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Sports Class Nationals - Day 4

"Possibly the best thermal day ever seen in an eastern contest."

"Every bit as good as a strong day at Uvalde."

"Best contest day I've ever flown."

"Simply awesome."

These were typical comments from pilots after today's task.  The day was just a bit slow to start, but when it got going (around 1pm) it hit a gear seen about once in 10 or 15 years here.  Most pilots reported best altitudes over 11,000 ft.  Heinz Weissenbuehler told of one thermal that yielded a sustained 13.4-kt climb.  Heights and lift strengths half this good rank as a first-rate contest day in Pennsylvania.

It's fair to add that few pilots reported entirely trouble-free flights.  There were areas of strong sink, and by no means every thermal was off-the-scale strong or easy to center.  Winds were sufficient to make ridges work late in the day, but many found these less than perfect.

Yet the speeds and distances were impressive.  In Sport class, Erik Nelson (5E) took the day with 75 mph over 310 miles in his (unballasted!) Ventus 2.  In Club Class, it was again our 19-year-old 1-26 pilot Daniel Sazhin, with 43 mph over 170 miles (yielding a handicapped distance and speed of 272 miles and 68 mph).  Daniel's glider may not be a perfect fit with the current version of the Club Class, but his attitude and skills seem just right.


John Good



Posted: 5/16/2013


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