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20m Multi-Seat Nationals - Day 4

Hi race fans,

This morning dawned bright and beautiful and the sky looked clear all around. My drive to the airport was finally free of fog and low clouds. I was beginning to think I lived in England! When I arrived at the airfield I was delighted by the sight of most gliders put together and it was only 8 AM. At the 9:30 pilots meeting we heard from yesterday’s winners, Team KS, Karl and Sara. Karl has been taking turns with his back seater and making her finish up the flight description, this morning Sara did her best SM imitation. It was short and sweet and she sat down to lots of laughs. Next we heard about today’s weather, John Good briefed on what QV reported. The day was predicted to be blue, 2-3 knots lift to only 4500 feet and the worst of all, it was to quit early. A quick look out the window and we all said, BLUE……REALLY? There were already cue and nice looking ones that when seen this early usually lead to over development. At least some of us were skeptical of that, Based on the predictions of an early end to the day; the CD set 11:30 grid time. The original task was changed at the last minute due to what SM called “grousing and groaning” about going east toward the river on a weak day. 

The sniffer went up at 11:35 and promptly reported back 3 knots to 4,000 on the first climb. 15 minutes later the launch was underway and all were aloft very quickly. The sky looked very nice and was not blue at all. Racer reports had the first leg as being very easy with few turns involved. W3 reported going to the center of that turn. It was on the way out that things dropped off. Suddenly, according to Tim the clouds that looked good all had a 1 finger salute in the middle when he got there. He tip toed just to the north of the home field trying to reach the second turn but just could not. He started the new electric motor and came home. At least 2 other guys motored home as the day was weak at the end.

Most managed to find something good out of it as the folks who earned speed points all had well over nominal distance as well. In fact, the day winner had the longest flight 179.95 miles unhandicapped. That is impressive for a day that looked like a bucket of spit at the end. Congratulations to LI, Gaisford and Mandlebaum for getting the most out of it.

There was no meal tonight so everyone is on their own and the field was pretty peaceful at 7:30. Several locals were flying as the local EAA chapter met tonight. I also had a conversation with a competitor where he pointed out something I was not aware of. Every glider in this race has a current or former US team member in it. Wow, that is stiff competition. There are several very young racers that are entered as teams and all are flying well. One who is entered as a single entry with a pilot back seater is PP, Noah Reitter. Noah started flying competitions only a few years ago and he is doing well. He started slow but has steadily climbed the score sheet to a very close second place over all.

I am not sure what tomorrow will bring. Most believe it is a wash out, but the local spam can forecast does not. We will show up and see if we can get another day in. Wish us luck.

 

Brian Glick   

Posted: 5/21/2018


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