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Region 4 South - Day 2 for Real Report

 

 

 

22Sep10

New Castle 2nd Contest Day

 

I really don’t know where to start there are so many exciting stories about the 2nd contest day at R4S New Castle. The morning weather briefing indicated a good soaring day with possibility of overdevelopment if the temperature reached its predicted 87-88 deg in the 1400 time frame. With the chances of a midafternoon overdevelopment in the task area the task advisors selected an Assigned Area Task with three turns each having 15mi radius. The turn points were southwest 25mi to Blacksburg, then back northeast 54mi to Riverwood and finally back southwest 52mi to Mountain Lake. The spread in distances went from a minimum of 66 to maximum of 245mi. The 15m and 18m had a minimum time of 3:00 hr and the standard class 2hr 30min.

 

From the start of the day at 1200 noon through most of the afternoon the surface temperature was about 2deg ahead of predicted values so things started to cook early and continued for the remainder of the day. Jim Smiley our sniffer was launched at 1210, reported lift to 6000msl shortly thereafter and launching of the fleet commenced at about 1230. By 1345 the start gate for all classes was open and the pilots wasted no time in getting on course. Without exception the pilots reported fantastic conditions for the first hour with very little circling and altitudes of 7-8k msl altitude. As you might guess when things are going up that good in the Eastern US something has got to happen and happen it did about 1430 with vertical development of the clouds resulting in isolated thunderstorms in all quadrants.  As the day progressed the storms continued to build such that by 1600, about when the pilots were setting up there final glide, the CD had to call a safety finish because of a isolated storm over the field. None of the contestants used the safety finish but it remained in effect for approximately 15min.

 

Most pilots in all classes elected to not go deep into the Blacksburg first turn because it was blue past the turn point. As the fleet approached the second turn at Riverwood the sky started to become interesting with isolated cells making it tricky to penetrate deep in the turn. One of the guys to thread the needle between storms in the second turn was Dennis Linnekin (DL) in the 15m class and made it work to his advantage with a second place finish in his class. The winner in the 15m class and best speed of the day for all classes was Karl Striedieck (KS) with a speed of 67mph . Karl elected to go about midpoint in the first turn, not deep in the second turn but deep in the last turn. As Karl came out of the second turn he was able to run a gust front almost the entire distance to the third turn point. You know this KS guy may have a future in contest soaring.

 

Henry Retting (R) was first in the Standard Class with a speed 64mph, almost as good as the 18m guys. Henry said he felt right at home dodging thunder storms since his home is in South Fla where afternoon thunderstorms are the norm for summer soaring. Henry also was able to use the gust front as KS did going from the second to the third turn point.

 

In the 18m class John Murray (LX) showed the boys how to go fast with a speed of 65mph.  John had a flight similar to the other fast pilots by going near the midpoint of the first turn point, not far into the second and deep in the third circle. John dodged storms while in the second turn cylinder often climbing in rain but in the end obviously zig and zaged when the time was right, good flight LX

 

As one can see from the score sheet a lot of flights less than minimum time were logged. On this day being a few minutes under time was the prudent thing to do rather than being caught by a storm and not making it back to the field. Skip Pate (P8) and Rob Ware (DI) had excellent flights up until the last 10mi when they got caught with the thunderstorm encompassing New Castle and couldn’t make the 5mi radius safety finish having to land a few miles short of the field, both picked a good field and everything is ok.

 

Tomorrows prediction is for a classic soaring day with Cu and good lift, lets hope it turns out to be true.

 

Dick Butler, CD

Posted: 9/22/2010


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