Raglan Run – Sunday 19th July - Dave Foxcroft

I got to the airfield early as I had heard rumors that Steve Wallace was taking the twin down to Raglan. I immediately volunteered to be front seat ballast.
We took off at 11:47 in the twin… Then dawdled around Muriwai for about an hour while Andy Mckay (MP) and Dave Todd (HU) got towed out to the coast. The sun was out, the wind was 29kts from 250°, which is not absolutely perfect but good enough for us.
We moved off at around 12:45, heading south at 70kts. The scenery on this run is quite spectacular!
The first point at which real care is required is the Manukau Heads. Bluff to bluff is around 4 Km into wind, so at least 1500 ft was required. We worked the ridge a bit to get the height, and I took a couple more pics while Steve piloted for a while. The jump across the water was fine, and we arrived on the other side at around 800 ft. Steve then set us up for the high-speed section of this task, and handed over to me. Blasting along at 105kts at 250 ft was an absolute rush. We soon reached the next crossing… the Waikato mouth. Ride to ridge is 8Km and requires as close to 2000ft as you can get. We again worked the ridge, with MP and HU performing a bit better than the twin.

I was having too much fun and forgot to take a pic of the crossing, but got one of some sand-yachts, shortly after getting across. Then it was back to running the cliffs at 70kts or so. MP and HU had to circle while we caught up. We also worked the ridge for a while to let a rain shower go past. We got to Raglan, the sun was still shining and the wind was steady at 28kts from 250.


We decided to head on home, and with the wind somewhat behind us we worked our way back up to the Waikato mouth. The crossing was easy as we had the altitude to reach the northern beach at 900ft.
We then continued north, going really quickly along the beaches!!
The airspeed is sitting at 115kts in this pic!

It was a real blast, with Steve on the controls as we worked our way back to the Manukau Heads. After crossing (uneventfully) we decided to hang around and wait for a rain shower to go past before heading up to Muriwai. We reached ceiling around Piha, and just generally ran up and down the ridge for about 25 minutes. We arrived at Muriwai at 2100 ft and after crossing the bowl, we headed straight for home, arriving at the start of our downwind at 1100 ft. Rain was coming in and we got barely wet before landing 3 hours 27 minutes after take-off,
MP landed immediately after MW and HU, after finding a bit of lift on the way back from Muriwai, landed about 10 minutes later.
The Raglan Run is a 250km task that is challenging and totally different to normal ridge soaring. The scenery is great too!