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Region 5 North - Day 2 report

A very interesting day today at the Perry contest.  There was (and still is) a large weather system to our west that caused a great deal of concern to the weatherman and the task committee this morning.  The CD and the task committee thought they might be able to get in a short task before the T-storms hit, so everything was a bit rushed to get us all in the air earlier than normal.  Unfortunately, the morning meeting ran a bit long, and that, in combination with the CD’s call for an 11:30 grid time and 11:45 sniffer launch didn’t give us a whole lot of time to make it all happen.  On top of that, I was called in to do an emergency chute repack when Dennis Linnekin noticed that the pilot chute on his rig had somehow managed to work its way out of the container and was threatening to  take over his cockpit!  This made me even more rushed, but it all eventually got done.

On the grid we could see Q’s building in all quadrants, and some of them were going right on up – a premonition of what we thought was coming in from the west.  CD Ray Galloway got the sniffer off promptly at 11:45, and by 1205 had started the main launch.  All classes were tasked with MAT tasks, but out of different start gates and going in different directions. Standard and 15m had the same task, which was west to Oneals (just west of Aiken), then southeast to Barnwell County, and then anywhere you wanted to go for a 2Hr minimum time. 18m had went east to Do Little first, then south to Bambug, then free choice, also with a 2Hr min time.  Sports went west to Aiken, then back east to Williston, then free choice, but because they were at the back of the grid their min time was only 1.5hrs

Most pilots started as soon as they could, mindful of the incoming weather.  Out on course with the std/15 crowd, there were plenty of clouds on the first leg, but they weren’t producing all that much lift.  I dumped down to half water on the first leg, but regretted it later when I couldn’t keep up with Evan Ludeman (T8) and Fernando Silva (FS) on the second leg.  After Barnwell, there were streets to follow back north toward  Perry, but some pilots (including me) had trouble connecting and got low and slow.  I got down to about 1500 agl over Williston, hoping against hope that I wouldn’t wind up at the Williston grass strip – again!  Fortunately I was able to dig out and continue, although it cost me the rest of my water ballast – bummer!

I normally don’t talk too much about results, but I have to give special recognition to U.S. team member Francois Pin, who somehow managed to kill us all in 15m class, turning in a 78.25mph day with his ASW-27, almost 10mph faster than the 2nd place pilot!  The rest of us are planning to thoroughly inspect his glider, trying to figure out where he put the jet engine!

At the end of the day, the CD and task committee call looked pretty good.  Almost everyone got home (one landout in Sports class), and the anticipated T-storms failed to materialize.  In fact, as I write this at 10pm, the skies are still almost completely clear – go figure.

Tomorrow is progged to be a rain day, and the airshow and airshow dinner have been moved to Thursday.  What actually happens is anyone’s guess – stay tuned!



Posted: 4/17/2012


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