Flight(s) of the month went to Ross Hofmeyer for some excellent winter flying at Rondebossie. Although a new HG pilot, Ross has been showing excellent command of a range of skills from light wind launches and spot landings to high wind flights and top landings. Great stuff Ross.

Ross just after take off

Ross' story:

I was really fortunate over the last few weeks to get 4 nice flights in at Rondebossie. On 18 June the club held a 'check flight' day to encourage all the members to get their license renewals completed on time. The turnout was excellent, with the top of Rondebossie covered in gliders. The wind was initially very light, fading to nothing and then only returning later in the day. Despite this, I decided that with so many pilots around and easy retrieve, I'd kick off with a foofie. Soon I was set up in zero wind with the whole club watching....eish. A good hard run sorted out the takeoff, and I had a pleasant smooth glide out to Donovan's Dam.  Now came a choice: with no wind, the small fenced landing area by the dam looked very tight, but a challenge to land there next to a windsock had been issued, and I didn't want to land in the cultivated fields if it could be avoided, so I took the bait and set up carefully. It paid off, with a strong flare and a good run ;)

Final approach over Donovan's Dam

Back on top of the hill the wind had picked up a little but was still very easterly. Lennox demonstrated a novel landing technique flying the Condor (training glider), making the only top-landing of the day. I was a little time pressured, so decided to launch even though it was still light. I was rewarded with an extended foofie, 'almost soaring' for 5 minutes in front of the hill before heading out to land. With the wind now very east, it was blowing across the landing field, making it even shorter than usual. Still, pride was at stake, and (perhaps with more luck than skill) pulled off a spot landing - 2 for 2!

Spot landing (note limp windsock!)

About a week later, I had the morning off before a night duty, and saw 
that a strongish SE was forecast. Paul Laros responded to an email invitation, and we met at the hill around 1200 to find a cold ESE blowing at 35-40km/h.  We both rigged, and were soon soaring the chilly but smooth air. The views were spectacular, with snow on the distant mountains. I flew more than an hour, top-landed for a service stop, took off and flew another half-hour before I ran out of time and top-landed again.   We were easily getting 100-150m above takeoff, with the hunting buzzards and kites sharing the air.  A great way to 
relax before work!