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Open and Standard Class Nationals - Day 5 Evening Report

June 20 was the last day of the Region 11 Sport contest and fifth day for the Standard and Open Nationals.  The day dawned clear and bright, and looked good for soaring.  After a review of satellite loops and viewing projected soundings, it was apparent that cirrus clouds would be a factor in today’s soaring weather.  The task committee initially set up aggressive tasks to eastern soaring but chose more conservative backup tasks.  At the pilots meeting, the CD warned the pilots that the day’s task might be selected from the grid; the weather by then was looking poor because of the cirrus overcast.                      

By grid time, the overcast was becoming heavier but usable cumulus clouds were forming over the ridges in the Scott valley to the southwest.  After consultation with the task advisors, the CD changed the task to a 3-hour MAT with China being the only called turn.  The day looked like it might overdevelop so the pilots would have options to dodge showers. 


A sniffer was launched at 11:45 to Craggy peak as usual.  He found the lift weak and was barely able to sustain.  His comment was that it might be a little bit early.  Because of better looking clouds over the Gunsite ridge, the launch tows were redirected to Gunsite.  The start cylinder was changed to Gunsite.  Launching of Open Class started soon after 12:00.  Standard Class launch started at 12:50.  Open Class task was opened at 13:08 and Standard Class at 13:40.


Because of the longer tows, the towplanes began to run out of fuel, hence the Sport Regional launch was slowed even more.  Finally the Sport launch was completed by 13:57.  By then showers could be seen from the ground over the called turnpoint (China).  The CD consulted with the Sport Regional advisor and decided to scrub the Sport task.  The Sport Class Regional had be successful with five out of six days flown.  The top three places were held by Martin Grant, John Sinclair, and Richard Pfiffner.


The National classes now had their work cut out for.  They were able to get away in the nick of time to get around China and then try to find conditions that were not overdeveloped to accumulate some miles.  The Scott valley flying area is small enough that getting enough miles in 3 hours without exceeding 11 turnpoints was a tough task.  The overdevelopment and blue areas were so pervasive.  Most pilots put in a creditable show.  Open class placed Garret Willat in first, Ron Tabery was second, and Richard Butler came in third.    David Greenhill, Gary Ittner, and Dan Gradowski placed 1st, 2nd, and 3rd,  respectively, in Standard class.


A large group attended a catered banquet to celebrate the Region 11 contest and to announce officially the winner.  Because of the canceled task, no one was late to dinner.  Shasta Valley catered a tri tip meal that was excellent.  The hangar’s doors had to be closed because of cooled air and rain; a canopy was brought in to cover the barbeque pit brought in to cook the tri tip.  Everything worked, and it was a wonderful evening.

Posted: 6/21/2009


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