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15 Meter Nationals - Aug 8 Report

2010 15-Meter National Soaring Championships – Uvalde, TX

Report for 8 August


Today’s forecast called for “cracking good” Uvalde soaring conditions, and with a rest day scheduled for tomorrow, we decided to “go for the gold” with a 5-hour turn-area task.  Part of this had pilots headed north over the Hill Country – no problem when lift is predicted to reach 8000 to 9000 feet over the ground.


Morning weather on a good Uvalde day can be a bit strange to the uninitiated.  It typically starts with a low overcast that makes the day look hopeless for soaring.  By 11:00 the overcast is breaking.  By around noon it has resolved itself into cumulus clouds whose bases rise and go flat, indicating increasingly strong and well-organized lift.  This trend continues right through the afternoon.


We though we had that today, but the strong and steady improvement wasn’t really there.  We had to drop back to a task that was 4.5 hours and stayed clear of the Hill Country.  Pilots reported decent (though not spectacular) heights and lift strengths.  Most encountered some difficult patches.


The anticipated 85-mph speeds were thus not achieved – 75 was quite good today.  But all pilots finished the task and 13 managed distances above 500 km, so it was deemed a qualified success. Best today was Bill Ruehle, who did 361 miles (that’s 581 km) at just under 77 mph.  The race remains close at the top of the scoresheet.


As noted, we have a scheduled rest day tomorrow.  Dinner will be at Concan, a resorty site on the Rio Frio some 20 miles north of Uvalde.  You can rent an innertube and float down the river, though the scouting report says be prepared for plenty of walking/wading due to low August water levels.  Interesting birds are said to abound here, and there’s a bat cave well worth an evening visit. 


Posted: 8/8/2010


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