One word: Smokin'!
The day starts with pessimist and weatherman Scott Fletcher predicting okay soaring with a few trouble spots, extensive cloud mid afternoon and all that. Actually, Scott's doing a fine job, but he does tend to under sell.
On the grid, 15m is back of the pack today so we have time to trade barbs. We notice a glider low in the pattern setting up to land over the grid. The first comment is unmentionable. Then someone says "it's DB", another says "okay, now I'm not worried". Another: "wonder what he's coming back for?". Immediate reply: "I think he just finished yesterday's task!"
In the air, it's immediately evident that it's a really good day and that it's pretty dry -- few cu. Sports gets a 2.5 hour MAT, 18m a 3 hr TAT, 15m and Std a 2.5 hr TAT. I get my 20B going with a couple of 27s with capable pilots and we trade licks and have a great ole time for the first leg and a half. I dust 'em (yes, really. Mother Nature helped by giving me some better air.) and get so full of myself that I start blowing through gaggles on course. This works great until I run into the inevitable blue and then it's slow. Stumble once on a fast 2.5 hour task, and you're toast. 65 mph feels pretty good to me, but it's only good for twelvth today in 15m.
Jerry Zieba pops up out of the grave to win the day in 15m in his beautiful Diana 2 at 72 mph. Mark Keene -- proving that inside every standard class glider is a 15m racer dying to get out -- posts 73 mph. Sports goes to Robin Clark for the second day in a row at 65 mph, with Sarah Kelly 3 points behind for the day and still in the overall lead. Sam Zimmerman collects the win in 18m at 76 mph.
Dinner tonight is a steak cookout benefit for the US team and it is, of course, terrific.
-Evan Ludeman / T8