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Region 5 North - Day 1 at Perry (Monday, 18 April)

Today was a challenging day for all classes.  The weather forecast was for blue skies again, but this time with significant wind out of the south and southwest.  Initial reports from pilots indicated almost everyone had trouble at some point in their flights. Sarah Kelly-Arnold, the day winner in the Sports class mentioned that on each of the several occasions she found herself below 2500' msl, she reminded herself not to do that again, as the thermals were quite broken up down there.  The reminders may not have worked entirely, but something must have!  The other classes had the same problem, particularly on the upwind leg back from the Saluda circle to get home.  Bill Elliot said his instruments told him he needed to go several miles beyond the center of the circle to arrive back home 2 minutes over, but after struggling home and having to take 1-2kt thermals - upwind - he wound up 30 minutes over.

I had a great first two legs, but bit the dust on the 3rd leg, on the way out of the Williston circle.  I drove for a marked thermal that disappeared just as I arrived, and then I couldn't find a save.  I wound up landing on the main fairway of the Williston Country Club - great runway, no  divots, no golfers to contend with.  Turns out the groundskeeper's brother was the guy who built Al Tyler's house, and the groundskeeper himself was a guitar player for Hank Williams Jr. for something like 16 years - wow!  Anyway, Phillip Lebarge was kind enough to come get me, and the retrieve was  a piece of cake.  We even got back to the field in time to partake in the wonderful 'Chicken on a beer can' dinner, along with the quite spectacular airshow.

Looking at the preliminary score sheet, I can take some consolation in that I wasn't the only landout, and now I have the rest of the field right where I want them ;-).


Posted: 4/18/2011


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