down] Don Slatter (another part of the DMAC backbone) bringing us all back up to speed on the postals procedures and allocated teams before the start, in his normal lighthearted fashion.
The DMAC visit to Karkloof Country Club this past Sunday had a special twist (as if flying at that Eden is not special enough ;-) in that it included a very special hand over to Dennis Bird, who has quietly been most of the glue holding the club soaring side together for well over a decade. Michel Leusch had been moved to comment at one of the recent events, whilst watching Dennis navigate a thermal soarer craft around the sky in his normal ultra smooooth fashion, "Gee, imagine what a threat Dennis would be if he had a really hot moldie thermal plane......?" Thus started the fermenting of some behind the scenes negotiations, driven by Michel and Russ Conradt in cahoots with someone up north. We as a group gladly got involved in supporting the venture and all were looking forward to the Valentine's day hand over. The morning dawned kind of iffy weather wise and it took some smooth cell talking from Russ to lure Dennis up the field, where he was presented the moldie, bedecked in red and white ribbon for the occasion.

New blood is always healthy and the Leusch clan leading us astray from our normal haunt and habit proved a master stroke. The cloudy conditions were nice and mild for flyers and families alike and there was no pain at all in being located on one of the adjacent fields as the main field was being re-planted. Russ's family was moved to comment that they would enjoy these visits with such company again and there were some of us even suggesting once a quarter such gatherings for the postals! (hint hint to Don ;-) DMAC has always preferred a group rather than a fractured "on any Sunday" approach to its postal events and this took it one step better.

The second bottom pic shows Dennis with his new toy and bottom pic below the happy band of flyers and callers, probably one of the nicest thermal outings I have enjoyed and I was not even flying (e-plane not finished in time)! Missing in the photograph is Adrian from Port Shepstone, a power pilot of quarter scale aircraft who thoroughly enjoyed his first outing in contest thermal soaring, ably guided by Russ, who also had a magic day with the green Shrek plane. Adrian's last scratch after a hairy launch was top draw and he was moved to comment that he could easily make the trip from "Sheppie" to this stunning venue on many more occasions. It was also a first time out for Mark Buckshorpe on the Mike Summers "Sabre" and Mark had two superb flights at the end, once the ideal trim had been achieved.

Second from right in the bottom photograph is Mark Phillips who became DMAC's first pilot ever to fly the postals using the e-soaring mode of launch. The newly developed "CAM" gizmo faultlessly shut the electric propeller down at 200 metres or 30 seconds on each and every launch and his hybrid Impulse fuselage with Midwest Essence wing was only hampered by the good breeze which, in turn, made for some pretty good winch launching, especially from Simon Nelson who has been tweaking the launch setting on his new craft. Michel already has two new electric folk interested in a acquiring the e launch gizmos and Gert's move to include this launch option in the postals can only serve to bolster this legendary thermal series. The switch to "power off" was so markedly obvious that it was a simple matter to pick up the flight watch start time, as per normal glider soaring.
[Those in the bottom pic, left to right: Ryan Nelson, Andre Leusch, Simon Nelson, Allan Sneedon, Mark Buckthorpe, Michel Leusch, Dave Greer, Mike Stark, Don Slatter, Brian Fanning and Russ Conradt - thanks to young Kelly Conradt and Mike Stark for supplying the pics].
With this kind of clubbie spirit, local thermal soaring can only go from strength to strength.

12 February 2010

NMPRA Formula One e Racing

The US pylon mob are developing a cheap and cheerful Formula One e racing class and I sent through some links to Kzn pylon's Pete Sherliker and John Dorse, Pete in returned sending me back these pics of his own local development in that regard - with his comments:

Dave a bit behind the times attached my version of F1 E to NMPRA rules well almost Fus is full epoxy glass all else within rules still got problems re motor seems to get out of sync at 14000 plus that's on APC 9x7 or 8-5x7.5 9x6 would produce + - 18000 model is based on Lil Toni 52 in wingspan 375 sg in wing is QM40 polecat reduced to 52 all other dim same as polecat Motor Turnigy 35x42 1250 kv esc 60 amp himodel batt 4s 2500 30C goes like Q500 BUT Can't hold full throttle to long,with 5S probably = qm 40. Wing is foam core 1/16 balsa sheeted, tail built up but don't bother only saves you 5 gr all hinges plastic film as per my Witblitz ie top hinged using the film. could make fus and cores avail reckon with 10x6 and 3S make great sport plane, looking for alternate motor with larger 5 or 6 mm shaft to same dimensions as per NMPRA rules reckon 4mm too small for torque produced any idea's.


