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Region 2 - Day 1 report

Hi race fans,

 

The region 2 championship has started at Mifflin. I wish I could say that it has all been a straight forward event, but as contest flying goes, this has been anything but that. Before I go into that all, I must cover the events of the last few days.

The pre-practice day, the day we usually spend setting up for this event, saw a rather large number of contestants show up and after a rather flat looking morning, decided to take tows and venture off to see what they could find. This turned out to be a very good decision, as all that flew this day had a marvelous time, and all came back with big smiles on their faces. Yesterday was the official practice day and was much less than Friday. A few people went flying, but it was late to start early to end. After flying all enjoyed the complimentary lasagna dinner followed by the mandatory pilot’s meeting.

This morning we met and most were very pessimistic about anything resembling a good day being on the menu for flying possibilities. After a rather laid back forecast from our certified "weather guesser" Richard Kellerman, we all set about preparing for our 11:15 grid time. The grid meeting was short and to the point. We can not rule out that we will fly, but we can not tell you that conditions will exist to allow us to either. It was just too much dependant on the way the day broke. The 18 M class was gridded first, so at 12:35 they were sent up as the sacrificial lambs of the day. After wallowing around in flat conditions for almost 45 minutes, we started to see some signs of encouragement, but to the north and back over the 7 mountains, which normally cause some logistical problems to get to, but fire off good lift much sooner on weak days. We quickly changed the logistics and sent the other 2 classes to a new release area that worked for what we saw. Not all went smoothly, as the launch took far too much time, but since we did nothing resembling launch practice yesterday, this was it. As with all things contest related, this will smooth out as we go along.

Needless to say, with a short window to fly in, and the possibility of late day OD, no one played start gate games on this day. Within seconds of the gate opening, we could hear call backs of start times, and literally within minutes of each class opening, everyone had gotten out of Dodge. The 2 FAI classes were both on 2 hour MAT’S, with Sports on a 1 and a half hour MAT. The best conditions existed to the north and northwest of the field, and the most used turnpoints I see today were Keystone, Spruce Creek and Mid State. To say they were all banged hard and early is an understatement, as most everyone came back under time, and the safety finish was activated as a rather hard rain over ran the field. The good news is nothing was damaged, but the bad news is I watched 1 very hairy landing in the driving rain. This could make for an interesting safety briefing 1 morning this week.

The score sheet will show that we got in a day, and most everyone I talked to admitted that it was fun while it lasted. A few guys reported being at and above 8,000 MSL, and very quickly turning to find that what was behind them was troublesome. A quick look at the score sheets shows that the most impressive day was had by SM, John Seymore, as he smoked his nearest competitor and second place finisher by 18 MPH. The other classes had not nearly that big of spread, but all protected themselves by not venturing too far from home, and using the close in turnpoints to the best advantage.

Tomorrow looks to be good, after that we shall see. I have learned from 15 years of flying, never to trust the weather people more than 3 days in advance, as they really do not know. Stay tuned for all the news that is fit to print.

Brian Glick

Chief Tow pilot, co-CM

Posted: 5/25/2009


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