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Region 5 South - Meeting New friends In The Fields Of Georgia

At the morning weather brief, Fernando did not give out many positive vibes for the task area. A high pressure system was right overhead the airport and the forecast of high cirrus threatened to put a damper on the day. At grid time the cirrus did not appear and the high temperature for the day was raised on the local weather report. Our sniffer for the day was 5U and after securing his motor Sam reported good climbs to nearly 4,000 feet. The launch began and after only 40 minutes all classes were airborne. On the airport we actually had a guest starter to open the gate for the 18 meter class. Alexis, the granddaughter of our scorer Larry Goodard, made the call and was immediately answered by Henry Retting who asked the CD to stop sucking helium before using the radio.   

While the pilots were on task the ground crew took some well deserved rest and journeyed to the local Dairy Queen for some ice cream. After a short break we returned to the airfield only to see the first of the returning sailplanes. Surprised that the pilots were returning early we soon discovered that the day had turned very weak. We also found out the first of the land outs occurred and trailers were soon being readied for the retrieves. A total of 10 ships safely landed out with 2 additional aircraft started their motor while on course. I was hiding for a short period when it was pointed out that the entire Sports Class either landed out or had started a motor to return to Cordele. A number of pilots watching the carnage on line then started sending texts poking the CD. I am sure this good natured ribbing will continue tomorrow at the pilot's meeting.

Everyone was sending pictures of the field they landed in so the retrieve office decided to grade the choices our pilots made. In the end, Mitch Deutsch in 6i landed at a sod farm where the grass looked to be headed for a high end golf course to be used on a golf green.   There were so many retrieves our entire ground crew was sent out help.  At the end of the day, the ground crews were treated to a number of very good meals and returned to the hotel with smiles on their faces.

Results were delayed due to the number of land outs but Larry was able to get almost all the logs in due to the timeliness of the pilots submitting them. We were happy to see George Vakkur (GV) win the day in Sports Class by travelling more miles and scoring an airfield bonus.  George is a long time competitor and a local Seminole-Lake pilot. In 18 Meter Class Henry Retting continued his excellent flying by completing 136.54 miles at 54.20 mph.  The FAI Combined Class was won by Jason Arnold flying at 45.92 mph for nearly 120 miles.  This was Jason's first daily win and it is well deserved.  The day was very tough and these three pilots put forth outstanding flights.

Two forecasters sitting at the hotel were heard to remark, "the problem with being the weatherman and flying is you tend to believe your forecast".  

With two days remaining in the contest, Tim McGowing is leading the Sports Class by 108 points while Henry Retting is running away with contest in 18 Meter.  FAI Combined is very close with Sarah Arnold locked in a race with Robin Clark trailing by 8 points. Billy Kerns and Francois Pin are less than 100 points behind and within striking distance for the lead.  The weather for tomorrow is looking better and I'm sure a racing task is in store for our pilot's.  

Sorry for the delay in this report but I was treated to an outstanding dinner cooked by Chris and Gary Carter in their RV. Dennis Linnekin, Nanette and Henry Retting provided the entertainment that was so funny I was forbidden to tell any of the stories in this report. It was a  great evening with friends a nice break from the contest trailer. Stay turned for another exciting day tomorrow!

Rich (ZO) CD    

Posted: 6/9/2016


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