CRRC - Cape Cod Slope Soaring
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The Northeast terrain doesn't present many opportunities for slope soaring. Oh, sure, we have plenty of hills and mountains around here, but the durn things are all covered with trees! The prevailing wind around these parts is West-Southwest, and unlike our Left Coast relatives, a westerly wind blows down the slopes to the ocean, so most of our coastline is unusable for sloping. Except, that is, for Cape Cod.

When we feel a hankering for some free lift, our best bet is to pack up the gliders and head down to "The Cape". Cape Cod offers reasonably good soaring sites for wind from all points of the compass except for South. West and Southwest winds put us on the Bay side, where the water is frequently smooth as glass, and we can step out the back door of the Seascape Motel with glider in hand and give it a heave into the blue. When the air comes trucking down from Canada on a North or Northwest heading, our options are the Bay side of Harwich, which lives right at the elbow of the Cape, or 1/2 hour due North to Race Point beach, just outside the quaint village of Provincetown. Race Point provides a very gentle slope that is best suited to floaters and handlaunch gliders.

But. . . when Mother Nature blesses us with an East to Northeast wind, we have at our disposal on the ocean side of the Cape some of the finest slope soaring dunes to be found. Naturally, a Northeast blow in these parts is usually accompanied by gale force winds, torrential rain, and, in the winter months, the kind of snowstorm that brought Boston to its knees in 1978! But recently, we were treated to the rare and wonderful Easterly air on a beautiful Saturday in September. As the photos below illustrate, the 15 MPH flow off the ocean striking the dunes square on the face provided ideal slope conditions for all types of Flying Things.

*** These are thumbnails of larger images.  Click on any thumbnail to see the full-size image. 

 
John Blaser leans into the wind at Lecount Hollow beach in Wellfleet. 

 
Lincoln Ross heaves his Antares into the stiff headwind. 

 
It's kind of tough to concentrate on our puny RC gliders with this monster hang glider whooshing over our heads.


Even parafoils found the soaring conditions ideal. The gentleman with the outstretched arm has just
 
measured the wind at a steady 15 mph. 

John Blaser with his experimental tailless (sort of) sailplane. He is surrounded by some more conventional designs: a Prophet 941, a Super Dragonfly, and a Spectrum Enterprises Prism. 

 

 


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