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18 Meter Nationals - 308 Miles at 82 mph

Ya shouda been here.  That ‘s the average task distance and average speed flown in this contest by an entrant.

Today’s forecast looked much like yesterday’s, with a bit slower start to the day and not quite as warm. We were encouraged by getting a bit ahead of the forecast on heating before launch, and stayed with the 3.5 hour TAT to the N and NW.  Again big circles to accommodate the uncertainly (as you remember from yesterday, we really needed the extra miles as the day turned out much better than we planned).  In reality, the heating turned out to be a bit on the shy side and the wind on the high side, with pilots reporting 25 kts which broke up the thermals.  No banquet task this.

Gary Ittner once again cracked the code, taking the day and the winning the Charlie Spratt Trophy with 293 miles at 81 mph.  Ray Gimmey, who won his first Nationals in 1972, took second with Doug Jacobs rounding out the top three.

It’s easy to make good wine when the grapes are good, and this contest has certainly benefited from great weather.  However, it would not have been nearly as successful without the extensive efforts of Edre and Steve Maier, Denise Layton, the line crew, my excellent task advisors John Seaborn and Mark Keene, and Ward Hindman doing the weather with Ron Gleason presenting the weather and also scoring.  Like previous years, LESS and the SSA volunteers have provided great meals and outstanding support.

It’s no small effort to put on a National Championship (and have it be financially viable), and I must say that we are all a bit disappointed that we had a field of only 13 plus 2 guests.  The other members of the 18m fleet missed quite a time. Ron computed the following statistics which show just how great this site can be.  Over a field of just 15 entrants:

  • Total miles flown on task:  41,600
  • Total hours spent on task: 507
  • Average mileage and speed per task: 308 and 82
  • Longest flight: 455 miles (Mark Keene)
  • Highest speed: 111 mph (Dave Mockler)
  • Shortest completed task: 204 miles
  • Uncompleted tasks 2 (of 135)
  • Point yield 8995/10000 = 90% (one rest day)

See you next time.


Posted: 6/30/2011


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