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Open and Standard Class Nationals - Day 9 Pilots Meeting Report

25 June 2009

At the beginning of today’s meeting, Garret (H4) and Boyd Willat (JP) showed slides of Boyd’s glider wings packed on either side of Garret’s trailer until they have loaded a glider sandwich inside the biggest fifth wheel available. The fuselage of the Discus A rests on the fifth wheel’s bunk bed.  While the fifth wheel is in transit, anyone wanting to get in or out would need to crawl over a glider, but once it’s docked and the gliders are unloaded, the brothers have two gliders, a living space, and a car at the contest site.

Open Class winner Garret Willat left the start at 7500’ with 12.1 knots out of the start cylinder. Not finding anything at China, he saw two Open Class ships ahead, so he had two good markers. The thermal there was good, so he went back to take it again, and then took off to look for Deer Mountain with SS and YO. After he picked up Copco, he went back to Siskiyou. He was going to go back to Craggy but then found a line of convergence. Little clouds kept forming in front of him. Taking  Callahan, he thought he would stay with it to China, following the sheer line back. “The clouds didn’t work, but they made me feel better,” said Willat. “I didn’t see many people, but when I did, they were below me, so I decided to stay high.” He saw gliders marking something at Deer Mountain, picked up China, and contemplated going back out to desert. But then he remembered a morning phone exhortation from Heinz Weisenbuller (HW): “Don’t do anything stupid.” He went back to Weed, then home.

Standard Class winner Gary Ittner (P7) started on the early side, “4 knots out the top, but that seemed good enough to me.” He wanted to get high enough to go straight to Antelope. After a reasonably good run to China, Ittner had a satisfactory run across the valley, but then when he got there, he failed to connect with anything. So he kept gliding to Tennant, low, and got down to 1000’. Things got better, much better. Ittner went to 13,000’ and got Three Sheds so he could keep the same thermal. He went back to Deer Mountain, which didn’t work at all. Venturing out unsuccessfully a couple of times, he kept returning to the same thermal and then finally headed west. Getting low while trying to get into Siskiyou Valley, he went back to Deer Mountain. By then he could see clouds on the sheer line. There he didn’t see anything to climb in, but he could glide straight ahead without losing altitude. He went back to Carter, then to Weed, then began his final glide home.

Posted: 6/25/2009


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