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Region 2 North - Day 3 - Evening Report

The morning briefing included a safety talk by Uncle Hank and it was all about ridge rules, procedures, and etiquette. That should give readers a clue as to the task called!   

Today was a ridge mission TAT with Piolis and Horse Farm as the only turnpoints. Both had 12 mile circles so pilots could turn as soon as Ellenville to the North and Otisville Prison to the South and complete a lap. The Bus class did 3 laps and Sports class did 3.5 (we went back to the Piolis area one more time.) Both classes had a 2 hour minimum time.

The day started with Gregg Leslie (who was the sniffer) having his piloting skills challenged on tow. While the ridge was working, there was clearly some sort of rotor in the air. Gregg described it as wild, and actually released because he was having difficulty keeping his glider under control on tow. Contest officials and advisors conferred and elected to launch one more experienced pilot but to modify the tow procedure to have pilots release in the valley and go to the ridge on their own (rather than on tow.) That worked and the launch operation resumed. Those that launched at the front of the grid quickly elected to thermal up above the ridge while waiting for the gate to open!

Once the gate opened pilots could chose to fly fast and low on the ridge and deal with the bumpy ride or fly a little slower and higher and enjoy a smoother ride

Since the course went back and forth over Wurtsboro we were actually going through the start and finish cylinder on every lap. Prior to the launch a number of pilots were discussing the strategy of flying extra laps and claiming the best start for their official log. Ultimately the ridge starting going soft at about the same time as most were completing their task. While there were no landouts, at least one pilot was unable to make the final lap with sufficient altitude to avoid a finish penalty, and not everyone completed the task.


Posted: 6/18/2014


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