Day 2 Report
Sometimes, you get lucky.
But before we get to the flying, there was an exchange at the pilots' meeting that was so enjoyable that it deserves reporting here. At the conclusion of the meeting, a certain well known entrepreneur currently marketing a well known fancy glide computer and moving map stands up and inquires publicly “Who is it that is selling the contest area sectional charts?**” The immediate response, from a certain University of Chicago Professor was “What does the ClearNav guy need with a map!?”. Equally immediate response from QV: “I merely wanted to check the accuracy of the map.”
The wx forecast this morning says it will be perfect until it falls apart, clouds over and starts to rain. The question remains: can we squeeze a task in? I'm getting a little behind here so you already know the answer: we had a ripper of a day, albeit a short one. On the grid, we could see the cloud deck approaching rapidly from the West... and great fields of isolated puffy Cu over the airport and off to the East and South. No start gate roulette today – each class is pretty well gone 20 minutes after opening.
Conditions out on course were a mix, as expected. Heading to the West, we flew right up to and under the approaching overcast, working thermals ranging from 3 to 5 knots marked by honest Cu. The thermals seemed to me to peter out well below cloud base, so once I got dialed in I bombed along in straight flight (on a cross wind leg – how neat is that?) with a top of about 5500 and left large gaggles working higher behind. Once making the required turnpoints, the smart money headed for the sun to the South and East. Isolated seven knotters were out there for the fortunate and persistent. Speeds reflected the strong conditions. Repeat winners in 18m and 15m, Bill Elliot at 78 mph (yeeeeehah!) and Hank Nixon at 68 mph in 18m and 15m, respectively. Baude Litt gets going in Std (despite lack of flaps) scoring 66 mph and Greg Shugg wins Sports in his Std Cirrus at 41 mph actual. Sports was last to launch today and that was a significant handicap on such a short soaring day. Final glides home were under thick cloud cover in smooth air. The rain showers began as I turned downwind to base for landing.
**Taylor and Amelia Blackburn are making beautiful laminated contest sectional charts in two sizes – really great (though the smaller of the two sizes is a bit tough for the bifocal generation). They've proven quite popular here at Perry and the eventual answer to Richard's question was that they are sold out. Email Taylor at soaringmaps at gmail dot com for more info.
-Evan Ludeman / T8