Wow that was a whack!
Just behind the lead gaggle at Isabella about 12 k on course Frank and I linked up in a strong thermal at about 5,000ft. We were just in the process of finding the center. He was 90 degrees off my right wing tip 200 feet away when he took a massive outside asymmetric. It was well over 75% with the tip half way down his lines. The wing created enough drag that he lost most all his forward momentum and as he dropped the wing popped open but it was parachutal with a 10 to 20% tip cravat.
The wing now began a snake dance above his head. I saw one big surge and one partial to full twist up but then the wing was back over head. I don’t know if this was before or after Frank stalled the wing in an effort to restart. My bet is that his twist up was while he was stalling the wing and the surge followed the release of his intentional stall.
It was at this point I got my camera around to pick up a few shots of his recovery effort and reserve opening.
In any event after his stall and surge the wing was back over head and horseshoed. The tips almost touched then the wing opened again and snaked. A total of 30 to 35 seconds passed between the asymmetric and his deployment. It is hard to say but it looked to me that the wing had just started to fly as the reserve bag was fully out. Frank indicated that he felt the same.
The deployment was very strong, the bag went straight out and it opened quickly. He tossed with enough height that his reserve ride was 7 to 10 seconds depending on whose clock you use.
The landing was safe for frank but not for his wing. – Check out the tree! Photo by Reaper.