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Region 3 Soaring Contest - Thu Aug 21 - FAI Day 4, Sports Day 3

We experienced an afternoon downpour on Wednesday and the weather remained calm and humid throughout the evening, overnight, and into early Thursday morning.

All indications were that Thursday would be un-soarable: hazy, hot, humid with a high probability of thunderstorms.  Well, you know what they say: “You’ve got to be on the property.”   We gridded and waited, even though it seemed that there was only a slight chance of flying.

Throughout the morning we watched some rather awesome cumulus build ups - complete with pileus - and the sky began to overdevelop.  By 1100, though, the winds turned westerly and the air was perceptibly drier.  Erik Mann kept checking the hourly obs and confirmed that Dansville and locations west were a few points drier than earlier in the day.  We didn’t get the dreaded haze and it was actually looking pretty good.

At 1230, sniffer George Hanke reported 3-4kts lift and 4000ft bases, so the fleet was launched.  The task was the same for both classes: a 2hr MAT with the first turnpoint mandatory - a choice between Seven Gullies, Avoca, Hornell, or Nunda.  After that, pilots could go wherever they wanted. 

It turned out to be a difficult and squirrely kind of day.  Some of the cloud streets worked but others didn’t.  5000ft cloudbases and 3-4kts lift was the best to be had, but certainly not the norm.  Most were happy to just make it home.  George Hanke said the best part of his flight was when he was sniffing!

Sean Murphy [XC] won the day in the FAI Class with a speed of 52.42/46.18 mph.  Tim Welles [W3] leapfrogs over SM for the overall lead.  The FAI Class is loaded with nationals caliber pilots and it’s been a great race to watch.  Although they got a day in, there was only one finish in the Sports Class: Jim Martin with a speed of 29.55/26.68 mph.  We thought Dan Yates [FTW] had his first contest finish, but it appears he just missed minimum distance: 38.88 miles.

So, we got a day in when we didn’t expect to.  Given all the incorrect forecasts for today, we’re not sure what to think regarding tomorrow.

Janine Acee
SM Ground

Posted: 8/21/2014


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