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Region 3 Soaring Contest - Contest Day 6

Region 3 – Dansville NY – Contest Day 6 – 25 Aug 2012

We were still under the influence of high pressure on the last day of the contest.  The weather started to shift to a more summer-like feel.  Southeasterly winds kicked in and it was a bit hazier.  Thankfully, the wind was not strong enough to require an elephant walk to the other end of the airport.

The FAI task was a 3 hour TAT: Elkland Bridge, Belfast, Penn Yan and return, with large circles. Sports flew a 2.5 hour TAT to Monterey, Alfred, Avoca, and return.  Cloudbases were similar to previous days (7-8000ft), but thermals were further apart and did not always work well.  Some pilots were able to take advantage of the cloud streets but just as many struggled from thermal to thermal, taking 2-3knotters more frequently than they expected to.  Staying above 5000ft was still a key strategy.

We had two new day winners today.  Bob Salvo [RS] took first in Sports with a handicapped speed/distance of 53.24mph/132.89mi (54.88/137 actual).  Gregg Leslie [GL] cruised along cloud streets early in his flight to help him win the day in FAI with a handicapped speed/distance of 59.06mph/180.96mi (67.11/205.64 actual).

Matt Seymour [6M] flew consistently well all week and won the contest in the Sports Class.  He was focused and a quick-study, utilizing information from Hank's ground school and SM's briefings.  It should be noted that Matt was not only flying an “old-fashioned” glider, he was also navigating the “old-fashioned” way…with a sectional, “whiz wheel” (pre-GPS glide computer), and his eyeballs.  He had to estimate his proximity to the turnpoint /cylinder edge.  So pilots take note: You do not need fiberglass or the latest technology to be competitive!  Matt dedicated his win to his grandfather, Ed.  Ed and Betty’s ashes are scattered on the ridge east of the airport where Ed spent so much time in 6M, so we know they were looking down on this week’s events and smiling; the late Kai Gertsen would be pleased, too.  Matt was definitely bitten by the competition bug, so expect to see more of him on the circuit in the future. 

Team K21 (Hank Nixon and Charlie, Rachel, Michelle, and Ryan) kept Matt on his toes, and took second place overall in Sports.  The Juniors did the bulk of the flying, so kudos to them on a solid contest!  Bob Salvo [RS] kept improving over the course of the week and ended up in third place.

John Seymour [SM] fought off tough competition to win the FAI Class.  So we have a first-ever “Seymour Sweep” at a contest, and appropriately enough, it was at their home field!  Sean Murphy [XC] flew well and was nipping at SM’s heels all week.  But he couldn’t quite catch up and placed second overall.  Peter Scarpelli [CA] had one bad day, but fought back to third place.

We had a terrific week on a variety of levels.  The weather was the best ever at Dansville for a Region 3 contest.  Good soaring 7 of 8 days, including the practice day.  This was a highly competitive contest, especially in the FAI Class, but it still retained the low-key, informal feel of a regional.  Ann Lafford made the Pilots Meetings fun with her “Best Effort” (flamingo hat) and “Whimper & Whine” (pacifier) awards.  Pilots started ratting on each other in an attempt to keep from receiving an award themselves!  The food was delicious, thanks to Chef Jesse Sullivan and Sous-Chef Linda Evenski.  The younger pilots (Rachel, Michelle, Ryan, Alex, Matt, Andy, Nikola - our next generation of competition pilots) put in good flights, had a fun time, and continued to forge friendships that will hopefully last for decades on and off the contest circuit.

Thanks to everyone who made this such an enjoyable and well-run event: Contest Manager Ann Lafford; Contest Director Jacquie Doherty; Advisors Hank Nixon, Tim Welles, and Roy McMaster; Weatherman Andy Gough; Operations Director and Chief Tow Pilot Rick Lafford; Tow Pilots Pete Neal, Rick Klingenberger, Ted Timmons, and - with the Harris Hill tug - Dave Welles, Guerry Howard, Justin McMaster, Ryan Smith, and Brian Cotton; Line Crew Alex Moore, Ryan McMaster, Rachel and Michelle Conklin, Lynne Gough; Scorer and Scoring Apprentice Rick Roman and Jesse Sullivan; Roll Times Lois Schumanski; Registration Helga Gertsen; Retrieve Office Linda Evenski, Helga Gertsen, and Lois Schumanski; Social Coordinator Linda Evenski.

Janine Acee
SM Ground

Posted: 8/25/2012


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