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Open and Standard Class Nationals - Day 6 Pilots Meeting Report

22 June 2009

“Saturday went to worms,” said CD Nelson Funston. Commenting on having scrubbed  the Sports Class day, Funston said, “I would have liked to shut down Standard, took but the task was already open. It was too late.”

Open Class winner Garret Willat(H4) began his flight Saturday thermaling with Ron Tabery (SS), then Rick Walters (CW) and Dick Butler (DB). When DB headed off, Willat contemplated a re-start, but then SS started, and Willat decided to go as well. Even then, he wanted to go back to Siskiyou and re-start. After Antelope, Willat headed straight to Scott Valley, where he connected with a shelf of lift, flying 80 to 90 km per hour in the rain. Toward the end of his flight, he found himself running out of turnpoints and spent some time working with his PDA, trying to figure out where to go next. “Then I realized flying might not be a bad idea,” and he returned eyes to sky. He returned to Callahan, which was a mistake, since the rain was getting thicker there, and ended up returning overtime, trying to make up for what he still felt was a bad start.

In Standard Class, David Greenhill (16) also struggled at the start, trying to stay up in weak lift. He was the first out and saw rain at China. He headed on, in survival mode, through the rain south of China. He flew local triangles in the valley, thinking the day would die early. But on the way back, he saw the shelf Willat and others discovered, and the day switched, changing from survival mode to racing mode. He, too, was flying 80 to 90 km per hour. As the shelf moved over Scott Valley, Greenhill followed the edge of it, doing 100 knots. He got R Ranch as a bonus and returned home at 4:00.

Even though watching the storms was nerve-wracking for the crews, some found that the hard rain and slushy hail cleaned all the bugs off the wings, making their jobs on the ground easier.

Gena Tabery


Posted: 6/25/2009


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