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Region 4 North - Day 1 Report

We're back at Fairfield for the last contest of the US season.   20 pilots and crews have gathered at the beautiful Mid Atlantic Soaring Center in Standard, Sports, and combined 18M/15M classes.   

Sunday dawned clear and crisp, though with scattered high cirrus passing over from time to time.   Weatherman Richard Kellerman said we could get in a task as long as we could get going early enough to beat the encroaching high cloud which would shut things down by late afternoon.  

We got the fleet in the air starting shortly after 12:15, and most of them stuck.    However, nobody was getting much above above tow release height.    I could see some nice Cu forming on the courseline, and the heating was coming up better than forecast.   I opened the gates at about 1:15, and was greated with deafening silence for the next 15 minutes.   One wag got on the radio to suggest "Just because it's open, doesn't mean we're gonna go..."   

As it turned out, things started cooking pretty nicely by 1:30, and most of the fleet went out on course within the next 20 minutes.   Early climbs were 2kts to 3,500 - 4,000, but things got significantly better a few miles from Fairfield.   Most Cu produced solid 3-4kt climbs to about 4,500, with a few stronger thermals mixed in.    Most folks went to the middle of the first two waypoints on our 3 turn AAT.   The winners used the full 2.5 hours by tiptoeing deeper into the encroaching gloom on the last turn.    Most of the fleet came in under time.     

Mike Higgins took the Standard class and flew the overall fastest flight of the day.   In the combined 18M/15M Erik Nelson took the day, outflying the long-wingers.    Karl Striedieck took the Sports Class with pilot/passenger Niv Levy in the back seat.  When asked what he learned on this flight, Niv replied "do the right thing at the right time".  Okay then.  Got it.   

Weather for the next two days is very unsettled courtesy of a monster low pressure system over the centeral United States.   Looks like glider fettling is on tap.  

P3 (CD)

Posted: 10/12/2014


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