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Seniors Championship - March 7 Report

2010 Senior Contest – Seminole Lake Gliderport, Clermont Florida

Report for March 7

Weather for the first competition day was, as forecast, little different from what preceded it.  We again awoke to a hard frost with substantial ice on windshields.  But the sun did its work and with lower winds it was actually rather pleasant by grid time (11:30).  No cumulus clouds were visible at any time, but lift in the blue was mostly dependable, 3 to 4 knots to 4000 ft being typical.  This is scarcely a match for last year (which featured 10 straight 500-km days in central Florida, something to be expected perhaps once in 25 years) but is about as good as anything yet seen in 2010.

The task followed a friendly course a bit east of due south, past such towns as Winter Haven and Frostproof (which this winter no doubt failed to live up to its name).  The boldest pilots got as far as Sebring (one reported seeing cars racing around the track there).  Best distances for the Turn-Area Task were around 150 miles; best raw speeds were just under 60 mph.

Pending handicap tweaking, Tom Kelley in his ASG-29 (flying with 15 meters of wingspan) did it best, edging out several other US Team pilots: Chip Garner, Karl Striedieck, Dick Butler and Ken Sorenson. Frank Paynter was the only one in the top 6 who has not (yet) been on a US Soaring Team.

Unlike some past years, there is no great influx of new designs in this contest.  One exception is the Arcus Turbo, the new Schempp-Hirth 2-place ship.  Most pilots think of this a the “flapped Duo Discus”.  It looks to be the standard-setter in the new IGC 20-meter 2-seater class.

John Good

P.S.  Note from the scorer and IGC representative:  The 20-meter 2-seater class is not new.  But it has recently been approved for use in World Championships, beginning in 2014.


Posted: 3/7/2010


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