11 February 2010

Retro local is lekker

Back in the early eighties, a design appeared for the Supermite glider, penned by John E Foster who dreamed up a whole range of solid balsa wing soarers. Two local foam veneer wing versions were flown by Springfield's Lynn Bowen and Heinie then Dave Hooker was moved to build his own glassed foam veneer wing version using a Ritz instead of original plan section. Dave christened his Dyna-mite.

The heavy bullet proof wing on a plain balsa fuselage was a tricky beast for Dave who hangered it but yours truly could see the potential for little rocket on the bigger cliff slopes and lusted after this little beastie for pretty much two decades. Dave parted with it to me in a weak moment just before Toss 2009. Took some cleaning up and the intention was to really spruce it up once I "proved" it was still a go'er for heavy wind conditions. The day I first tested Prodij I managed to get Dynamite slammed in the car door and put it aside, completely losing that little sub plot in the process.
We have grown so used to bemoaning the local slope weather that it escaped us that the local winds have been stonking since we returned from Toss 2010. I suspect February may be the month of choice for good weather and better winds, if one is plotting an annual Pete event? (hint, Russ ;-)
Caught myself yesterday afternoon muttering about too much wind to test the new Wipeout parkie foamie and realising an awesome local slope season is slipping us by....... The penny dropped with a clang and rushed home after work to pour half a bottle of Mark Phillip's super glue in to the Dynamite and abuse charge a battery pack.
Arrived at 6:00pm to Springfield and actually ran from the car to launch, in case nerve failed me. Straight in to a flock of upwards of forty to fifty predator birds (is this not extremely rare?) with the realisation that Springfield would be heat thermal (thus also downdraft affected) by implication but Dynamite simply punched through the holes in the sky, somewhat like the Karos that Russ and I used to enjoy so much. I stayed up way longer than intended (despite battery concerns), pursued by the horde of birds, because it is rare to experience these truely awesome conditions at Springfield.
The large tailplane made for Toksix type round loops and the rolls pretty damn good, as well.
Such was the buzz when I landed at 6:40pm that I immediately zapped off the sms pic and overly excited message to the locals, drawing on some memorable Mike Myers quotes to emphasise the enthusiasm..... This threw Kobus who sent back a quizzical sms, so the aforesaid is the explanation, Kobus, sorry Meneer..... ;-)

10 February 2010

Oldie but goodie

This appeared on either of RCSE or RC Groups and was passed to John Lightfoot who analysed it by frame in Southeaster - only just discovered again on an old CD. Appears to be a wing twist glider with gross movements.

Toss Winter PSS coming up in June

Go to the Toss blog and scroll down below the poster, as shown left, for some last weekend taster of the Chappies action, ahead of their PSS event in June, wow:

Witblitz meets Wipeout

Through no fault of the Witblitz concept, we Springfield Chickens never saw through this form of racing past the Gromor event. What did impress us was the comparative simplicity and effectiveness of the pusher Velocity 2 craft on the same course. The rowdiness of the pusher configuration (also tried on a Mini Swift pusher) suggested that simple wing style tractor propulsion on the same ten dollar Suppo motor might be the answer for us.

Then I acquired a lightweight depron Parkshark, which has given me hours of pleasure and displayed a remarkable benign behaviour and stability, even when playing around at few inches above the ground or batting around an imaginary pylon course on its teeny little Emax peanut motor. The only hooligan induced dramas was the motor torn from its housing by gyroscopic forces on full chat inverted spins..... ;-)

Mark had in the interim blown up the magic little Frazzle plank wing plan by 1.5 to achieve a gasbag option, something too nice to be subjected to Witblitz style dangers but a useful option for the dinky little Suppo motors.

I also looked at the Parkshark and pondered the potential of something like that, suitably beefed up with carbon spars and EPP.

