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Region 11 Soar Truckee FAI - Race Day 1 for real - Have fun

It was again as windy as forecast, conditions were characterized by the CD as “poor” and he was being perhaps lenient. But we are here to race and with no marked improvement expected for the next few days (and in consideration of probably inconsistent wave conditions) a zero turn MAT was called. The one requirement of the day, the CD said, was to “have fun”.

The definition of ‘fun’ surely does not include wrestling gliders around in 20 knot wind gusts and trying to weigh them, but eventually the gliders were gridded and launched.

The thermals were wind sheared and not terribly strong, by working them high enough wavelets could be found. Many contestants elected not to leave the Truckee valley, fearing that the strong southwest wind would make a return very difficult. There were enough turn points within its confines to string together a slow but legal task. Others ventured north east towards Airsailing - a few of them were rewarded with a landout and retrieve from Reno Stead airport. I’m quite sure they had fun.

Steve Koerner (GW) won the day by flying a loop north of air sailing, mostly in thermal lift. He was able to gain enough near Stead to sneak through the Verdi ridge gap and get home at a raw speed of 62 mph (handicapped to 52). Tony Gaechter (1A) did a similar out and return to near Air Sailing but managed to find wave to 17,000 ft. Accompanying this was a fierce headwind, but he found the wave  again near Stead and was able to glide into Truckee. Another strategy by Luke Ashcroft (LA) and John Cochrane (BB) was to find wave near Truckee which they were able to follow all the way to Quincy to the west. Jim Lee (1X) turned in the fastest time of those lapping the valley, taking 4th for the day.

Tomorrow’s forecast has a bit less wind and perhaps stronger thermals. 

Reported by Jon Fitch (L6) with a blistering 32 mph handicapped speed.

Posted: 7/21/2016


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