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Senior Soaring Championship - Mar 15 Report

In central Florida in early March, the unhabituated visitor can still detect the distinctive and notably pleasant scent of orange blossoms. But this is a passing thing, in the process of fading away entirely. 30 or more years ago this was prime commercial orange grove territory, but a trend toward an increasing number of frost days in winter has driven orange growers to the south of this state. Here, the old groves are largely abandoned (they slowly give way to housing developments) and fewer blossoms emerge every year.

Recent weather at Seminole Lake Gliderport reflects this: this morning was the third straight day of thick frost on wings and windshields, during what most reckon to be overall the coldest Senior Contest ever. This was the third day after the passage of a large cold front, and it did indeed warm up a bit, but it was uncharacteristically something of a step down from yesterday, offering another severely blue day and a reasonable soaring task only to pilots willing to struggle a bit.

Once again the best result was turned in by local favorite Rich Owen, who did 52 mph over a course of 109 miles. With one day to go, this puts him in first place overall, by some 47 points. Within 100 points is a formidable group consisting of Fernando Silva, Ken Sorenson, Doug Jacobs and John Seymour. Tomorrow’s forecast is for more blue conditions, higher temperatures and some hard racing.

Posted: 3/15/2018


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