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Region 5 East - May 9 at 2230

We pulled off our fifth contest day in a row, despite all the pessimism expressed at breakfast.

The forecast told us to expect moderate winds and intermittent thin overcast. In fact, we had both, but they were both survivable.

CD Frank Reid waited till the last minute and dialed the MAT down from 2 hours to 1.5 hours, for both classes. It was a perfect call, and we got the most out of a marginal day.

The sniffers did pretty well, in what the naysayers called a "sucker hole" in the overcast. Frank launched everybody, and both tasks were open by 1330. The run upwind to Camden was OK, but an hour after the starts, things began to look grim. Hartsville was out in the blue (grey, actually) and only a few headed that way. Those that did found enough lift to keep going, and were able to make the turn. The only choice from there was to head back to Bermuda High. Thanks mostly  to the wind (as opposed to the lift), they made it back home, barely.

Joerg Stieber (JS, 15 Meter Class) had his gear down and was entering the circuit when he ran into a thermal that eventually turned into six knots, under an overcast sky. He elected to go get one more turnpoint, Pageland (about 10 miles to the north).  John Mittel (BZ) did the same thing, without the low save at Bermuda High.  Consequently, John won the day in the 15 Meter Combined Class, with Joerg coming in second.  Both John and Joerg understand the value of consistent flying, and Joerg is now standing in first place with only one daily win.  John has three daily wins, coupled with two outlandings, and finds himself in second place overall. In third place today was Glenn Betzoldt (W), who was undertime by only a few seconds.

The only other pilot who was able to add an extra turnpoint was Jerzy Szemplinski (XG), who won the day in the 18 Meter Class, again. Richard Maleady (TO) was second for the day, and John Bojack (J4) was third. At dinner, John amused us by describing the frustration of occupying a position in the standings behind someone who has withdrawn from the contest!

Unbelievably, nobody landed out today.

Everyone got home in plenty of time for the BBQ dinner in the Briefing Hangar, another great meal provided by our hosts Frank and Jayne.  That party lasted until just a few minutes ago.

Tomorrow is the last day, and the pessimists have expressed their opinion about the possibility of flying. The rest of us are willing to wait and see.

Posted: 5/9/2014


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