Winter XC Tour 2003

Our group consisted of Arthur, Kev Storie, Allan Sneedon, Josh, Billie, Debbie, Mel Gibson, Heino, Carrina and Eugene from Vryheid. We were also joined by Bernie Kelly from Australia.

We left Durban 4h30 Friday morning and after breakfast at Oppie Koffie, we're on top of Dumbe Mountain, Paulpietersburg by 11h00. Strong and thermic conditions up the SE side. Josh flew 40km towards Piet Retief and Arthur flew 12,5km to the township. We rounded the day off with hours of airtime in superb valley-release till sunset.

Saturday morning we were on top of Lone Tree Hill, Barberton. Most of us enjoyed a 3 hour XC past Agnes towards Badplaas and then back to the Golfcourse. Heino & Carinna experienced their first real thermalls. Congrats to Mel gibson who got 1000m ato for the first time, and well done to Kev Storie who did his first XC. The 1st Para crowd from Jo'burg partied till late around the campfire, with much singing and fire-acts.

Sunday was blown out, so after a leisurely breakfast which overflowed into lunch, we headed out to Carmel. A new site for most of us. It was too strong to fly at first, but we were finally rewarded with over an hour of valley-release just before sunset. We landed in near darkness at the Shop next to the highway.

Monday started off with low cloudbase and became a cooker day. Well done to Josh and Allan Sneedon who flew to Fairview, back to take-off, then to Agnes Mine and back towards take-off. Once again it was about 3 hours of XC. Josh top-landed to spade the babes from Big Brother...

On Monday we went to investigate Jack Bester's new site near Dirkie's Dorp. Billie will go test-fly it in the next week or 2, as soon as his new Grid arrives, and then I'll plan a big Flyaway one long-weekend.

An incredible weekend. Many thanks to all who participated and contributed. And many thanks to Billie and Debbie for cramming us all into their spot for Friday and Monday night.