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18 Meter Nationals - 18 Meter Contest Day 1

The Contest; so far, two days practice and one half day contest: happy folks, decent soaring weather, a busy airport, and me on a break!   

So far it is quite the site to see the contest director, John Godfrey, and the contest manager, Reba Coombs, and about 5-10 other hard working individuals taking their "breaks".  You can approach them around 3pm and you will find they are sitting, eating, and with the body language of a leper; not to mention the humidity is low, and it is hot, about 32'C (90'F).  They are the working bees, trying to catch a break, and they deserve it!  So far, inquires and conflicts have been squashed appropriately and swiftly.  The contest pilots are happy!   

With 8 days of contest left, and with happy managers, workers, and contestants; it is safe to say, "The 2014, 18-Meter Nationals, have begun!" 

It is about 3pm now, and as 20 glider pilots are zooming south, you can rest easy in the shade, look out, and notice: few cumulus clouds (so far arguing against the over development and thunderstorm outlook) over the pine nuts and beyond, and above that, some light spread out Q's, caught in some light wave.  Good!  The early pilots are reporting about 600 FPM accent rates in the thermals. 

Chief line director, Spencer DeBerry, exemplifies, "I don’t think I am the guy for blog posts..."  He is working hard.  Herding his crew of 4 line boys to cater appropriately to the contest pilots, and going out of their way to help out innocent observers and crew!   

We are having fun out here, and I will post again soon! 

-Taylor Phillips: The tow pilot in one of four Pawnees, N5878L.

Posted: 6/10/2014


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