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Region 5 South - Day 1 (regional) at Cordele

After a brief 18 hour stay at my house on the way from Ionia to Cordele, I rolled into the Crisp County (Cordele) airport about 9pm last night, followed closely by Mike Smith (XM).  With the combined regional and Std Class Nationals, the place was lousy with glider trailers, so, Mike and I stooged around in the dark finding places  to shoehorn our trailers in.  After we were done, Mike drove his motorhome all of  100yds and hooked up to his reserved camping spot, while I had to travel about 5 miles south of the city to the Cordele RV park to situate the micro-castle (Next year I'll know to make reservations for the airport camping spots a little earlier).  Then it was up at 0630 to grab some breakfast and get assembled/ballasted before the day got too hot.  Between the late arrival and the early wakeup, I didn't get a lot of sleep last night.  Mike was there as well, and so we ate bugs (yuk!) and helped each other assemble.  The gnats are especially yummy this time of year ;-).

Anyway, the weather forecast for the day was HOT HOT HOT - Damned hot!  With cu's and cu-nims to the south and east, with a  20% chance of thunder-bumpers.  Winds were forecast to be 5-10kt from the north.  At grid time the sky was still completely blue, but then cu's started popping, and by the time the launch was  underway there were cu's in all quadrants.    The task for 15/18m was a 2-turn 3hr TAT with the first turn well to the southeast, the second well to the northeast, and then a downwind run home - yay!  Sports class had a 3-turn 3hr TAT with their three circles situated about halfway along the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd 15/18m legs, respectively.  The Std guys had a practice task today, a 3-turn 3hr cats-cradle TAT oriented mostly  east-west.

Out on course, there was a lot of variance in the climbs.  You could be fat, dumb, and happy in a 4kt climb, and a mile later run into a 7kt boomer.  The trick seemed to be (as usual) to somehow wait for the boomers without running into the ground in the process.  For the 15/18m task, the best working band seemed to be between 4000 and 6000' msl - much below 4000 and the climb rates deteriorated sharply.    The fast guys in the FAI classes were coming home in the high 60's and low 70's, while the Sports guys were in the high 50's.  Frank Paynter (TA) broke his 4-contest first day landout streak by winning the day in 15m with 71.26mph and George Green (5) won the day in 18m with 71.93mph.  Wally Berry flying his beautiful Libelle won the day in Sports class with 58.8mph raw/57.8mph handicapped.

After the gliders were in their boxes, Baud Litt (LBL) gave his now-traditional Belgian beer tasting at the meeting tent, and a good time was had by all.  I'm sure Baud hates to see me coming at one of his beer tastings, because I have absolutely no ability to discriminate one beer from another.  My idea of a fine beer is the most expensive thing I can buy with a twist-off cap! (now that I have an actual beer-bottle opener in the micro-castle, I may be expanding my criteria a bit).

Long range weather forecast looks good for the rest of the week, so we hope to see more great soaring days and high finishing speeds.  I'm especially anxious for the weather to be good, as I was hearing rumors about being ridden out of town on a rail if I brought rains with me (again).  Stay tuned!


Posted: 6/6/2011


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