So, one can imagine how stunned I was to trip over exactly that on the net, made from EPP foam and fitted with leading and trailing edge carbon - plus a far better idea for a protective fuselage than the Parkshark. Otherwise pretty much the same design and all for the paltry sum of GBP20.00! Having the exact same Witblitz 1800 KV and wattage motor specification as well as being touted as a combat flyer was hardly a downside.......

The supplier kindly cut the wing dead down the middle to ease the post cost and all arrived fine. The cutting so neat that resting the fin on the fuselage had it sitting exactly vertical, impressive. Included were horns, kwik links, motor mount and correct length carbon for the pushrods plus correct length leading and trailing edge carbon strip.
The model an absolute doddle to put together in an evening with my now favourite tube of Uhu Pohl (thanks again for that tip, Andre Killian) and I felt like a kid all over again, armed with my childhood tube of Britfix - the Uhu elevon hinging also still amazes me. The fuselage is one piece and slides on from the front, enveloping the electronics at the same time - ingenuous in its simplicity.

The hazy cell pic shows the new sunset Wipeout in front, against the previous brightly coloured Parkshark - a dead ringer if there ever was one.

Way exceeded my wildest expectations and a quick and cheerful beaut learner base for newbies contemplating Witblitz - not as out and out quick as the Witblitz but you could teach your maiden aunt to fly on it (a good attribute for a pylon racer). Absolutely viceless on pitch, although I will concede it was in perfect sundowner conditions. The instructions strangely call for quite a bit of elevon reflex but mine flew just like the Parkshark on zero-zero elevon trim.

09 February 2010

Winston visitor

During the December holiday period, a bunch of us were flying at Winston Park, when we had an unexpected visitor call on us. (apologies for the poor cellphone quality pictures)

No idea who it was, and they didn't stay for very long before taking off in a southerly direction. Made a nice change from the norm.

04 February 2010

Two Oceans Slope Soaring in one weekend - the story!

[This story must start with thanks to Malcolm Riley for rushing three DVD's of photographs to us, just as we were about to board the shuttle to airport back to Durban - 99% of the pictures on this 2010 report are from those DVD's and are just a fraction of the photographs taken by Malcolm and his lass over the weekend.]
A personal perspective of the 2010 Two Oceans Slope Soaring experience.

