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Region 11 North-Montague - Day 2 Report MAL

Day 2 Open Class Winner MAL submited report as follows:

Today’s conditions suited the long wings on the ASW22BL, especially at the Restaurant turnpoint.  A slower speed, longer glide, allowed more distance overall.  Talking with the other open pilots, it was clear that I won because I overall had fewer mistakes.  Not that I made fewer, but I was able to correct them for the most part and move on.  I got low a couple times because I passed up a thermal, thinking there would be one down the ridege, but found nothing for quite some time.  Again, slowing down and using the longer glide got me to an area of lift each time.  There was however one point, behind a number of ridges, that I was nearing a choice point to either be a little stupid with the “push to race”, or be safe and head for the gap out.  I caught a thermal under a “whispy” about then.  But there is that fine line in racing, where one has a comfort zone,  and then there has to be a “safe zone”.   

 With my lighter wing loading today, I found it mentally difficult to watch the heavier (wing loading) ships speed ahead and away today.  I made the mistake of trying to keep the same speed and lost too much altitude, so I realized I needed to fly my own race and my own plane.  I also relax more when I set my own pace.  

  I made about three major decisions that basically turned out neutral or helpful.  One was returning to the start, having started out the top the first time.  The second start, I stayed a couple hundred feet below the top, and the lift was strong all the way to the edge, allowing good speed to start.  The other good choice was to go deep into the turn points, flying slower for distance rather than speed.  The final was to make sure my time was close to the required 3 hours. Other pilots had much faster speeds but finished early.  

 Thanks to the CD and the task coordinators, this is truly being run as a regional contest rather than a national, allowing all of us a chance to learn in the process. The tasks our demanding and challenging for everyone, but they also allow everyone to fly their best and not be continuously overextended and uptight.  Plus the other open class pilots are willing to share their knowledge, stories about each day’s flight, and discuss the mistakes that made the difference.  It is truly a learning environment, and a racing one at the same time. 

By the way, Montague is a great airport to fly out of, even for the big ships, and the “Mayes Team” (includes all involved in making this happen) are doing an excellent job.   MAL

Posted: 6/11/2013


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