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15 Meter Nationals - Aug 6 Report

2010 15-Meter National Soaring Championships – Uvalde, TX

Report for 6 August


Today was at least fairly close to a “classic” Uvalde day, though not without its complications.  Morning forecasts claimed that lift and cloudbases to the north would be superb – pilots could expect to reach altitudes approaching 11,000’.  This is what makes pilots happy for excursions well north of Uvalde, as this is “hill country” with rugged terrain that’s both higher and less landout-friendly than much of the rest of the Uvalde task area.  The “A” task included a turnpoint at Sonora, around 120 miles northwest of home.


But a check with the Air Force led to a decision not to use turnpoints west of Uvalde near Laughlin Air Force base, as this would be the scene of considerable jet training activity.  Then a look at a satellite loop suggested that high clouds associated with a weak front might drift down from the north.  So we wound up with a task closer to home, that ended with pilots able to select their final turnpoints.  It proved to be the right choice: the Sonora area had afternoon thunderstorms and would not have been a good place for gliders.


All pilots that attempted the task finished . Distances were excellent - the best were well over 500km.  Speeds were good, though perhaps a bit short of astonishing (Uvalde sets that particular bar rather high).  John Seaborn (A8) did it best, turning in a flight of 325 miles at exactly 80 mph.


I must comment on Mark Keene’s flight on Wednesday.  He did 87.2 mph, which qualifies as “scorching” even by strict Uvalde standards.  This excellent flight boosted him into first place for the contest, where he now stands.  Of course, a rather daunting collection of former national champions and World Team pilots are in hot pursuit.





Posted: 8/6/2010


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