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2013 15 Meter/Open Class Nationals - Day 7 Day 8 Report

On Day 7, July 3th, the CD called a 3.5 hr TAT with large circles for both classes, so the pilots would have plenty of room to avoid the thunderstorms that were forecasted for the afternoon, pretty much in all quadrants of the task area.  No delaying the launch or lingering in the start gate; everyone was gone by 14:55

The first leg was fast for most pilots, with some weather in the large Littlefield circle. Second turn Lamesa was where the field split up; those who got there before the overdevelopment and stayed in the good, sunny air, and those that got there in the shade of the overdevelopment. Gary Ittner had the best time in 15M at 79.40mph and in Open Class Ron Tabery won the day at 88.87 mph. Back at the Finish line, the cirrus was moving in from the N / NE and by 5:30 pm, the air coming home was pretty much dead. John Seaborn called in a 'marginal final glide' and landed 2 miles short of the field, and T8 did not fare much better.

This morning, July 4th, we rigged and gridded for the last time, wondering if it would get too windy to fly. But that decision was not to be made as shortly before the 10 am pilots meeting the word was spread that the day was cancelled because the town of Hobbs was planning on opening the airport ramp by 4 pm for anyone who wants to watch the July 4th fireworks that is being staged here, and the contest staff was concerned about not being able to provide a unobstructed landing area for the pilots upon return from the task. Guess nobody saw that coming....

There were many unhappy faces and it is unfortunate that a contest that is so well run has to end like this. Many pilots packed up and left, but tonights Award Banquet is still on.

Tim McAllister received a long and well deserved applause during this morning's pilots meeting; he did a terrific job and is a true 'pilots CD'. And he must have some kind of connection with the weather gods, as we had great flying weather for 7 contest days & 5 practice days before that. CM Edre Maier and husband Steve were a pleasure to work with and it was good to see a large group of young airport brads to help with the launch every day - Spratt would have been proud of them.

And the little white dog that was abandoned at the airport last week and that has been living in the SSA offices has found a new home; Susan, Sarah & Tim McAllister are taking him home and his name is....Charlie.

It is now almost 4 pm local time, and the airport is deserted except for 5 glider trailers and a few pilots hunting for cactus.

Karin S.


Posted: 7/4/2013


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