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Day 3

Although the Bermuda High Soaring School has a strong reputation for youth programs (including a formal relationship with a nearby STEM high school), one of the challenges we face is getting enough young volunteers to support our competitions. Most of this can be attributed to the fact that school is still in session this time of year.

This year the problem was solved by importing a group of young adults from Florida, the same terrific volunteers we have at the Seniors. They are Zach Kessler, Austin Howard, Powell Stone, Patrick Good, and Jenna Ehrlich. This indefatigable crew starts running the minute the launch starts, and they don’t stop running until after the last glider takes off. A few days ago we had an aborted takeoff, and not even this slowed them down. In no time flat, they ran out to the glider, pushed it back into position, and sent it on its way without losing any appreciable time.

What would we do without them? Well, we may find out, as they are no longer available after today. Starting tomorrow, a small group of senior citizens will be out there running ropes and hooking up gliders. Tomorrow I’ll let you know how that went, provided I survive the experience.

Today was fun. Our post-frontal conditions were about as expected. The air was clear and there were cumulus clouds early on. The forecast called for a cloudless sky after 16:00 and moderate westerly winds all day. At one point in his morning briefing, Fernando told us that the last updrafts of the day would start in the mid levels, not at the ground.

We went with a 183 mile bow-tie shaped AT. It would have been a bit longer, but the forecast wind and blue conditions dictated a small amount of conservatism. In fact, the wind was not as big a factor as expected, and the cumulus persisted until dinnertime. The speeds were higher than we thought they would be, with 11 pilots over 60 mph.

The winner was Bob Fletcher, at 66 mph. He deviated well north of the first leg courseline, to stay with the better-looking clouds, and he otherwise avoided getting too far off course.

Photo #15123 | May13 90

Second place went to Sean Murphy who was only a minute behind Bob and is now in the overall lead, and Dave Springford took third.

Sergei Morozov landed in chest-high wheat, on the final leg, thankfully with no damage.

Photo #15124 | MS Wheat

Other than that everyone made it home, including John Godfrey, who made a very long final glide from cloudbase and confirmed empirically Fernando’s prediction that it would be silky smooth at low altitude at the end of the day.

At the hangar party we were joined by Eric Mozer and Richard Maleady, who brought us news about IGC, and preparations for Hobbs, respectively.

-Rick

Posted: 5/13/2019


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