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Seniors Soaring Championship - Mar 11 Report

A difficult day today, that actually worked out about as well as might be hoped.  Weatherman Fernando Silva (FS) called for a good airmass that might receive a bit less solar heating than a soaring pilot could wish.

Thick morning fog significantly restricted early heating; this cleared around 10:00, but then around noon mid- and high-level clouds began to leak in from the Gulf of Mexico. Our sniffer Dave Nadler (YO) – pressed into service because of his electric self-launch Antares motorglider (and skill in weak lift) – spent a long time grinding around in half-knot thermals, finally managing to reach an altitude that could just about justify a launch.

The launch went smoothly, and remarkably no pilot had to re-light. The troublesome clouds slowly thinned, giving hope. The task opened very late (15:44), but conditions allowed a majority of pilots to complete the task, albeit at modest speeds.

At this writing, the day winner looks to be Rich Owen (FA), at a speed just short of 45 mph. Second was Jim Lee (BL), and Karl Striedieck (KS) was third. Sixteen pilots failed to complete the task: most came to earth at one of the many airfields in out contest area; all reported safe landings.

John Good


Posted: 3/11/2014


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