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Senior's Soaring Championship - Daily report

Report for March 17

The final day of the Senior Contest usually has a “banquet task”: a less-challenging course designed to get nearly everyone home in time to clean up and head to the contest banquet (a notable event).  Today, this looked like a tricky call based on a forecast for perhaps the best weather of the contest.  Drier air meant no chance of overdevelopment or rain, just strong lift and cloudbases possibly as high as 7500’ (quite impressive over terrain that averages around 150’ above sea level).  Could pilots be content with a shorter-than-normal task on such a day?  

We need not have worried.  The day was indeed drier – dry enough to present some blue holes that were not always easy to cross.  Best altitudes were decent (around 5500’), but well short of the optimistic predictions. Lift was sometimes strong, but almost all pilots occasionally had to take 2-knot climbs. Nearly everyone made it home, but speeds were well down from yesterday.  No “task was too short” complaints were heard.

And there was no shakeup at the top of the scoresheet.  The top three pilots had essentially the same scores and did not change their positions.  The 2012 Senior Champion is thus Doug Jacobs (MP).  Chip Garner (CG) was a close second, and Ken Sorenson (KM) was third.

Pilots who have been flying this contest for a number of years (of which there are a good many) agreed that this was a strong candidate for the best Senior Contest ever.  We had six straight days of mostly strong cloud-marked climbs, with winning distances consistently near or above 200 miles and speeds often in the sixties (and occasionally better).  Pilots ranged over the full extent of the task area.  Andreea and Florian Alexandrescu (who run the operation at Seminole Lake Gliderport) receive the highest possible marks for the job they do here.  We look forward to many Senior Contests to come.

 

John Good

Posted: 3/17/2012


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