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15 Meter Nationals - Practice Day 2 May 12

Hi Race fans,

We are all gathered here at Mifflin for the 2012 15 Meter Nationals. The race begins tomorrow, but everyone seems to be here and in full race mode. The pre-contest period on Thursday was shaping up as a gangbusters ridge day. I had several calls on my cellphone as early as Monday asking if tows were available on that day and we were more than happy to oblige all.

I awoke a little after 5:00 AM to give a tow to GJ who was attempting a long record 15 M flight. We towed to Williamsport, some 45 miles east northeast to the very end of the ridge. Sadly, soon after going down on the ridge, it was clear that this section was not working and Brian ended up starting his motor and going some distance to a section of the ridge that was working. The record flight now shot in the butt, GJ elected to get the best out of the day. He did so by flying a mere 2070 KM. WOW!! Brian was airborne for just short of 14 hours. Several others were here and elected to fly as well. All had a grand time, but it goes without saying that Mr. Milner had the best day of all.

The first practice was yesterday. The winds were again perfect for a ridge day, so good actually that this tow pilot, and all the rest, worked really hard to get on and off. It was not that the cross winds were that hard to handle, it was a combined thing, as the lift was so strong that the associated sink was equally as bad. This combined with the crosswinds made us all work very hard. All were rewarded well with a great day. Winning speeds were in the mid 90s over a 400 mile task.

Today rolled around as the second practice day with people still rolling in. We also had to deal with an EAA fly-in breakfast. The field was jammed to max capacity when the pilots meeting left out. I have to give kudos to glider pilots and the EAA. Everyone worked very well together and by grid time most of the breakfast traffic was cleared out.

Today was to be a straight thermal day with generous forecasts for thermal height. It did not start off as early as we would have liked as the sniffer followed the tow plane back pretty quickly. A short turn around and waiting just a little and all was better.

I failed to mention earlier that this contest has a concurrently running Reg 2 field as well. They were at the front of the grid today and the launch was smooth and quick. The tasks for both classes were mainly a big bowtie to the north and east. Both were TATs, 15 m was 3:30 and Reg 2 3:00. There were plenty of people who got high and went early. This seemed to be the thing to do today, as Cirrus was trying to overrun the task area. The air mass we are in was so dry, that the Cirrus burned off and the cue, were here, but were widely spread out. Most were reliable once you got to them, but there were long runs between them.

HW won the Reg 2 day, and Robin Clark wins the 15 M. All had fun and are ready for the flag to drop on some real racing tomorrow morning. Stay tuned for all the news and happenings from Mifflin.

See you at the airport

Brian Glick








Posted: 5/14/2012


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