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Region 4 South - Contest Day 2 Report

Day 4 Contest Report-24Sep09


Today was our second contest day and we now officially have a regional contest. It was an exciting day with challenging conditions from start to finish as indicated by our 7 competitors who landed out. We woke this morning with clear skies overhead with some high cirrus to the North. Ray Galloway assured the advisors at there 9:00am meeting that the Cirrus would not be a factor if we kept the task out of the West Virginia task quadrant. The weather forecast called for lift of 3-4kt with clouds at the 5-6k level. The tricky part was that there were thunderstorms forecast in the task area in the 3-4pm time frame. Since we under called yesterdays task we tried hard to find a task that would challenge all level of pilots and at the same offer safe landing fields if the forecast storms materialized. The task was a TAT with three turn points. The first TP was McCoyFalls about 30 miles down the ridge to the South West, with the second TP back 65mi to the North East to Ingalls. The third TP was back toward home at Blacksburg which is about 25mi South East of New Castle. The TP’s had cylinders of 15,20 and 15mi radius respectively. All classes were assigned the same task with a 2.5hr minimum. This combination of TP’s and radius resulted in a minimum task length of xxmi and a maximum length of xxmi. Even though the task legs parallel ridges conducive to ridge running the winds were forecast to be light with little potential for ridge lift. As it turned out the ridge running was not a factor into today’s task.  


Because of the thunderstorm potential we grided the fleet at 11:30 and launched our sniffers Jim Smiley and Eric Nelson under cumulus skies. Jim and Eric reported good soaring conditions after a few minutes and we immediately commenced launching the fleet at 12:00 noon. The 15m and 18m were launched first with the standard class bringing up the rear. After the first two classes were launched it was becoming obvious that we were in for some overdevelopment. Jim Frantz (2H) our standard class advisor suggested to the CD that we should consider reducing minimum time for the standard class because of there late start and the overdevelopment potential, which we did.


Most pilots started the task very soon after the respective gates opened in the 1:00pm time frame. After interviewing some of the fast guys and not so fast guys it became apparent it was not a day to push. Most of the guys that had good speed used the old Dick Johnson cliché “Get High and Stay High”. Although there were clouds over most of the task area there was definitely an operating band below which you did not want to penetrate. As Ray had predicted the thunderstorms did materialize in the South West quadrant over the last TP Blacksburg. Fortunately most of the pilots had enough distance in there pocket that they did not have to penetrate to far into the Blacksburg circle. Overall the task did provide a challenge for both the new and experienced contest pilots. Winners for the day were Herbert Kilian in the standard with 60mph, Roy McMaster in the 15m with 59mph and John Murray in the 18m with 56mph. The standard class showed the other two classes how to do it today. Way to go Herbert. As you can see there is a real race developing in the 18m class with the first three pilots within 33 points of each other and in the Standard Class with the first two within 54pts. It should be interesting over the next two days.


Tomorrow looks like a soaring day with Saturday not so good. Here is hoping we get a good day in tomorrow and squeak something out for Saturday. dick

Posted: 9/24/2009


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