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Region 9 North - Day 3 Report

Racing Fans,

Drat and Durn, here comes that TFR again!   Although we could see no physical evidence of the fire, the TFR was still posted; once again limiting our options. 

Faced with the limited options, the task selection committee decided to send the pilots EVERYwhere else besides the TFR.  This meant that once again, we had to use an alternative drop zone and 2,500 ft tows to safely launch the fleet.  We called a 2 1/2 hour TAT with 4 turnpoints  Just to be on the safe side, we also called that same MAT task as yesterday as a backup task.

The weatherman called for weaker conditions than yesterday with a chance for a few thunderstorms and overdevelopment.  Lift was predicted to be in the 4 to 6kt. range with the lift between 12,000 to 14,000 ft.  In light of this, the CD called for an earlier 12:30pm launch. 

The sky was looking good, so we started the launch at 13:15.  The launch was progressing nicely when over my shoulder,  I heard the rolling boom of thunder. As I turned around much to my suprise, I could see a large cell building over our drop zone.  The AWOS told me the storm was 4 miles away, when some of the pilots waiting to be launched saw lightening.  Just as I was considering holding the launch, I literally watched the cell fly into the valley and out of our way.    The rest of the launch proceeded smoothly with a few re-lites.

Out on course, the conditions proved to be stronger than predicted, although made a bit more challenging by large areas of sink, which required deftly changing gears to be successful.  Just to make things interesting, the wind increased out of the southwest to 30 miles per hour at altitude.

The really neat thing about today was Bruno Vassel winning the sports class task after missing the last required turnpoint yesterday.  You may recognize the name from all the GREAT Youtube video's Bruno has posted in the last two years.  Bruno flew at 80 mph and showed he had the "right stuff".

An interesting coincidence that happened today, was SD - Richard Pfeiffner (or Craggy Aero) landed out in a field...(amazingly, as he always lands at airports).  When he was getting out of the cockpit, he was greeted by the farmer of the field with a cold beer.  The farmer then helped him out of the field, and took him to the local bar for drinks while waiting for a retrieve.  Amazingly it turned out to be the same bar (and bartender, Deb) as Y-Colin Barry and BF-Bob Faris found yesterday after landing out.  I guess the city of Grace, Idaho really likes glider pilots.

We topped off the evening with a GREAT dinner again supplied by Leading Edge Avaiation.  We had grilled Salmon and Chicken, with ALL of the extras, including real class by eating on china plates with real silverware.  One comment overheard was that it was the best food anyone had ever seen at a a gliderport.  This operation really knows how to do it right!

See you at the airport,

Charlie-"Lite" Minner

Competition Director

Posted: 7/21/2010


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