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Region2 North - Day 4 at Wurtsboro

No run this morning - had to drive to the local Wal-Mart to resupply the micro-castle's pantry.  At the morning meeting our trusty weatherman told us that we should have 2-3kt lift to 5000-6000', with the possibility of some rain/thundershowers later in the afternoon - oh joy!

The task today was kind of interesting.  In an effort to keep us in the local area in case of T-storms or other bad stuff, CD Jackie and the task advisors came up with a two-lap area task - to Monument with a 10 mile circle, then Orange County with an 8 mile circle, then back to Wurtsboro with a 1 mile circle, then around the same course again.  It was initially set for 2.5 hours, but was reduced on the grid to 2.0. 

Grid time came and went, and the sniffer (Hank Nixon in the ASK-21) went and came back about 20 minutes later.  We could see occasional cloud wisps in the area, and we could also see some pretty ominous buildups to the southwest (where we were headed).  For a while I wasn't worried about those buildups, as I had inadvertently programmed in Task B instead of Task A, and Task B was going north away from the buildups.  Fortunately I got a clue a few minutes before launch and corrected myself!

After the launch many pilots (including me) had a lot of trouble getting up to start altitude.  The thermals were weak, narrow, and hard to center, and 2-day winner Bobby Templin never did get away - bummer!  The good news for those pilots who figured it out was that the lift was streeting toward the southwest corner of the Monument turn circle (out over the plateau), and it was possible to fly long distances without turning.  I started out the gate at 4800' (5000 max height) and was able to do the entire first leg (27-miles upwind) at an average L/D of 79.  The plateau also had much higher cloud bases, so even though the climbs were still mediocre, they went 1000' higher.

At the end of the day, Scorer Rob Dunning (V3) won the day in Sports with 41.2mph raw/38.95mph handicapped, and John Seymour (SM) won in FAI class with a respectable 58.30mph raw/49.85mph handicapped.  Gregg Leslie (GL) was 3rd for the day but is still in 1st place overall in FAI, but his lead over John Seymour (SM) has dwindled to just 14 points, and to 104 points over 3rd place Frank Paynter (TA).  We have two more potential contest days, but I'll bet Gregg is doing a rain dance inside his motorhome! ;-).

As a side note, I got an email earlier this evening from the 'other' Mike Smith (XM), telling me that he is getting calls and emails asking if he was the pilot involved in yesterday's crash landing at New Hope Farm.  So, for the record, it was Mike Smith (CY) and not Mike Smith (XM) who dinged his glider yesterday.

Popular weather forecast for tomorrow is "Partly sunny, with a high near 86. West wind between 5 and 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%" (pretty much identical to the forecast for today).  Chance of precip goes up to 40% on Friday (our last contest day).

Will local hero Gregg Leslie stave off the predations of the hard-charging John Seymour?  Will they both land out and give me the win (fat chance...)?  Stay tuned!


Posted: 7/6/2011


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