Slope soaring, especially with a competitive element, remains the first love of the three Durban Springfield Chickens that headed down for year two of this classic event. Unpredictable Durban weather and a thing called "Natal fever" have meant rare nibbles of single afternoon social contests, stretching right back to 1980, along with hiving off in to the other model aircraft disciplines of thermal soaring and powered flight in all forms. Michel more recently making a name for himself in large scale aerobatics and jets - but the slope instinct remains and it is a treat to get to spend a weekend eating, sleeping and drinking pure and unadulterated slope soaring, along with this rare club of wholly slope and fun focused Toss'ers.
There was must be hordes of similarly slope contest frustrated folk all over the country and world who would revel in these slope aerobatics focused weekends in this Eden of slope flying, that is the Cape peninsula, bounded by the Atlantic and Indian Oceans....? Have look at the success of the Two Oceans marathon, the Argus cycle tour and the Cape as one of the world top ten tourist destinations and you get the idea.
Ground zero
Your scribe arrived Wednesday prior and took in a good hour or so of practice late Thursday, to have a practice run on the Lance Cranmer Durban Model Centre "Macro" at the Simonstown Red Hill venue used in 2009. The strong buffeting wind meant keeping landings to a minimum and it was quite a relief to grease the Macro in, in the normal Red Hill "pick a bush" fashion, after the long but enjoyable first run.
These Toss folk look after their visitors and as per 2009, most of the hard core took off Friday to meet with me at Dixies for breakfast and discussion, mainly related to the allocation of the overflowing richness of prizes, wow...... Kev and Jeff had even gone one better and arranged George to meet Russ and Michel at the airport Friday afternoon, so that I could unwind with a bit more practice instead.
Kev was aghast that the previous afternoon had been flown in the blow, which he described as "too strong" for that hill. Amidst gentle insults about softy Capies, we headed back up and the more lead laden Macro launched for another hour long practice flight. Cheek turned to dismay as Kev's Aldij smoke the earth terminally on landing and the Macro radio was passed to from hand to hand to delay the Macro's inevitable landing. The face was brave but the Macro gently ushered in, only to veer hard left at the last instant and render your scribe real humble again. Pure joy when it was discovered that the only damage was a sheered nylon wing bolt, whew (thanks for the spare bolt, Jeff)......
Some test flying was now achieved at the Smitswinkle slope down south and it was interesting to talk Theunis through the schedule of ten aerobatic manoeuvres selected by Steve for himself. I was quietly chuffed to have the same schedule barring one manoeuvre as Steve. Both of us had gone for medium complexity with reasonable K factor, rather than out and out complex high k factor manoeuvres, something that ultimately translated in to his well deserved win and a much improved fifth for myself. Those interested in the detailed list of four prescribed and six option manoeuvres can pop over to the Toss web site for a gander:
The Friday evening was the normal rowdy but harmless session at Dixies tavern and Russ was in fine form, keeping us entertained at a specially allocated space near kitchen, a way from the less lunatic revellers. We tried hard to steer Steve Muesel back on the track of double whiskies but he had learned from the 2009 all weekend hangover and was wise to all our attempts - something that paid off in bumping him up from the top three 2009 result to top dog in 2010, but I digress again..... The Springfield Chicken's bedded down at the magic cottage rented to us by the owner of Dixies himself - the R200 per night each cost a gift for this popular holiday destination.
We have lift off
Saturday morning coffee was enjoyed at one of the many quaint cafes in the historic Simonstown, a place choc a bloc with history. Cell calls from Steve and Kev suggested a change from the Red Hill venue, especially after a quick test with Kev's Zagi and we joined in the run to the "Smitswinkle" slope, pretty much as far south of Simonstown as one can drive on open road, but still overlooking the Indian Ocean. A scroll down to the Saturday photographs shows the stunning view over the sea and out right towards the Cape point itself.
The ADT security caravan and various sponsor banners arrived. The caravan was our source of luscious grub and drinks for the weekend and Anneline and her team did a magnificent job in not easy conditions (pic below).
The 15 pilots signed in and each received a large shopping bag of "pilot goodies" comprising bright green Toss T shirt, beautifully embroidered cap, logo labeled water bottle, Fragram Screwdriver set and welcoming letter. The pilots pretty much had their nominal entry fee of R150 (US$20) back before they even started!
If one looks carefully at the pic of Russ landing at Smitties, one can see houses right down the valley and the only way in and out being by a single well worn path! Jeff Steffen's briefing and the contest start were delayed by a troop of paramedics carrying up the body of a passed on grand dad, who must have spent his final days enjoying this idyllic location.....
Saturday round one
