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Wurtsboro Region 2 - Day 1 Report

Greetings from Wurtsboro Airport and our Region 2 competition. Nestled hard up against Shawangunk mountain of the Appalachian chain,  Wurtsboro is an idyllic, old-time operation.  While my extensive team of fact checkers is still working on the exact details, it's clear that this is probably the "oldest new contest site" in this season's schedule.  Names such as Schweizer, Moffat, and Jacobs are part of the history here, with documented, major competitions going back to at least the 1930s.  This year's contest, while a relaxed, low-key affair, has drawn a solid field of seasoned competitors along with several first timers.   

Practice day featured chopped up thermals to between 5,000 and 6,000 MSL.   With lift diffucult to find predictably, most pilots used the day to get a good look at the local area and map out the key landing areas close in.  Being surrounded by various mountains including the Shawangunks and the Catskills, flying here requires good situational awareness to avoid being caught in a tricky situation.

Day 1 was a pleasant surprise.  Typically by this time of year, the Bermuda High has set up, resulting in weak lift and low visibilities.  Instead, we got decent lift (3-4 kts with up to 6kts around) to 6,000 MSL with 10 mile plus visibility.  The combined FAI Classes used this weather to run down the Shawangunk/Kittatiny mountains on an AAT using Blairstown and Lewis Landing with large circles.  Gregg Leslie (GL)  showed the way, claiming an "easy" run except at the furthest edge of the first turn.   The faster guys were able to stay over the high ground and bump along, stopping only for the better stuff.  Your scribe made a tactical run for the SE corner of the turn area, only to arrive under a large area of over development.   Half a knot was very welcome!  

The Sports Class consists of several veteran competitors and a number of new comers.  Both Valley Soaring Club and Aero Club Albatross are well represented.   Their task on Day 1 was an AAT over the forgiving Middletown Valley.  The majority made it around, with speeds in the low 40s.  The winner for the day was the Valley Soaring team with Calvin Mampe in command of the ASK-21, ably assisted by FO Hank Nixon.   At 15, Calvin is by far the youngest competitor here, and he will be tough to beat as the week goes on.

That's it for now.  I'm working with limited internet access from a cabin up in the woods, so there may be some gaps in reports.  Bear with us.

Erik Mann (P3)
Contest Weather Guesser

Posted: 7/18/2010


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