|I was fortunate enough to live and work in Sydney, Australia for about a year and while I was there I took advantage of their geography for some dramatic slope soaring. The favourite site was Dobroyd Head, 14 Km north of the Harbour Bridge It's a 400' ft high rockface rising out of the waters of Sydney Harbour, facing the ocean with the Harbour entrance directly opposite to the East, some 5Km away. Any decent Easterly breeze produces great lift, which you need to be sure of because any error can be punished by a long and dangerous scramble down to the "oggin". If the model is in the oggin, forget it and hope that you can survive the spiders and snakes on the way back up.
Whilst in Oz I made two Pibros models. These little Depron delta wing marvels cost about $A15 each to make and can fly in about 5 to 45 mph winds. http://www.rc-soar.com/pibros used to be the website, but I haven't checked it recently).
Classic launching technique in high and gusty winds is to hold Pibros by the nose, balanced on your head and at the appropriate moment, lob it off !!
Back to the slope site, the flying portion is paralleled by a road which would be as if there were a road by the gate at the top of Coaly Peak slope. You then descend about 15' to long rock platform similar to the S. facing part of Coaley . This is part of a well-published and popular scenic walk similar to the Cotswold Way
There are always lots of Japanese tourists in Oz..
|I nearly always carried Pibros in the car when travelling to and from
the various job sites. Frequently I would call by Dobroyd early in the
morning for a quick jolly to put me in the right frame of mind for the
daily battles. One such gusty 20 to 30 mph morning I was standing at
cliff top, wind buffeting about my ears, model on head waiting for the
right moment and then I launched.
From behind me came an explosive, collective "Aaah". I quick look over my shoulder showed me a group of about 25 Japanese, who had by now completely round eyes and mouths.
The impression was of a number of light coloured 10 pin bowling balls with the finger holes facing me.
I recovered my composure and loops and twinkle rolls (about 3 in 2 secs.) brought forth a collective "Ah soo" and polite applause.
The explanation given by the English speaking coach party guide:-
"Many Japanese have a reverence for high places and they have now come across a priest wearing his ceremonial headgear at his morning devotions, totally oblivious to everything else. They observe a reverent silence and not wishing to disturb the ceremony, lined up behind me. They are amazed and shocked when the "priest" throws his hat down the cliff into the sea!"
They were very pleased for me when the hat eventually returned to me for a reasonable landing (for me anyway) on a close by gorse bush.
My explanation for arriving slightly late for my meeting, after answering many questions, was greeted with some skepticism.
Bob "The Builder" W