Initial landing fears on our part changed to oohs and aahs as one got in to the smooth as babies bum lift at Smitswinkle, a far cry from the pomping conditions at Red Hill. [note: pilots flew in pairs, alternating between their specific trick and gaining height]. Given that we were effectively launching from a slash in the slide of the mountain, there was little or no wind on the pilots themselves.
The first round got in to gear in perfect conditions, so perfect that Michel and the VPR Kilburtin were a real threat and not buffeted away, as had been the original concern. Russ had built two beaut Toksix (Toko molded wing and retro Phase six fuselage) for himself and I, and it was a nervy first launch (yes, test flight) for my Toksix that greased away like a slipper. Initial nerves changed to increasing enjoyment as Russ called and positioned me in and out of the manoeuvres and Michel calmed me through the finer points in the other ear, wot fine Springfield Chickens team work!
Steve put on a polished performance to set the standard for the weekend, he and Kev's calling team work really impressing the judges, who afterward re-emphasised this vital component of aerobatic flying. The crowd went quiet for Michel's first run on the Kilburtin until he started the slope Immelman top and bottom roll manoeuvre, only to default to the jet style two top roll Immelman, despite the after drinks explanation of the night before, Instant zero and now an interesting two hundred point deficit to catch up on Steve! (The new manoeuvre was christened Minellman and Mishellman by the wags.... ;-)
Both Steve and Kev kept themselves busy helping the other pilots as well, no prima donnas in this club!
Russ had discovered a new hanger-rash twist in his Toko wing and Michel and I are convinced that the trim change took the edge off his 2009 dazzling Toko performance, whilst still posting a reasonable score.
There were only two major dramas with Jeff losing his pretty useful OD plane, right down on the right, Son Nick and the team eventually returning with a completely unscathed plane. Mark Beckenstrauter's plane also went down on the left and we thought "by by" plane, with Mark also returning a short while later with only the nose of the craft smashed - it had landed barely ten or fifteen metres from the water's edge!
Nick and Jeff retired for while to computerise the scores and then a start was made on the next round, whereupon it was immediately obvious that the wind direction had tweaked off slightly and the judging area appeared fraught with "glitches" (the best way to describe the turbulence, which kind of snuck up on one).
I must confess to panicking and completely loosing the plot, rushing off to fetch the spare Le Coq midst scoring flight. Judge Andy quietly and correctly pointed out the error of my ways and it was with some relief that Jeff and the organising team decided to abandon round two and call a halt for the day. Whilst this was on the go, Piet Grove's plane lost height and he ran up the road and hopped on to a bollard to get a better view, his too tight shorts meant that he continued right over the top of the bollard and over the edge of the mountain in to the bush. A frightening moment but he emerged unscathed and cheerful as ever. Another cheerful soul, Tim Watkins-Baker, seemed content just soaking up the atmosphere over the weekend.
Marc Wolfe had managed to fold the one tailplane on his retro sloper during the aborted round and he used the opportunity to do some cliff top practice with my Toksix, having been promised that he could share the Toksix from then on. The four point rolls etc were watched by us with open mouths, this 2009 winner and F3A pattern boytie can really fly!
The Toss 2010 green shirted pilots gathered at the parking area for a debriefing by the four judges, Andrew, Johnny, Claude and Kurt, as well as some promo photographs with some of the sponsor banners. Yours truly was so enamoured with the new Toksix that he clutched same through all the pics, sorry folks.......
Andy and Johnny were from the 2009 event and Claude and son F3A flyer Kurt were new to the slope scene but fitted in with the Toss mob, right from the word go, they had a ball. The debriefing centered around centering the manoeuvres and effective calling - some of us hung our heads in shame as we had forgotten those same lessons from the previous year.....
It is worth noting that the ten manoeuvre schedule, coupled with two pilot up at once and alternating runs and gain height, made for helluva useful amount of pleasantly tiring flight time. Toss had succeeding with the new schedule!
After chat and meeting with ex Durbanite Dion Thompson, we headed back for another thorough enjoyable dinner with the mob at Dixies, man the grub is out of this world and plenty of it...... I was impressed to see young Michel finish the huge chicken burger and even more impressed at Jeff and his ritual of a tot of Jack Daniels on just about everything, even the ice cream. Russ and Steve were the normal Russ and Steve ringleaders with the banter and jokes and we retired, pleasantly tired and super relaxed, which might explain the complete lack of hang over or such side effects over the weekend..... Michel was now starting to really warm to the occasion and there was much discussion on slope aircraft of the future.
Sunday round two
