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15M Nationals - Day 3 15m Nationals , Final day Club Class

Friday, May 15, 2009


15m Nationals and Club Class Regionals at Cordele GA


Today wraps up the Club Class regional contest, and although Wally Berry took a first place for the day he was unable to make up the points he lost with yesterday's landout.   The winner Ryszard Krolikowski  was using a borrowed ship that he was actually flying for the first time during this contest, a difficult thing to do....especially to win with it.  I was told that Ryszard once flew for the Polish National team, and his talents showed through at this contest.

The contest organizers thanked the Club Class contestants for coming as their presence really helped the Mid-Georgia Soaring Association's  financial spreadsheet to stay in the black for this whole Cordele operation.   Never treated as second class citizens, CD Sam Giltner however assured that deference was given to the National  15m contest over the Regional event  with several considerations like trailer parking convenient to the water ballast hoses and grid position for the launches at the front.


Having both classes together made for some interesting times in the air.   Mark Keene said seeing the open Cirrus along on one leg of his task was nostalgic and brought back memories of soaring times past.  Wally Berry remarked about how he can usually fly with the modern 15m ships and stay with them for at least 2 or 3 thermals, but not this heavily ballasted 15m Nationals bunch!   "They're gone by me and then in about a minute I can't even see them."


There was some good racing going on in the 15m class today!  The weather was the most classic Cordele day we've had yet at this contest with bases rising to 4000 feet MSL.  Consistent, easily worked lift in the 3 knot range was around for the start of the task, all marked by big fat cu.  As the day progressed, bases remained about the same, but the cumulus grew and some dropped rain shafts down that had to be avoided.  It was a MAT task with only one mandatory turnpoint,  so negotiating the sky was totally up to the pilots, and the lift was abundant.   The sky around Cordele was filled with gliders and it was almost impossible to fly alone, even if you wanted to.   Find a good thermal and 2 or 3 gliders would come from any direction to join it.   Get low and need lift, cruise for a few miles and a circling glider could be found to mark some lift.   Great fun!


Tom Kelley and Eric Mozer were all smiles at the post flying party sponsored by Eastern Sailplane.  Their speeds were in the 70's, and evidently the flights were fun and exhilarating.  Several pilots started the task late and got into trouble due to the converging cumulus and rain showers.  It didn't bother Mark Keene, as he was the last finisher and came in with water ballast streaming  against a very dark stormy sky.   He later related to us how he learned to fly with thunderstorms  in Texas and he used this knowledge to harness their strong lift to his benefit today.   John Murray did not fare as well and got shot down by a rain shower less than 6 miles from the airport while on final glide.  Well, he threw a great after flying party with Linda anyway.


More news as it comes.....if it comes, as rain showers are forcasted with increasing probability through the weekend.





Posted: 5/15/2009


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