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Region V West - Day 1 Report

The Red Roof Inn in Etowah is where most of the pilots spent the night. They rose to weather exactly as forecast – cool and dry. A real change here from the heat.

There were no weather problems on course. The wind was light, there were no high clouds. And there were a lot of smiles at the end of the day.

 Frank Paynter  has an easy job calling the weather. Competition director  Francois Pin chose a south-then-north task that used the ridge.  The turn areas were set so the novice pilots could go short while the veterans  were challenged to fly 70.

 The first turn, Eton, was working well and the fast pilots went to the back of the 10-mile cylinder. Some climbs went to 5,000 msl with 5 knots on the averager.  A few climbs went another 500 feet and some saw 7 knots for a few turns. But searching for thermals in the blue reduced achieved climb rates. Sink seemed to pick up at low altitudes so staying high was more fun.

After Eton came a gear change. Heading north there was enough wind on the ridge to make it useful, so forget about turning. Corntassel,  was the northern turnpoint  with another 10-mile cylinder, then back to McMinn with 5.

The winning raw speed was 59 mph.

What wasn’t raw was the nicely cooked steak served with all the trimmings on the porch. With a gentle breeze and setting sun.

Even cooler weather is expected tonight, when temps could dip into the 50s. Most everyone tied out. Frank is hoping the boundary layer mixing today doesn’t put a damper on tomorrow. But he’s expecting plenty of sun and another good day.

Robin Clark "RF"

Posted: 9/4/2010


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