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Region 5 South - Day 5 at Cordele regional contest

Today dawned just like all the other days here at Cordele.  I never thought I would get used to great soaring weather, but it has happened!  Clear skies, hot weather, dead grass on the field, just like yesterday ;-).

At the morning meeting today, Chip Garner gave the winner's talk for the Std Class Nationals, and he  commented that although the  soaring weather is great, he isn't quite used to the way thermals work here.  He said "you kind of have to establish a relationship with a thermal before you can actually start climbing", meaning you often have to search around a bit before finding the actual thermal core.  This got a laugh from the audience, and some risque suggestions as to how to go about "establishing a relationship" with a thermal.

CD/Weatherman Ray Galloway told  us that today should be pretty much like yesterday (and the day before and ....), with some possibility of blowups to the north.  For the 15/18m guys he called a 220 mile AST with all turnpoints south of Cordele, and the Sports guys got a 3hr MAT also down to the south.

By grid time cu's were popping in all quadrants and the launch was underway about 30-45 minutes earlier than yesterday.  Conditions in the start circle seemed to me to be significantly weaker than yesterday, and the clouds didn't look quite as good (this could have been just due to the earlier launch).  Most pilots elected to start earlier rather than later in consideration of the possibility of overdevelopment in the task area, and the entire 15m class was on course by 2:15.  I started earlier (at 1:48) and had a great run for the first 100 miles or so, but then things began to get soft.  Many pilots reported struggling to get past notorious sinkhole Fitzgerald on the way home from the last turnpoint, and it was about there that Fernando Silva (FS) caught up to me after starting 16 minutes laster - bummer!  I wound up dumping all my water ballast to get up to final glide altitude, only to immediately run into 6 and 7kt thermals everywhere!  Fernando Silva (FS) won the day in 15m class with a blazing 73mph.  Frank Paynter (TA) managed a paltry 66.38mph for 2nd place but extended his lead in the overall standings slightly to 117pts.  In 18m George Green (5) won the day again with 66.28mph, extending an already commanding lead in the overall standings to 248pts.  In Sports class, Steve Taylor (EA) won again with 58.92mph raw/55.2mph handicapped.  Wally Berry (WB) is still on top in the overall standings by 99pts.   Although the leaders in all three classes will have to stub their toes tomorrow to drop out of first place, it could happen.   One thing, however, is almost certain here at Cordele - we'll be racing tomorrow, so stay tuned!


PS:  Humanity 1, 6-legged aliens 0

Posted: 6/10/2011


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