As predicted by Kev's online wind guru, the wind had swung and lightened and we made our way to Fishoek for petrol and then through Kommetjie up to the "Soutwater" Atlantic ocean facing slope, through the hordes of cyclists involved in a local cycle race.
Most of the cycle "buses" had passed by prior to contest start and we were pleasantly surprised to see AFC secretary stalwart Andrew Basson passing by in one of the buses - I have seen Andrew flying one of my craft like a rat up drain pipe at Hermanus and must lean on him to join us in the future. Some of the cycle tail end charlies even stopped to watch and chat - man, what makes these Cape folk all so friendly....?!!!!!!!
The wind was light but not impossible but yours truly chickened out on the Toksix and went for the 350 gram Airtech Le Coq instead, eventually dispensing with all ballast. Le Coq was fine in the lift (the pilot still a bit shaky), although not as fine as the Aldij's of Steve, Kev and Malcolm, which quickly circled up to good air. Jeff had kindly lent his spare Mini Dragon to Theunis and Piet who were able to tear around with gay abandon, much to the dismay of the folk having to cat foot in the conditions. Theunis came alive with the Dragon and here is my dark horse prediction for future, remember this line. Damion and Gus had pleasant rounds with their respective Voltij craft and whilst Damion seemed disappointed, he achieved another creditable fourth place round score.
Bobby Purnell had treated us to a demo flight on his brand new Vector prior to the days event, probably the first Vector to make the air in South Africa. The 8020 wing coped remarkably well in the light conditions, although the fuselage was just a little too retro for my fellow Springifeld Chickens.
The moment arrived for Michel to take up the Kilburton in perfect conditions for that sort of craft, although he had to sweat to height and resorted to a version of kerb crawling called cliff crawling (see pics), above us all and pretty damn effective. All progressed sweetly and he looked like threatening Steve's lead until he and Russ miscounted and did a two roll instead of three roll manouevre - instant second zero!
Mark Wolfe had been heavily involved in the model jet turbine on a bicycle and other related items for the popular Top Gear car show taking place in Cape Town and arrived just in time to do his schedule with the Toksix, which he cliff crabbed as well, albeit at lower and more patient height, managing to complete his schedule adequately albeit with way less aplomb than the practice run of previous day. Yours truly was stunned when Jeff handed over Mark's prize at Mark's behest at the prize giving, as recompense for the loaned craft. Already told you these Cape folk are nice people....
The wind had now swung round the corner and we migrated down the road for grub and natter whilst the Zagis tested things out. Murphy's law decreed that we made a decision to halt proceedings for the day and head down to Fishermans in Kommetjie for prize giving, then the wind tickled up - but we were not disappointed at all, what a nice way to end the weekend, heading down about 2:30pm.
The L Z
The array of prizes from AMT, Micton Hobbies, Clowns hobbies, Hobby Warehouse [must add to list] and others was staggering. Every one of the fifteen pilots was called up and went away clutching a fist full of bits. The huge AMT packets of kevlar, carbon and assorted composite bottles were worth a fortune to a modeller and the generous gift vouchers from Micton and Clowns well received. I am going to stick my neck out and say Toss 2010 was won by "Mr Nice Guy" but Steve is also just one of the guys and they all to a folk make one just so welcome. I cannot stress enough just how much of an unwind this event is and if you are of anal competitive persuasion then maybe 2011 might not be for you - although we can all change (Michel was moved comment that he had never known me so calm ;-). We headed back to our accomodation well after 6:00pm.
The single most popular prize was alwarded by Rose Steffen to Piet Grove - a mini parachute man for leaping off the mountain on the previous day.
Special mention.
The Steffen family of Chairman Jeff, Rose and Nick selflessly gave of their time, despite son and wife not competing - they also enjoy those Dixies thrashes as much as we do.
Bill Dewey, the TOSS iron man and especially good to me, thanks Bill, you are a trojan.
The remaining Toss backbone of Steve, Kev, Malcolm, Theunis, Gus, Grant and George, the Springfield Chickens salute you all.
I have left out so, so much but trust it brings through just how special an event this is.
1. Steve Meusel 100.000% - Aldij
2. Michel Leusch 95.465% - Kilburton
3. Marc Wolffe 93.700% - Primius and Toksix
4. Damian Hinrichsen 86.280% - Voltij
5. Dave Greer 75.710% - Toksix and Le Coquillaj
6. Kevin Farr 72.875% - Aldij
7. Malcom Riley 72.195% - Aldij
8. Russell Conradt 68.840% - Toksix
9. Theunis van Niekerk 62.905% - OD and Mini Dragon
10. Gus Thomas 60.725% - Voltij
11. Pieter Grove 56.180% - OD and Mini Dragon
12. Bobby Purnell 55.845% - OD
13 Jeff Steffen 12.980% - OD
14. Marc Beckenstrater 11.425% - Phase 6
15. Tim Watkins-Baker 4.725% - Forgotten
Anneline Van Niekerk and the ADT grub wagon.

The Toss embossed water bottles.

(below) Fragram support again for the second year.

(below) The view from the Dixies verandah - you can smell and touch the sea!

(below) Bobby Purnell landing South Africa's first flying Vector? (note effective brakes).